Summer is almost here, and already you can hear children playing outside and birds singing. While there is a great deal to do outdoors during the summer months, you don’t have to keep yourself chained to those activities the entire time. You and your family might feel like spending a couple of hours inside to escape the heat.
Here are six upcycling projects that you can enjoy while helping the planet by reducing waste. You have to feel good about that!
Here are two examples of people who have created sandals out of used tires. Usually burned with devastating effect to the environment, this cuts down on a great deal of pollution while making something actually useful. The first link is a little more well done than the second, though it shows that you can make your own with relative ease by following the second design. They even seem like they would be fairly comfortable. At least, as comfortable as thong sandals ever are. For the tutorial, go here.
It might look funny, and it isn’t a long term form of footwear. But if you need something quick and easy, such as something to wear on the beach to keep from burning your feet on the sand, here is an incredibly easy way to get what you need. You literally just take your plastic bottles crush them flat and slid your feet between the bottle and the label. You would be surprised by how sturdy those labels can really be when left in tact. It might not look very comfortable, but the ridges actually fit well against the base of the foot to offer some support. Really.
Everyone hates those awful plastic strip garden chairs. They break easily, they are uncomfortable to sit on, and if you have it for more than a couple of years you can be sure it will have more holes than steady places to sit. If you want to make something a little more stable and so comfortable, then take off that plastic and re-hatch the frame with some old, leather belts. Not only is it easy to do, but it looks pretty cool, too. If you don’t have belts, pick some up at your local charity shop for a buck a piece and help to reduce waste by taking it off their hands.
You probably don’t have an empty skip sitting in your backyard. But more than one urban area will have one unused in the street, abandoned for more modern versions or forgotten by developers rebuilding houses in the area. When that happens, don’t have it dragged away! Take a page out of these people’s book and convert it into something new for everyone to enjoy. From a small swimming pool to a skateboard ramp, all it takes is a little imagination – and maybe a sense of humor.
When this craft enthusiast moved into a new house, it was winter and she was heavily pregnant. So unsurprisingly, she didn’t go through her icy backyard with a pickax and shovel looking for what was under the frost. That was why when spring came around, she was shocked to come across a number of solar lamps on the back porch. However, they were busted beyond repair, and so she used them for a project to restore their use. Removing parts that were not needed, she created some cool hanging lamps that she put around her backyard for people to enjoy.
At the Bonaroo Music Festival in 2010, someone decided to use the many wasted cans that had gathered to create a structure made of 40,000 drink cans. It is small, but sturdy and really cool. While it wouldn’t make a very good house to live in, can you imagine making a cool little playhouse using this kind of design?
These ideas should be enough to show that you can do just about anything with a little bit of imagination and a desire to reduce waste. So get your own projects going this summer!