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Some electronics have been upgradable for nearly all of their lives. For example, most people don’t toss their desktop PCs when they want to add a stick or two of RAM, and retail outlets, from electronics stores to big-box department stores, now carry components like external and internal hard drives and new video cards. Cameras can swap out different lenses and flashes. Video game console companies develop new types of controllers and accessories that use everything from body weight to posture to interact with their products.
Television sets, however, are another matter. When consumers wanted the newest features in a TV set for the family room, the old TV was relegated to storage, or to the curb.
TV technology is changing rapidly. In the course of a few years, TV manufacturers have introduced 3D technology for home viewing, smart TVs that connect to the internet without additional hardware and ever-improving…

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Upcycling at its finest!

Utopian Dreaming

There are few things sadder than a junk yard full of broken down old cars.  They’re like rusty souvenirs of the failed (and continuously failing) American dream.  Not only did these poor machines unknowingly burn up our skies, but they weren’t made to last or have second lives.

That’s why this  company’s project is so appreciated.  LOLA Madrid has found a way to give old clunkers new life in a far more sustainable and healthy means of transportation –bicycles.  The cars’ upholstery is used to make seats, doors become part of the frame, turn signals become reflective lights; the list goes on and on.  No longer do these dismal roadsters need to sit abandoned in the lot.  They can bring joy to people once again, helping with the issue of recycling old materials as well as providing a healthier, more eco-friendly way to get from A to B.  Wonderful!

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Transition Town Payson

What is Upcycling and what does it have to do with the environment?

I never gave much thought about taking waste materials and using them to make something useable.  I used to just think that was just recycling.  But noooo…I have learned a new word!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

The term Upcycling came from Germany

The upcycling concept was the title of the German book written by Gunter Pauli in 1997, the free translation of Upsizing (the opposite of Downsizing) book first published in 1996. The German edition was adapted to the German language and culture by by Johannes F. Hartkemeyer, then Director of the Volkshochschule in Osnabruck. The concept was later incorporated by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book Cradle to…

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If you are not familiar with Freecycle, I am excited to be the one to let you in on this fabulous group.

It is a worldwide network with over 9 million members, where people give away stuff and also get stuff … all in their own neighborhood!

It costs nothing to participate, and the rewards are great.

Their mission statement sums it up, well:
“Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”

Simply, this is how it works:

First, you join your local Freecycle group. (links will follow)

(After joining, I suggest you follow the threads for a few days to get a feel for the activity in the group.)

Then …. jump in! Let the group know if you have something to…

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I think I’ll actually make one of these for my own room. I love this industrial-elegance look.


Renew used industrial pipes


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The Banks Blend


Photo:Tom Lolan Photography

Green in today’s vernacular is not just a color. It’s a badge worn proudly by millions of Americans that screams, “we love the world we live in and we are doing our part, are you”? It’s a statement. Green stands for a lifestyle that pushes the intellectual limits of capitalism to find a way to not just think about profits, but the impact of making these profits is having on the world that it’s developing. Green doesn’t just mean money anymore. Hippies, Deadheads, Stoners, Tree Huggers, Phishies, Smellers, call them what you like, but they have beat the environmental drum long and loud enough that finally the mainstream culture is starting to listen.

The environmental movement was born over 100 years ago with the preservationists visions of John Muir and conversationalist dreams of Gifford Pinchot, but real action came forty years later with the fear of nuclear…

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