Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: Classy cardboard tubes


True upcycling involves creating with post-consumer waste in new, imaginative ways. It involves re-envisioning things that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Crafting with dollar-store pool noodles is, well, crafting. Nothing wrong with that... but it's not upcycling.

Upcycling is unabashedly political. It gently, but persistently, says "hey - we throw too much away. Can you re-use that instead of sending it to a landfill?". If you can ... and you can also end up with something that's both useful and great to look at, you're amazing and I'll envy you just a little for being that damn creative. That's how I feel about the upcycles above. They involve re-creating with the least glamorous material: cardboard rolls. Paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls and poster rolls. The results... amazing.

1. Sarah at Look What I Made created this lampshade with paper towel tubes. I love how much the result resembles concrete. Great DIY

2. Sleek lighting from poster rolls! Find a different version with instructions here

3. Create a quirky cardboard tube planter!

4. And this shelf. I'm a bit in awe of this shelf because it took me a while to get my head around how to create the various designs

I just finished a little cardboard tube light of my own ... click through for a tutorial  :)