Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Be green and cut costs by upcycling this summer

Be green and cut costs by upcycling this summer

If you’re an environmentally conscious individual then you’ll probably already be making an effort to be green around your home. For some people this might mean keeping the thermostat at a reasonable level to cut energy usage or even going as far as taking out boiler cover to ensure the central heating remains functioning effectively.
Such changes can of course also help you to save cash and if that’s important to you then upcycling is well worth considering. This can be easily achieved by assessing whether items you have lying around your home are only suitable for the bin or could still serve a purpose in some way. If you’re a creative type then it can also help you to have a home crammed with pieces that are both stylish and unique.  Here are a few ideas we think you might like to try yourself.

VHS box wall mount

It’s probably fair to say that most people have upgraded from VHS to DVD or Blu-ray in more recent years. So while your old videos may no longer have much purpose that’s not to say you couldn’t still find a use for the cases they came in. Removing the paper insert provides you with a blank space to fill with a favourite image of your own, printed to fit the box. You could then screw the packaging in to the wall for an unusual photo frame that also serves as a handy storage space for small items.

Give old clothes a fresh look

If your wardrobe is in need of being freshened up then don’t despair, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hit splash out excessive amounts on the high street. It might be a better idea to firstly take stock of what you own already in order to find out if any items can be given a new lease of life. A pair of jeans that have seen better days could be cropped to make some stylish vintage shorts that are right on trend for festival season, while old t-shirts can be livened up too by cutting off sleeves and – if you’re feeling creative – sewing on new ones for an interesting contrast look. There are a number of tutorials online offering tips about how to change clothes.

Give drinks bottles a new purpose

If you enjoy a tipple then why not consider ways in which you could continue to get use from the bottle long after the contents have been consumed? Wine bottles in particular can make an interesting vase and covering them with anything from fabric to paper can further improve their appearance.
And why stop there? Decorative bottles can also make a great alternative to traditional photo frames - simply slip a snap of your choice inside along with some shells, coloured stones or beads for a unique way of showing off a favourite picture.

Save up your jars

Jars can be recycled easily enough but you might also find they have a number of other uses around the home before you do so. Why not turn mason jars in to unique drinking glasses? These could be the ideal choice for a dinner party and seem to be increasingly popular with bars for serving cocktails in. You could also turn them in to attractive soap dispensers by drilling a hole in the lid and inserting the pump. Alternatively, they may be ideal for storing candles and giving them the shelter they need to keep burning outdoors long in to the evening. This is a great way to avoid having to use additional energy and could help to keep your energy bills low during summer.

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