When you hear the phrase, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle", the Reuse part is where upcycling happens! Upcycling makes the most out of resources that have already been extracted from the earth and processed. Upcycling rescues (or reclaims) existing materials from the trash, and uses them in their current state to create something different.
It's not quite Recycling since Upcycling doesn't shred or melt the scraps into brand new raw materials. It skips that extra processing step, making Upcycling even more eco-friendly than Recycling! Think headbands made from deadstock fabric or a purse made from old rice bags. When you turn an empty coffee can into a decorated planter, that's upcycling, too!