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Green Business: Upcycling in the Office

upcycling

There are many green practices widely adopted by small businesses. Recycling is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective initiatives small business owners can implement in the office, but one less-than-conventional practice has gained significant steam in recent years: upcycling.

Made popular by sites like Pinterest, more companies have discovered ways they can upcycle in the office. Unlike recycling, which involves sending raw materials to corporations for turning items into new products, upcycling is where an individual uses an old item to create a new one from the comfort of their own space. This may involve creating new furniture, decorations or products from old and worn items. 

For small business owners who are eager to spruce up their office space by following along with the recent do-it-yourself trend, consider the following ways your business can save cash by implementing upcycling in its operations. 

Finding a unique use for an unconventional object

From turning old glasses into a business card holder to transforming old soda bottles into flower vases, there are endless possibilities when it comes to upcycling. Since this term encompasses such a vast range of potential pieces of art, it may be difficult to determine where to begin. If you're searching for opportunities to transform your store into a DIY paradise, it's important not to bite off more than you can chew. Begin by discovering which items you wish to upcycle - for example, if your business produces an excess of tin cans, it may be worth it to look into how others have upcycled these items in the past. Some local artists use tin cans to create small sculptures while others have used them to create wind chimes. Partnering with a person who can make use of such items could be beneficial for both the business and the artist, as the new products can be sold or displayed in the store. 

When you're choosing which items you wish to upcycle, however, it's important to exercise common sense. While your business may produce a great deal of empty toilet paper rolls, it may be best to recycle those instead of searching for creative ways to implement them into your brand. There are several sites that promote good practices when adopting upcycling. If you're interested in creating artistic products, peruse Pinterest for good ideas. If you're more concerned with how upcycling can benefit your business, look to brands that have successfully adopted upcycling in their operations.

Developing an upcycled entrepreneurial venture

Upcycling not only offers your brand a way to significantly reduce its waste output and carbon footprint, but it also presents a monetary opportunity for small business owners. Some entrepreneurs from around the world have implemented products created by upcycling ventures into their storefronts, creating items that are popular among consumers. Search for ways that your brand may be able to make additional products from those that are frequently wasted by your brand. For example, if your store sells clothing, consider the ways you can upcycle additional materials, pieces that do not sell or damaged goods. These new items can be sold in the store, which not only eliminates the amount of waste you produce, but also shows consumers that your brand is environmentally conscious.

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