Waste.

Seeing litter lying on the streets, in the oceans or any other place you can imagine isn’t a very nice look. Litter pollution is having a negative impact on the economy, our health and sadly, our environment.

For all those reasons as just mentioned above, I enjoy using the waste around me to create or rather, give a new life to materials so that they can be reused with a new purpose and meaning rather than be left sitting in a landfill for thousands of years.

“One mans trash is another mans treasure.” – Famous quote.

 

After seeing some of the materials being thrown away because some people no longer give them value, I see so much truth in the famous quote “One mans trash is another mans treasure.” From old wooden ladders to wine corks, I see now there is value in collecting these materials (for free) and turning them into something completely new!

I have only started upcycling old materials from October. The idea has been with me for the last 18 months while I did a bit of backpacking but as soon as I landed back home in October, I have started gathering any free materials I can to create new pieces of whatever I can think to create. So far, here is a list of the materials people have kindly given to me or I have collected with some pictures showing of the pieces I have created;

  • Alcohol bottles
  • Bottletops
  • Tyres
  • Pallets
  • Old butchers table
  • Music vinyls
  • Bamboo sticks
  • Comic books
  • Cricket bat
  • Chair
  • Chest of drawers
  • Side tables
  • Cardboards

 

 

There is probably more on the list but they are the materials that spring to mind right now. But all of these materials have been put to great use; free cardboard has been used to package some of the products I sell and materials such as broken bamboo stick have been used to create the products that I sell!

5 months in and I can say that so far I have had a lot of fun; this is also an area completely new to me and I am still learning as I go along but the whole purpose of starting RestoreRevolution is to make a reasonable amount of income that will allow me to do something creative while giving me the freedom to raise awareness on a subject which I am concerned about…that subject is the environment.

If you have a interest in nature, the environment or even handmade crafts including furniture that involve creativity then check out the shop and also like the page with all things RestoreRevolution! You can also get ideas for any upcycle ideas you might be thinking about!

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Climate Change.

Whether you know about it or don’t, whatever your beliefs are on climate change; the truth is that the climate is changing which is impacting our limited resources, economy, our health and just about everything else you can think imagine.

What is climate change?

Climate change is a change in weather patterns or when the Earths’ average temperature changes. Peoples outlook on climate change can vary depending on education, religion, wealth, profession, location and other various differentials.

Here is a short video giving a simple outlook on what climate change is to give you a better understanding.

 

Should we care about climate change?

YES. The simple answer is Yes. Climate change has impact on everything around us whether your passion is surfboarding or investing in the stock markets. Shifts in weather patterns have huge impacts on our daily lives and there is no bigger economic disaster than natural disasters. Not only that but when we see frequent droughts, floors or hurricanes, it puts our lives in danger.

 

What the professionals are saying…

97% of Environmental scientists believe that climate change is affected by human behaviour and it is for that reason that 195 nations came together in Paris to sign the Paris agreement which aims to reduce global warming to well below 2 degrees.

Because of that, climate change will be an issue you will hear more of in the newspaper, on radio & TV and probably see some of your favourite celebs tweeting or talking about.

More and more people are becoming aware of the impacts an individual has on the environment thanks to Netflix documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Before the Flood, Dirty money and others along with books from ‘Naomi Klein: This changes everything’ or even just by listening to global superstars such as Leonardo Di Caprio while he dedicated his Oscar speech to climate action.

 

This week, I want to show you many simple ways you can have a go at helping the environment. Having a go at this doesn’t mean you have to do it for the rest of your life. Instead why not just have a go for 1 month (28 days) and see how you feel after. So many people have opinions on matters when most of the time their opinions are formed based on being mis-informed, lack of information or sadly, other peoples experiences. Why not form your own opinion and give ALL of these a go so that the next time the subject comes up in conversation, you can actually say your opinions based on your experience. Who knows, you could actually improve your health, fitness, bank balance, knowledge and overall happiness just by giving these a go for one month.

 

Here is the list of things to give a go and next week I will write how doing these can benefit the environment and give you a better understanding on climate change.

  1. When you want to go somewhere within 2 miles of location. Walk. DO NOT DRIVE.
  2. Eat plant-based foods.
  3. Eat everything! Well, everything that doesn’t contain any animal products in.
  4. Purchase no plastic bags or plastic bottles.
  5. When you go to the supermarkets, take alternate bags and plan in advance by taking old bottles out with you.
  6. Limit your showers to 1 minute.
  7. Public transport anywhere possible
  8. Shop local
  9. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.

You may already be doing some of these which is great! Now give the rest a go and see how you feel! It is so easy to come up with the reasons why you can’t or won’t take part in something but instead, open yourself up and say why not? You are not fixing yourself into anything that is going to be lifelong unless you want it to be and like I said at the start, you could see improvements in health, money and productivity in both a personal and professional self.

Week 1: Trash to Treasure (Re-using Plastic)

Over the next 5 weeks I am re-using the litter I pick to create new items that will give purpose to somebody and hopefully preventing that same plastic from ending up as litter once again.

 

plastic containers
Plastic containers that I collected for re-use

 

Why do we need change?

  • Plastic is not sustainable as it takes hundreds of years for just a single plastic bottle to degrade.
  • Microplastic can be found in the fish we buy, the bottles of water we drink and the taps we turn on; again, this is not good for our health.
  • Plastics are made from fossil fuels; 195 counties came together and agreed they will do everything to stop global temperatures rising. (You can read the key parts of the Paris Agreement here)

There are many reasons why we should be making the transition from plastic to sustainable materials but here are just a few images showing the impact plastic is having on our environment from all over the world.

 

 

Fortunately, more and more people are making that change and helping the environment. Thanks to social media and the power of the internet, we are becoming more aware of the problems we face but from that, we are also being shown creative ways that we can reduce these problems.

re using plastic soda bottles
An artist is creatively re-using littered plastic bottles to create strong furniture.

 

Earlier this week, a friend sent me this video showing an artist collecting plastic soft drink bottles and re-using the plastic bottles to create structurally strong furniture. This is obviously only a start and them same bottles could be used for many practical reasons.

 

 

So, here are the containers that I collected last week. Different plastics have different properties meaning they various melting points and behave differently; these particular ones are HDPE plastic with a melting point around 160degrees celcius. Once you reach the melting point, the plastic becomes almost putty like and gives off no fumes. This is the first time I have used the plastics so I am still getting to terms with using it but I can definitely see some great uses rather than letting the plastics end up as litter.

products created from hdpe
Not perfect but for a first attempt, you can see the different items we can create using littered plastic.
leftover hdpe
Any left over plastic can be used again rather than throwing it away.

 

During the week, with the plastic I collected, I created 3 juggling balls, 2 coasters and 2 tent pegs. Though they are not perfect, you can see that these are completely different from what they were originally.  By re-using these plastics, we can save money from having to purchase the same items in shops; take tent pegs for example, instead of purchasing new ones you could simply make your own as they are just as strong.

I will come back to this again and use HDPE to create other practical items that will be just as good as something you can purchase in a shop (I need some strong moulds though as the plastic does change during the cooling period).

 

Anyway, let me know what you think and please let me know some other practical items I could create which may be of benefit to you so that we can reduce the amount of litter we see on our streets and in our oceans.

 

Week 1 – Plastic containers 

Week 2 – Plastic Bags (I have pushed the plastic bottle caps back a week because I still need more for the idea I have; there are lots of plastic bottle caps out there on the street but I need more!! Sunday, I will be re-using littered plastic bags)

plastic bags.jpg

Week 3 – Plastic bottle caps

Week 4 – cigarette butts

Week 5 – Aluminium

 

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