Unlike recycling, where a product is returned to a previous state and then remade into something new, repurposing is where an item is reused in a different way because it has value ‘as is’. Items such as used furniture, building materials, discarded industrial byproducts, food industry items, various manufacturing byproducts, packing/shipping materials, etc, are all areas to look at for items that can be repurposed. It’s really amazing the things people have come up with as far as using items once thought to be only fit for recycling or a land fill.
While recycling materials is preferable to a landfill, repurposing is by far an even more environmentally superior way of dealing with used materials. Here’s a video of one company that actually specializes in repurposed materials:
Here’s a great website with various projects for the average DIY’er using repurposed materials:
As a DIY’er, I think it’s good to look at items and materials in regards to how they can be reused, or repurposed. Doing so will open a whole world of possibilities, save money, and help the environment.