Green living includes reducing, reusing, and recycling. Don’t forget the fourth ‘r’: repurposing. Repurposing, also known as upcycling, is a means of taking something old and making it new again by turning it into something else.
The term was first coined in the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. The authors claimed upcycling maintains or improves the quality of material.
Many of us upcycle out of necessity when we need something in a pinch, but can’t seem to find it. For instance, we wrap gifts in newspaper or turn an old jar into a cup. But as our awareness to take responsibility for the earth heightens, upcycling turns from a trend to a way of life.
In fact, one company in Phoenix, AZ, started designing and building prefabricated living spaces out of old shipping containers. Upcycle Living isn’t your average pre-fab home manufacture. These trendy, chic living and workspaces are not only green, but also quite spectacular.