Upcycling vs. Recycling: Which Should You Choose?

Upcycling vs. Recycling: Which Should You Choose?

Many of us know how to reduce and reuse the items we no longer need, and upcycling or recycling is often the best choice. It’s sometimes challenging to decide what to do with old possessions, but there are ways to choose between upcycling or recycling. Read on for tips to help you determine if you should give away your old belongings or give them a second chance.


When an item becomes broken or obsolete, there’s potential to repurpose it into something better. Upcycling a product involves reusing it to create something better, usually by combining it with other components from separate items.

There are many items in the home that you could upcycle, including old furniture, broken devices, and even old sporting equipment, such as a baseball that’s split open. Remember that while every item has an intended purpose, you can still redefine that purpose by upcycling it.


Upcycling items could be what you need to help your home feel complete. For example, you can create a decorative flower pot with a hollowed-out dictionary or a coat rack from an old pipe. You could also make a customized wallet as one of the creative ways to reuse scrap leather.

Upcycling gives you the creative freedom to decorate your home with repurposed objects that you’ve made useful. The opportunities are limitless when you use your imagination and ingenuity to craft something unique, and you’ll make great treasures out of things that could’ve been trash.


Numerous items in your home are recyclable, including most plastic, glass, and paper objects. Recycling is an easy way to go green and reduce waste from the massive amount of products factories and businesses produce. Recycling typically has a larger scale of action, with numerous recycling plants in cities and many workers.


Like upcycling, recycling typically breaks down items so that their materials can form new things. An example is breaking a cardboard box down to make multiple paper bags. Donating old clothes is another form of recycling, as you prevent the clothes from ending up in landfills and give them another chance. Recycling helps supply stores and gives back to people by transforming materials into items that numerous people may use.

The Best Options for Your Old Belongings

Between the benefits of upcycling and recycling, you may want to consider repurposing items. Although recycling has the benefit of requiring less work on your end, upcycling gives you the experience of crafting something from your imagination with your own hands.

You’ll prevent waste by upcycling old belongings and creating something new without spending the money you would use to buy a similar item. Even if you run out of ways to upcycle an item, you could give away or sell your creations as unique products through your craftsmanship.

You’ll find great benefits in repurposing your old pen into a fishing lure or your old radio into a bread box with the wonders of upcycling. While you can recycle plastic and glass bottles, you should choose to upcycle instead of recycle when possible.