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Three Low Tech Upcycling Projects That Can Make a Big Difference!


Today it is all about tech.

We all love the next breakthrough, the next Tesla, the smart grid that will save us all from our own stupidity, and all such wonderful things made possible by ever advancing human ingenuity.

But here is the thing; low tech can make as much of a difference as high tech, and it can help to keep things from being thrown away, or even ***gasp*** recycled.

Upcycling rocks!

Recycling is better than piling things into a landfill, but many people don’t realize how energy intensive recycling can be. That, and in many cases, recycling is a scam. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming people for trying to do the right thing, it is just that there are some very dastardly people who know how to play the system, for profit.

This is an example of how electronic “recycling” creates an environmental nightmare, and needless to say, these are not the kind of free range cattle you want to eat.

So let’s focus on the positive, and look for ways to get more use out of things that others have had their fill of!

Toilet BBQ/Cooler

Who would ever want to eat out of an old toilet?

(See pic above)

Well, when you use it to make amazing grilled meat, just about anyone I would imagine. This is a pic from South Africa, and as you can see, some enterprising person figured out how to get years more use out of an old commode.

What is especially striking is the multiple functions this old toilet still works for, with both major parts of a BBQ covered with one piece of kit. The water tank is a perfect spot to ice out your beers, and the bowl makes a great place to grill.

You can even sit down while you grill (not on the grill), because the toilet bowl is at such a convenient height!

The huge upside to this piece of upcycling is that an old toilet will be saved from the dump, and will yield years of great BBQ for its lucky owner. A bidet could also be used for either a BBQ or a cooler, but unlike the toilet, it really is a more limited design.

Old Clothing Reborn!

So first off, learn how to sew, or make one of your kids learn. They may give you a hard time about having to learn how to sew, but you can just use access to their favorite gadget as a form of extortion.

It really isn’t that bad, and as Bangladesh has shown us, children under ten years of age are more than competent when it comes to garment manufacture.

Once you have a skilled sewer at your disposal, you can start using old clothing to make all sorts of things. Does you little girl want a new purse?

Well she can make it herself out of old jeans!

If you need some new accessories for spring, just raid your closet, or go buy some clothing at the goodwill, and make your kid/s craft whatever you want. They will be practicing a valuable skill, and you will be keeping old clothing from the dump.

A Chalkboard

Truth be told, you can make just about anything into a chalkboard. The source of this article recommends you use an old desk drawer, but you can slap blackboard paint on just about anything, and hang it up on your wall.

It is super convenient to have a place to make notes, or draw funny pictures, so this upcycling idea is a real winner.

There are tons of other ideas out there as well, and if you get good at making fun stuff, you can even start selling it (that is what etsy is for!). The dreadful economy that most people have to deal with isn’t a lot of fun, and we can all use extra cash.

With upcycling, you can do great stuff for the earth, and maybe make a bit of cash to boot!

[via theshabbycreekcottage]

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  1. I hope you are ready for the pending law suits after this article, geez there is a reason we don’t use porcelain for our camp stoves! Porcelain explodes under thermal stress. Yeah it looks cute, but you are going to get somebody hurt. Just saying.


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