Planet Ark News

Turning Trash Into Treasure

Date: 21-May-14
Author: Emily Donnelly

Turn something old and broken into a new treasure with a bit of creative thinking!

Turn something old and broken into a new treasure with a bit of creative thinking!

Have you ever worn out or broken a prized possession; something that you're devastated to have to part with? Maybe a favourite mug, a gorgeous umbrella or comfortable old, t-shirt?

With a little creative re-use or up-cycling you won't have to say good bye. So we thought we'd share some creative ways the Planet Ark team has given old items a new life; and they're so easy, you can do it too!

A Planter Mug

Sara is Planet Ark's Media and PR Manager and recently cracked one of her favourite mugs. Instead of it going to landfill, she now has a brand new addition to her balcony garden - a fantastic little planter! It could actually be used as a coffee table feature, too, or a unique little extra on a bathroom cabinet.

For the instructions for a planter pot similar to Sara's, visit Punk Projects.

Note: Did you know you can't put old or broken ovenproof glass, drinking glasses or ceramic mugs in your recycling bin? Just 25g of ovenproof glass can contaminate one tonne of normal glass, making it useless for recycling - so unless you up-cycle them they belong in the bin.

Brolly to Bag

Debbie is Planet Ark's National Tree Day Manager, and while she's all about getting Australia to plant trees, she's also a passionate recycler. Her umbrella bore the brunt of a recent bout of bad weather, flipping inside out and breaking some of the supporting metal arms. In love with the design of the fabric of the brolly, there was no way it was ending up at the tip, so she's embraced the situation (and her handicraft skills!) and is making a bag out of it.

For the instructions for a recycled umbrella bag similar to Debbie's, visit Grist TV.

T-shirt to...

Everybody has that one t-shirt that they just can't part with, including Marty, Planet Ark's Information Centre Manager. He's had a favourite, which has been up-cycled twice in its life. After completely wearing out the original, Marty cut out the cool image on the front that captured him in the first place, and transferred it onto a new t-shirt. Following that, and wearing this one out, he then cut out the print again and sewed it onto a fabric bag that needed a makeover. And so it lives on...

For other great ways to re-use a favourite t-shirt, check out this article at Wisebread.

Show Us Yours!

Do you have a great re-use story? Have you converted or upcycled an old item, giving it a new life and new purpose? We'd love to hear about it and share it on our social media - just send us a photo and a short description!

And remember, items you're no longer using that still work and function can be gifted to friends or given away on websites such as TuShare or Freecycle, and Planet Ark's Recycling Near You website is the perfect place to find recycling options in your local area.


Emily                                             Donnelly

Author: Emily Donnelly

Emily worked in Planet Ark's media team from 2014 to 2015 after working in technology, business and corporate communications for Ogilvy PR and Howoth Communications in Sydney. As someone who is passionate about the environment, politics, traveling and food, Emily loves helping to engage Australian media in Planet Ark's essential campaigns.



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