Upcycle Your Junk Into Treasures

upcycle cassettesThese early days of spring cleaning will have you eyeing your possessions with a bit of should-it-stay-or-should it go mentality. Before you're too quick on the draw to either "trash them" or "donate them," consider the word "upcycle."

Not to be confused with recycling, upcycling is taking an old or useless object and turning it into something better. Your boxes of cassettes? A recycle bin full of egg or yogurt containers? That unloved container of small green army men? Pure design gold!
While authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart may have made the word famous in their 2002 book "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things," many designers have been in the upcycle mindset.

And now we can learn from a new batch of young designers. An entire set of innovative thinkers are really pushing the upcycle limits (or maybe the entire concept has no bounds). Re-creating some of the designs featured below requires skill sets many of us do not share; luckily they're all for sale. But if nothing else, these products are launch points for your own creativity.

Who knew that our trash would have so much potential?

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