Upcycling, or repurposing, is gaining momentum! Sure, you can find hundreds of little stores and shops that carry repurposed items and sell them to tourists. These novelties can be pretty pricey too. But, did you know that there are companies around the world making a successful business out of turning trash into treasure? It’s true!

Who doesn’t love a good handbag? Well, Sea Bags, has found an innovative way to repurpose old unwanted sails into their designer bags and accessories. The material is strong and durable, ideal for capturing wind, and resistant to salty and heavy storms, so perfect for…

This global movement has gained so much ground since it first started. It is an effort for everyone to be a part of the “solution to plastic pollution”. The concept is pretty simple yet has a powerful impact. The goal is not to use any single-use plastic containers during the month of July. Do you think you can do it? Well, there is a challenge if you think you can!

The plastic-free July challenge is just one way to help your environment and participate in a global effort. This challenge has spread across the world and has inspired over 326…

A Positive Mindset for Our Future

By now, we are all aware of just how devastating pollution and trash have been to our environment. With the recycling era, we found out just how much waste could be reduced if everyone did their part. But, now we have entered a new period in our societal advancement. There are so many creative, unique, and awe-inspiring ways to turn our trash into treasure. Let’s explore some today.

Daily Waste = A More Valuable Item?

The truth of the matter is that anything can be reused in some way. You might be thinking, “I…

Recycling was a huge breakthrough for the environment. Over the years it has cut waste down tremendously by reusing certain elements. But, did you know that you can reuse virtually anything? By creatively reusing items around your home you are cutting down a significant amount of waste, more so than merely recycling.

The Trash to Treasure Industry

Some innovative companies have emerged recently, and they are taking the idea of recycling to a whole new level. By learning more about taking our trash and turning it into valuable items that people want to buy, we can follow in the footsteps…

a bunch of different hands grasp a fallen tree
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

When we imagine how we might reuse materials, we start to see that there is a world of possibilities ready for us to create them!

TerraCycle, founded by Tom Szaky (a college student at the time), collected plastic bottles of all sorts, cleaned and refilled them with fertilizer made from worm refuse, and then relabeled and sold them for consumption. They continue to push the limits on the idea of what can be recycled.

Another company, ThredUP, is an online consignment (thrift) that allows customers to buy and sell secondhand clothing online. Instead of people throwing away clothes, others get…

Farming is hard and dirty work, and the margins are slim to begin with. So, imagine having to leave half of what you produce in the field, or having it rejected by the market because it doesn’t look like the “perfect” tomato, potato, or carrot. Even worse, imagine it is a good growing year and everyone has surplus supply, so you are unable to sell your produce to any market that is already inundated with supply…

well-worn canoe resting on the shoreline in front of reeds
Photo by Munjid Hussain on Unsplash

This happens all of the time in America. According to the USDA, as much as 40 percent of the crops grown in America are…

trash littering a beautiful sandy beach
Photo by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash

Trash is a human construct. In nature, there is no such thing as waste or trash, everything is cycled and reused. Trees in a forest may die, but they are not truly dead — they become home for insects, squirrels, and birds. As they decay, they fertilize the soil, providing vital nutrients for more trees to grow. Yet, human trash is a global phenomenon.

Please picture this: off to the North Atlantic Gyre — one of the unique places in the ocean where several currents meet and circulate — a group of major league business executives geared up to go…

Over the past few months, I’ve been asked several times How can we make a sustainable change in our lives and our businesses? Truth be told, there isn’t some magical way to become more sustainable, just like there isn’t some magical way to lose weight or become financially independent. Change, regardless of the task, takes time and intentionality. So, how can we change our businesses today?

caccoon evolving into a butterfly
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Track your company’s environmental impact:

Tracking your company’s environmental blueprint does not just benefit the environment, it will also reveal where dollars are being spent, and if released to the public can improve trust from your consumers and show…

Earth Day has come and gone. And, although we should be celebrating and respecting our land all year round, we could always use this special day as an extra push to maintain this beautiful home of ours that we call Planet Earth.

Sadly, when we look around, we often see trash everywhere — in both urban and rural areas. But, what exactly is trash?

Is it a piece of paper you don’t want anymore? Is it an old bucket that you bought for a one-time use and then let sit in the corner (that now takes up space)? Or, is…

The phrase one man’s trash is another man’s treasure goes far beyond dumpster diving and antiquing. Today businesses are creating mutually beneficial partnerships around the simple idea of recycling and upcycling waste to turn additional profits. This was taken to heart when Patagonia created ReCrafted.

Photo by Glenna Haug on Unsplash

They partnered with the designer Kourtney Morgan and started the project at Suay, a Los Angeles sewing shop owned by Lindsay Rose Medoff. As Morgan stated in the article How We Turn Scraps Into New Gear, “Lindsay and I both had a passion for doing something that mattered.”

Christina Johnson’s business, appropriately named Upcycle, started…

Kelsey Rumburg

As an adventurous farm girl, I am a creator on a mission to build a better economy. I question our idea of trash and look for new ways to use our resources!

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