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In our many, many posts about small ways you can improve your life by living more sustainably. I was surprised to discover we’ve touched only briefly on the joys of upcycling.

Upcycling is something of an oversight, because it is among the best things you can do right now to minimize your impact on our planet!

Upcycling, boiled down, is the practice of repurposing waste or other outmoded objects, instead of simply throwing it away.

Instead of shipping it off to be recycled by some plant, you use it for your needs. This reduces the amount of new things you need to buy and giving yourself a fun craft to do in the process!

Not everything is worth upcycling, but you’d be surprised how much you can do with a creative spirit and a spare hour or two!

Here are a few examples my wife and I have had a lot of fun with on our ranch:

Glass Jars

One of the first ways we began upcycling was by keeping and repurposing glass jars from groceries like pasta sauces.

At first we used them as containers for leftovers – and we still do – but we soon discovered how useful they were as small flower pots!

Inspired as we were, we began making custom nozzles so we could use them as liquid soap dispensers and even candle casings!

Toilet Paper Rolls

Few things in this world is more frustrating to me than opening a drawer and finding a tangled mess of cords and cables inside.

Tried as I did, though, I could never find a way of keeping them organized – until we discovered this trick!

Fold up your small electronics cables and chargers and neatly stuff them into toilet paper rolls. This is a great way of keeping them from tangling up!

Coffee Cans

We drink lots of coffee, and we were going through Folgers cans like it was nobody’s business!

When my wife began her practice of gardening, we discovered that these cans were the perfect size for small pots of herbs to put up in our bay windows.

Now our kitchen smells of basil and rosemary all the time – mmm!

Egg cartons

We love eggs. But it felt terrible throwing out dozens of egg cartons again and again – until we discovered how useful they can be!

I put these in the drawers of my tool chest to organize small amounts if miscellaneous hardware that would otherwise rattle around uselessly within the drawer.

I hope these few ideas inspire you to look at your trash in new ways.

What have you had fun with upcycling?

We’d love to hear about it. And if you’re in the Santa Barbara area and need help with your natural stone, give us a call today!

Skip Jankoski

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