Repurposing, Recycling and Upcycling – What’s The Difference?

Whilst feeding my daughter her yoghurt just now I had a few thoughts on what is the difference between repurposing, recycling and upcycling? Seeing as I like to think in metaphors the following is my take on the definitions of the above query using her eating her yoghurt as my example.

I think of repurposing as taking something as it is and turning it into something else without altering the fundamental heart of the material. For example my daughter takes her yoghurt and wipes it all over her face, her top and her hair thus repurposing it as a face cream, an adornment and a hair gel.

Recycling is when she takes the yoghurt in and spits it back out again and I stick it back it and she spits it back out again and the cycle recurs until I give up or she repurposes it (see above).

Upcycling I think of as taking something as it is and fundamentally changing the heart of the material and making something completely different out of it.  When I change her nappy I often see the upcycled ‘yoghurt’ in a completely new fashion.

Apologies for any “grossness”.

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