Have a big collection of plastic bags hiding under your kitchen sink? Upcycle them into a seriously beautiful and unique holiday wreath that only costs $3 to make. Along with creating something to celebrate the season, you're repurposing something that you'd normally trash — and you can't beat that!
When I was at the flea market last weekend, I noticed there were a lot of people selling furniture reupholstered in recycled grain, flour, and coffee sacks, which I had seen before (and adored) on a smaller scale on pillows and storage totes.
I love the rustic look of a well-worn coffee or grain sack, especially when juxtaposed with a classically-shaped chair, and I'm all about finding new uses for old materials. Whether you're up for a big DIY challenge or you call in reinforcements, next time you're looking to repurpose your favorite chaise or sofa, consider upcycling muslin, linen, cotton, or a jute sack as an attractive option that's easy on the eyes and the world. Have you reupholstered any furniture with recycled materials?
UK designer and artist Lucy Norman often uses recycled objects for her work, and that's definitely the case with this Paperback Partition. Norman writes, "More books are printed every year, read and discarded. Even though many are taken to charity shops, they mostly go unsold and the charities have to pay for the books to be sent to landfill. For example 10,000 books a week from one charity will go to waste. There is currently no infrastructure set up to recycle the paper from books because the paper is low grade and the glue on the spine must be removed. "
So, to counter this waste, Norman has created a wall that uses these abandoned books. She says that it provides good thermal and acoustic insulation. I also love how one side of the wall has a muted look, while the other displays the colorful book spines. Love decorating with books? Check out these ideas!
Looking at this floor, would you guess that it's recycled wood? I certainly wouldn't. The fact is, most salvaged or reclaimed wood floors have a more distinctive, rustic (worn out) look to them. That description definitely doesn't apply to these floors.
I would've thought that wood floors as polished and glossy as these would have to come from "virgin" flooring. And while most of us think of using wood, especially FSC-certified wood, as a positive environmental choice, the truth is that even the most eco-friendly mills across the world discard between 30 to 40 percent of a log’s usable lumber. Usually these strips are tossed into landfills, ground into sawdust, or burned. That is, unless Staybull Flooring gets to these wood scraps first.
Staybull flooring offers customers gorgeous wood floors that are made from discarded wood from mills across the world. The company boasts a variety of 20 species of exotic recycled hardwoods from Africa and South America, including Brazilian cherry (shown here), canarywood, wenge, and a variety of mahogany. Staybull's North American species include white oak, red oak, cherry, maple, and black walnut.
Want to hear about this flooring's benefits? Then read more
Soon summertime will have us slipping our feet into flip-flops, but what about wiping your feet on them too? The Flip Flop Door Mat ($25 to $75) is constructed from factory remnant flip-flop rubber that's brightly colored and ruggedly built too. I like the fact that it's made with recycled materials, but I don't know if I'd welcome it to my doorstep. What about you?
"Recycled materials" used to mean off-white notebook paper and purses made from soda pop tops. But as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, recycled materials are infinitely more versatile. Nor does eco have to mean hippie. I've rounded up a wide range of home accents made from recycled materials, from plastic bottles to scaffolding to Japanese yen, that would be at home in any chic, modern home. So celebrate Earth Day and expand your eco collection.
Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to a fluffy shag rug? Then try this Recycled T-Shirt Rug ($48) from Etsy seller Talkingsquid. I love the deep navy blue hue of this particular area rug, but if blue's not your bag, Talkingsquid makes these rugs in a variety of colors and sizes. Constructed from discarded t-shirts, Talkingsquid hand cuts t-shirt strips and sews them onto a durable cotton jersey t-shirt base. You can handwash the smaller size rugs on the delicate cycle, but larger rugs (such as the five by eight foot size), should ideally be dry cleaned, given their size.