Upcycling - A term coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braungart. The process of converting an industrial nutrient (material) into something of similar or greater value, in its second life. Aluminum and glass, for example, can usually be upcycled into the same quality of aluminum and glass as the original products. (SustainableDictionary.com)Whether we knew the official term or not, most of us are familiar with upcycling. I know that separating my recyclables creates opportunity for others to find new uses for the materials, but I have become increasingly interested in finding ways to do the upcycling myself. To this end, I was exposed to a few cool DIY projects utilizing some of these materials. All of these ideas were presented at Maker Faire NYC by Brooklyn based RePlayGround.com. There are a bunch of other cool projects on their site so be sure to pay them a visit.
Soda Tab Belts Bracelets - I've seen people wear stranger things. This is a simple enough DIY project for your favorite kiddies or any neophyte crafter looking to get those feet wet. Instructions for the bracelet pictured here are available on the DIY Network site.
Food Wrapper Gift Bows - This one gave me visions of making gift bows with wrappers all year round and having enough for all of my holiday gifting. Perhaps that's too much for you to commit to, but make one for a quirky and sweet personal touch on your next gift. Instructions from RePlaGground http://replayground.com/pages/diy/rewrap.asp.