Saturday, January 28, 2012

Upcycle vs. Recycle...

So I've been hearing this "upcycle" term used a lot lately, and I wasn't sure exactly how it differed from "recycle."  I did a little research, and guess what I'm still not 100% I understand the difference.  This is what I found...

Upcycling: A process that can be repeated in perpetuity of returning materials back to a pliable, usable form without degradation to their latent value—moving resources back up the supply chain. For example:
aluminum containers can be melted down and made into brand new cans and in the process save over 90% of the energy required to make new ones from scratch. This cycle can continue in perpetuity, reducing energy consumption and effectively removing certain materials from the waste stream. Newsprint finds similar success.


  • to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees
  • to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater
  • to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days
  • to cause to pass through a cycle again: to recycle laundry through a washing machine
For example when plastic bottles are recycled, for instance, most often they cannot be turned back into containers associated with anything that can be ingested due to the risk of things seeping into the plastic. As a result, these usually become carpets, or toys, or winter fleeces: things that will eventually also become trash.

Long story short, when you recycle, the item eventually will end up in the trash.  But when you upcycle, that item will never add to the everincreasing mass in our land fills.  And that's the difference, as best as I can figure... and so here is my RECYCLED tin can!  Hope you like it!

I also submitted this project for this week's challenge over at 
The challenge was to alter a tin can, incorperate a paper clip,
and have a place for a picture.  I'll probably be disqualified since I 
didn't use a paper clip.  I kinda of forgot about that part,
 and then in the end I just couldn't make it work!
And that's okay... it was tons of un making it!

So guys, let me know what you think... 
about up vs. re (lol) and about 
my little can of soup!
Have a great day!


  1. Haha I kept looking for the paper clip. Lesson learned-- read every thing first.
    Thanks for the info. I would has guess this was upcycling, since it's to beautiful for it to eventually end up in the trash. It's gorgeous!!

  2. precioso reciclado!!! ademas un estilo que me encanta!

  3. I love your can of soup! What a great idea!! Now what are you doing to do when you have 200 markers!! :)

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