One way of stopping the production of pollution and waste is by not buying anything anymore – but we know that’s unrealistic at best, and a total buzz-kill at worst. But there are ways that you can still get your shopping fix, decorate your home and body, and still buy presents for people without participating in the one way decay from factory to landfill. Just buy secondhand and upcycled or recycled stuff.
Everyone knows that being less consumptive is a great way to be green, but by buying something used or transformed from something already made, you’re helping to extend the life of an object for which energy has already been expended to produce in the first place. Additionally, you’re saving another “thing” from going to the landfill and possibly our streets, the ocean or any other place where garbage mysteriously piles up.
As such, we have selected ten amazing finds from people creating something new out of something old. In the world of upcycling, these are some of our favorites.
The two ladies behind Twig Terrarium create mini-worlds in vintage glass containers from things like cake holders, light bulbs and science glass, with layers of moss, rocks and tiny little painted people engaged in their private little moments. So peaceful.
More at Twigterrariums.com
Reimagined Seats And Clocks
The brain of designer Katie Thompson out of Cape Town, South Africa brings us beautifully recycled furniture, lighting, and interior accessories like clocks, vases, lighting and fixtures.
More at Recreate.za.net
Nightwood is a team of two women out of Brooklyn who create furniture, textile and home goods out of deconstructed furniture and textiles. Their look is spectacular, unique and highly recognizable. It’s not just functional, it’s art.
More at Nightwoodny.com
Book Potted Plants
These small potted plants are beautiful and unique (and if you don’t mind using a book for this purpose), they’re pretty DIY-able too. A special thumbs up to the natural discoloring of the paper by the plant and its soil.
Book Or Inconspicuous iPhone Charging Dock?
Wife and husband team create these one of a kind iPod charging docks out of their love for books. After rescuing said books from various unloved homes, they create discreet tech accessories for those that appreciate a more vintage life.
More at Etsy.com/shop/inbook
Dream Home, From Shipping Containers
UpCycled Living take used shipping containers and transform them into high quality, affordable, green buildings. They are prefabricated and delivered with low-cost but sustainable materials. And when you’ve decided it’s time to move cities, pack her up and ship her out – they were originally designed for just that! UpCycle Living are also able to support emergency relief, as they did in Haiti.
More at Upcycleliving.com
Books As Shelves
Use books to create shelves to hold your stuff… and your books. Find instructions to building the row of books on inhabitat. Or create a more sleek (and light) shelf of just a few. You can pick one of these up from seller, Spoonful of Chocolate out of Tempe, Arizona.
Using vintage fabric from old military uniforms, work clothes, and spare material found from dressmakers estates, Blythe King, out of Virginia, creates simple yet stylish cases tailored to fit an array of computers and portable electronic devices.
From Suitcase To Medicine Cabinet
It’s designs like these that make you think, “I wish I thought of that” but luckily, the next thing you think is, “I could make that!” That’s the beauty of innovative upcycled products, especially those that inspire the DIYer in all of us.
Out of New York, these lanterns are handmade, entirely unique and made to order. Have discs of paper light up your space or a gorgeous bulb of ruffles illuminate your prettiest of spots.