Wednesday Word Day: Upcycling

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It’s Wednesday Word Day at Green Queen!

Today’s word is: upcycling (ʌpˈsʌɪklɪŋ), verb

    • to convert discarded, old and/or previously used items/waste into new materials of greater quality and/or environmental quality;
    • creatively re-crafting ordinary items/objects in order to transform them into design and/or art pieces. 

The term upcycling was first used in 1994 by Reiner Pilz  during an interview about an EU directive whereby he explained that while recycling often required additional resources and sometimes new materials to create an end-product, what was needed was a more sustainable approach whereby an old product/material could be creatively and cheaply reconfigured or re-used to create a product with more value. Upcycling is the counter action of downcycling which involves reusing old materials to produce goods of lesser value. The central philosophy of upcycling is to refrain from using new materials or wasting existing ones when recycling old goods into new ones (usually for commercial purposes).

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photo credit: Jonas’ Design via photopin cc


  • Sonalie Figueiras

    Serial social entrepreneur Sonalie Figueiras is the founder & editor-in-chief of Green Queen, an award-winning impact media platform advocating for social & environmental change in Hong Kong with a mission to shift consumer behaviour through inspiring & empowering original content. She is also the founder & CEO of SourceGreenPackaging,com, the global wholesale eCom marketplace for sustainable packaging products, Ekowarehouse, the global sourcing platform for certified organic products, with a mission to make safe, quality food accessible & affordable for the whole planet. With over a decade of experience in publishing, digital marketing, organic trade and health & sustainability, she is an eco wellness industry veteran with a keen eye for market trends and a sought-after international speaker and moderator, sharing her expertise on stages across Asia and beyond, including TEDx and Harvard Business School.

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