Upcycle, Recycle, Repurpose....what?

There are so many words thrown around having to do with environmentally friendliness, recycling, etc. that it can make your head spin!  So, I thought I'd explain these words and my understanding of them.

First, there are the 3 R's:  Recycle, Reuse, Reduce

Recycling is processing used materials (a/k/a waste) into new products to prevent the waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage by not producing new materials, reduce air pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production.

To use again.
To minimize the amount of waste produced.

Upcycling (and this is the term I most identify my work with)
The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Eco-friendly (a/k/a environmentally friendly)
Used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies considered to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment.

To make consumers aware, environmentally friendly goods/services often are marked with labels indicating so.  But, because there is no single international standard for this concept, the Internal Organization for Standardization considers such labels too vague to be meaningful.

See above for eco-friendly

To bring into useable condition.
To recall from wrong or improper conduct.
To rescue from an undesirable state; to restore to a previous natural state
To obtain from a waste product or by-product.

Similar to upcycling.  Taking something and converting it into something else.

Are there other "green" terms that you use, or that you hear used?

1 comment:

alison said...

I'm a bin raider (well not quite) If I see an old chair sitting next to a bin, I have to stop the car and take a peek. If it can be fixed, I open the boot and in it goes!

I've recently rescued the office chair I'm sitting on right now. It's a black leather look chair and the only problem it had was the material on the seat was ripped. I'm not a fan of sewing but fortunately my mother in law is, so she re-covered it for me!

Shame to let things go to waste.
I've also got 2 wooden chairs in storage waiting for some attention ;)