Eco Creativity

This article continues a series of posts focused on UIG’s Mission 2022: Climate Change.  Help us build a comprehensive climate change collection by contributing content to UIG.  Contact us at

While much of the focus on recycling efforts worldwide has been on plastics, paper and glass, there is a movement underway to encourage consumers to see the value in recycling as many products as they can.  Products can often have a second life after their initial use, especially if we all value each product as a resource with many potential uses.

Bicycle part gate at LA Eco-Village. Started in 1993, LA Eco-Village demonstrates the processes for creating a healthy neighborhood ecologically, socially and economically and to reduce environmental impacts while raising the quality of neighborhood life. Photo: Citizen of the Planet/UIG

Landfills worldwide are under siege from an increasing amount of waste delivered to them.  Worldwide more than 2 billion tons of waste are created each year.  Considering that landfills are a large source of methane gas emissions worldwide, it is imperative that we find a way to reduce waste.  Recycling, repairing, reusing, and repurposing products are impactful ways to help resolve our climate crisis.

Yusuf creates a robot Transformers type insect at his home in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia on September 22, 2021. Yusuf creates art using a process of recycling waste useless products into creations and has economic value. Photo: Andi M. Ridwan/INA Photo Agency/UIG

Whether you’re recycling by sending materials for industrial reuse or reusing items by trying out creative recycling projects, you’re contributing to a global effort to improve our environment for everybody, and for the future.  

Second hand market in the ‘IJhallen’ in Amsterdam-north. Photo: Ton Koene/VW Pics/UIG

There are many sites providing lists of creative recycling ideas.  Here’s a few that caught our eye for both their creativity and simplicity:

  • Tin cans can be decorated and then used to hold pens, pencils and scissors, and cutlery.
  • Clear plastic or glass cups can make great candle holders.
  • Recycled plastic bottles and cans can be used to make good bird feeders.
  • Reuse plastic cups to start your garden by adding soil and seedlings to them.
  • Place a pillow and blanket inside recycled tires to make great dog or cat beds!
  • The paper rolls in the middle of toilet tissue and paper towels can be used reused as toys for children and pets.
  • Recycled clothing can be used in a variety of ways.  If you can’t donate the clothing, use them for creative projects (for example, blue jeans make a nice book cover or iPad cover, t-shirts cut into small strips can be used to create colorful bracelets)

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Feature image: Nik Taylor/UIG


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Creative Recycling Projects from Common Household Items by Douglas Lober June 8, 2021

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