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

    2021 Women of Power, 2019 GEN T Honoree, V Label Global Hero, 2 x TEDx Speaker: Serial social entrepreneur & trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is a sustainability expert, food futurist and eco-powerhouse who has been inspiring global audiences for over a decade with practical steps on how to fight climate change. Known as the Green Queen of Asia, she is the founder and Editor in Chief of the award-winning Green Queen - the region’s first impact media platform that educates millions of readers on the connection between health, sustainability and the environment and showcases future solutions. She is also the co-founder and CEO of organic sourcing platform Ekowarehouse and climate tech SaaS Source Green, which helps consumer brands quit plastic packaging thanks to proprietary plastic reduction software. In addition, Sonalie is a global keynote speaker and an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups and NGOs, and a venture partner to several VC funds.

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