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Easy Ways to Upcycle

January 16, 2009

Wine Corks, originally uploaded by Danarah.

I’m (N.) always looking for ways to upcycle versus recycle. Since we have successfully reduced our trash output my new goal is to reduce the amount of recycling we generate. Composting has helped rid us of cardboard and paper products but it still leaves us with a lot of plastics and other items.

I started collecting our wine corks a couple years ago with the idea of creating a trivet.

20080706-K10D-4756_2000px, originally uploaded by coneslayer.

If you collect enough you could get really creative and make a cork board or a wreath but we don’t drink that much wine so it would have taken me a decade to have enough for that.

Wreath of wine corks, originally uploaded by kels44.

Realistically though I’ll will probably never get around to this project and I don’t want to throw them out so I was quite happy to hear that Terracycle has started an upcycling programs for corks. Anyone can join and if you are a “high volume” location that will be sending in a hundred or more corks a week you can qualify for free shipping. For the rest of us they recommend collecting at least 20 corks (to make it worth the shipping and to reduce the number of people shipping a couple corks at a time) and reusing a shipping container you already have to send them in. They accept all types of corks and will use them to create things like this

Wine Cork Chair & CD Chair , originally uploaded by louisefalcon.

If Terracycle seems familiar you may already have heard of their programs with yoghurt cups, energy bar wrappers, drink pouches, bottles, and cookie wrappers. They are really taking great strides to not only find uses for products that would otherwise clog our landfills but also let everyone participate. I first heard of Terracycle when I started using their worm poop tea to fertilize my garden last year. If you’ve seen them in the store you will notice that the bottles look a little ragged, that’s because they reuse soda and water bottles. I have to say they just keep impressing me.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2009 8:04 am

    Neato! My sister has some corks that she’s been saving and I was going to suggest making a lamp out of them…

  2. January 16, 2009 12:55 pm

    I dearly wish we had Terracycle in Sweden; I’m drowning in yoghurt bottles without caps. I don’t have the heart to throw them out since they are sturdy enough to live anohter life…

  3. January 16, 2009 7:28 pm

    I love the trivet. Fantastic! I need to start drinking wine.

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