Lifestyle

What is Upcycling? | From Trash to Treasure

Since the late 90s, the human population has doubled in size resulting in a substantial increase in the proliferation of non-biodegradable materials, with plastic being the number one pollution driver.1 Assuredly, our environmentally-conscious culture is beginning to exert a positive shift towards becoming more sustainable, from buying locally, using renewable energy, and sharing innovative solutions online and with friends; such as upcycling.1 

What is Upcycling? 

Upcycling is a conventional process in which used materials are transmuted into something of higher value – essentially giving preloved items the “kiss of life”.2 Upcycling is becoming increasingly recognised as a promising facet of sustainability, as it supports sustainable production and consumption by reducing the need for original raw materials and the amount of single-use waste produced.2 

Upcycling Tips and Tricks 

  • Finding the right furniture is key – depending on what style you are interested in, for a modern twist, you would look for furniture with flat elements like flat-front draws and straight legs. Flat furniture allows for simple and clean lines to be painted, making it easier to create a new, fresh look.3
  • A good quality paintbrush is your best friend – try to invest in some good quality brushes, to avoid any bristles being shed into your masterpiece. Look after your paintbrush by wrapping it in tinfoil for ultimate moisture and cleanliness.3 
  • Little touches can make a big difference – upcycling doesn’t always mean a full furniture alteration. The simplest changes, such as changing door knobs, could jazz up a piece in minutes.3 
  • Revamp your clothes to create something new – upcycling doesn’t just apply to furniture. Instead of throwing away clothes, make some alterations such as sewing on some new, different-coloured buttons, embroidering some designs into a jacket, or cutting tops and hoodies to create a new favourite crop top. 
  • Household items can make a great new product – household items such as toilet roll, lightbulbs, old credit cards can also be restored. Toilet rolls make a great cable organiser, lightbulbs can make an aesthetically pleasing looking candle and credit cards could be your new answer to a guitar pic. 

5 Ways to Repurpose Myvegan Packaging 

The idea behind upcycling, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, can be taken literally. Before throwing away some packaging, consider how it can be reused beyond that single-use. Is it made of durable materials? Most packaging is made to hold and protect its contents, meaning it is perfect for a whole range of different uses. 

Myvegan packaging upcycling

Here are five different ways you can upcycle your Myvegan packaging into something useful!  

  1. Reuse your scoop – re-use your scoop to measure out ground coffee for that morning brew. 
  2. Turn your tub into some bird grub – get creative and turn your empty Clear Vegan Protein tub into a bird box or feeder. 
  3. Transform your pill pots – transform your pill pots into a cocoa or icing sugar shaker by punching a few holes into the lid. They’re also perfect for storing small items such as pins, hair-ties, seeds, or rings. 
  4. The perfect storage container – transform your Peanut Butter tub and make it into a storage container. Alternatively, why not use them as a herb planter? See image above for reference.
  5. Protein pouch protector – our protein pouches are made of strong, waterproof material – perfect to store dirty clothes or wellies when camping! They are also resealable making them great for storing dry goods such as flour, pet food, or birdseed. 

Know Your Stuff Infographic

Have you created a fresh masterpiece through upcycling? We would love to see your finished piece – send us your results over on our Instagram @Myvegan. 

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  1. Zhuo, C. and Levendis, Y., 2013. Upcycling waste plastics into carbon nanomaterials: A review. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 131(4), p.n/a-n/a.
  2. Sung, K. and Sung, K., 2015, April. A review on upcycling: Current body of literature, knowledge gaps and a way forward. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology.
  3. Preloved UK, 2020. Top 10 Upcycling Tips – Preloved UK. [online] Preloved UK. Available at:https://www.preloved.co.uk/blog/hints-and-tips/top-10-upcycling-tips/.


Jennifer Blow

Jennifer Blow

Writer and expert

Jennifer Blow is our UKVRN Registered Associate Nutritionist – the UK’s register of competent and qualified nutrition professionals. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Science and a Master’s of Science by Research in Nutrition, and now specialises in the use of sports supplements for health and fitness, underpinned by evidence-based research.

Jennifer has been quoted or mentioned as a nutritionist in major online publications including Vogue, Elle, and Grazia, for her expertise in nutritional science for exercise and healthy living.

Her experience spans from working with the NHS on dietary intervention trials, to specific scientific research into omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and also the effect of fast foods on health, which she has presented at the annual Nutrition Society Conference. Jennifer is involved in many continuing professional development events to ensure her practise remains at the highest level. Find out more about Jennifer’s experience here.

In her spare time, Jennifer loves hill walking and cycling, and in her posts you’ll see that she loves proving healthy eating doesn’t mean a lifetime of hunger.