The Great British Upcycle
This is my post about The Great British Upcycle. If you can’t see the video please click here.
I’m excited to invite you to be part of The Great British Upcycle! Whether you are new to upcycling or it’s second nature, join this social media campaign by posting a picture of your recycled piece of furniture with the hashtag #GBUpcycle.
Let me know the story behind the item. Was it found on the side of the road, dumped, passed to you by friends or family? Or had you simply grown tired of it and decided to turn it into treasure rather than sending it to landfill?
I’m not interested in the quality of your work – your story is more important. Your involvement is all that matters.
Why do it?
I learned recently that we throw away 670,000 tonnes of furniture each year in the UK. This is according to sustainability campaign group WRAP.
More heart-breaking is that apparently nearly half (45%) of that is reusable. So we actually send more than 300,000 tonnes of furniture to landfill that could have been repaired or upcycled.
If, like me, you find it difficult to imagine just how much that is, picture 24,000 London buses or more than 50,000 killer whales and you are just about there!
As you may know if you follow this blog, I am a bit of a womble so this to me seems ludicrous. Most of the furniture in my house is upcycled and certainly second hand. I knew we had become a throwaway society but really this just shows how senseless all this is.
Last week I did a post and video about how to upcycle in the most basic sense. In less than half an hour and for under a tenner, I was able to transform the kind of small table most would just throw away.
I enjoyed every minute of it, finding it to be relaxing and therapeutic. Frankly it might have taken longer to dispose of it and would certainly have been more stressful (have you ever queued at the tip?!).
The last straw
We’ve seen great strides being made in tackling plastic waste recently. Some bars have vowed to quit offering straws, while coffee shops have introduced charges for single use cups.But we still have a collective blindspot when it comes to throwing away furniture.
There is a misconception that upcycling and repairing furniture is difficult, or requires lots of special tools and creative flair. This simply isn’t the case, as upcycling can be fun and quick; in as little as half an hour, you can transform an old chair or table into a nearly-new, unique piece of furniture you will enjoy every day.
Let’s not forget how expensive new furniture can be, so recycling or upcycling can save you a fortune as well.
You may have seen the amazing work the charity Groundwork have done with their recycling and DIY hubs around the UK. As their ambassador, I have been inspired by their achievements so far and see this as doing my little bit.
So please join in and together we can inspire others to do the same and reduce waste being sent to landfill. I can’t wait to see your achievements and hear your story.
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