It might seem to us that there is an infinite supply of natural resources to keep up with our demand for all the things we want and need, but in reality, there isn’t, and the planet will run out if we carry on at the rate we are going. Even now, our consumerism is causing a hugely negative impact on the environment because we want new things all the time. Companies make products to meet the demand for them, so every new product you buy, suppliers will keep producing more because they think that’s what you want. However, this isn’t doing the planet any favours and is depleting the earth’s valuable resources, such as oil, forests, and water supplies. If we stop buying so much and we upcycle, repair, and renew our current belongings, then the companies will eventually reduce how many they make because they won’t be selling.
It’s not just the effect all this has on our resources either, as Wildlife is endangered as areas are cleared so that we can use the trees or where factories dispose of their waste.
Did you know that for every five plastic bags made, 1 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, and plastic bags take around 1000 years to decompose? It’s not just that the manufacturing process to create these things damages the environment; it’s also the fact that we so easily throw things away. Did you know that each household in the UK throws out approximately 40 kg of plastic a year and that 13 billion plastic carrier bags and 35.8 million plastic bottles are used each year? Also, 16 million plastic bottles do not reach recycling facilities. That is a lot of plastic. Pretty much everyone knows now how much plastic waste is damaging our oceans and, figures show that there are about 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of the sea, which means that more than 40 species of fish are consuming plastic, which is not good for them.
While many people are on board with the idea of recycling and people, have managed to get their heads around what bins need to be used and when upcycling hasn’t caught on as much just yet, and neither has repairing and renewing, which is a shame as there are so many benefits to be had.
Repairing instead of replacing with new reduces the demand for new goods which we have already established is good for the environment. What it does do, though, is create demand for specific skills, which can boost the local economy by providing training and jobs. Then there is the fact that if you sell repaired and second-hand items, then you provide people with a cheaper option to buying new, more expensive items.
Even if you’re not selling your items on, upcycling and repairing also saves you money, and while there is plenty of budget furniture available online and on the high street, it might not last very long. They do say if you buy cheap, you buy twice. However, this might not be the case with an old piece of furniture that was built to last. If you already have an old chest of drawers or a stool sitting in the garage, then why would you spend money on a new one when you could upcycle or repair your old one? It’s not just buying new items either; for example, if the outside of your home is looking tired and old, then you might think it’s best just to get new paving or decking when actually you could get the Renew Crew in to power wash your old one. This will be a lot cheaper than getting a new one, and they can make it look as good as new.
It’s also satisfying to do the work yourself, and if you start to teach yourself how to repair and upcycle, then you’ll be learning a skill for life. You could save so much money in your life by learning how to sew or how to use a staple gun or fabric glue and fix a broken table leg or reupholster a chair.
Repairing and upcycling is also a lot easier than you might think. It might seem like an overwhelming job, but once you know how to, you can have a lot of fun with it and create something unique and personal to you. Check out youtube videos because you’ll be able to find one on how to repair or upcycle just about everything.