Eco-friendly vs Upcycling: What’s the difference?

Environmentally friendly (also eco-friendly, nature friendly, and green) are ambiguous terms used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies claimed to inflict reduced, minimal, or no harm at all, upon ecosystems or the environment.

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Companies sometimes use these terms to make environmental marketing claims when promoting goods and services, for example with eco-labels. Terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” have become buzz words on talk shows, commercials and product packaging.

Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind.
At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycled materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new. Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.

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Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new products of better quality or for better environmental value.

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 The upcycling concept was the title of the German book written by Gunter Pauli in 1997. The concept was later incorporated by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. They state that the goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. This reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.

Upcycling is something we can do to help the planet become more sustainable by reusing unwanted items by turning them into new smart designed products. This in turn means we can reduce the use of raw materials and the energy used in the manufacturing of raw materials.

Moorbi.com loves more “upcycling”! And you?

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One thought on “Eco-friendly vs Upcycling: What’s the difference?

  1. Pingback: Eco cabin on stilts | Tim Batchelder.com

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