Upcycled retro phone lamp
falls on 22nd April each year and is an annual reminder of our need to protect and preserve our natural environment in whatever way we can – whether that is through reducing our use of plastic, reducing our reliance on landfill or switching to renewable sources of energy. In the run up to Earth Day 2018, we have teamed up with Judy Rom, co-founder of Upcycle That
, to inspire you to upcycle your belongings – to give them new form or function and increase their value – as an alternative to throwing away old belongings.
Judy formed Upcycle That in 2012 with Jacques Karsten to inspire creative ways to make everyday items more useful and/or attractive. Their site contains countless ways in which you can “Make That” out of common items you might find in a charity or curiosity shop, or “Use That” to create unique, eye-catching design pieces for your home out of items that would otherwise have ended up as landfill. Her motivation for providing this inspiration is to encourage people to make use of things that they already own rather than buying new stuff, to reduce landfill and reduce the amount of energy used in making new products
Upcycling is easy and Judy believes that anyone can do it
– all some of us lack is the imagination to see what we could create! Judy has imagination in buckets, so use hers to inspire you by checking out the ideas on her site or by having a look at the videos Judy has agreed to produce for us. We think that you’ll start seeing your old belongings in a new light and will save them to upcycle rather than take them to the tip.
Judy’s first video shows you how to make a lamp from a retro rotary telephone. A rotary phone is a perfect example of what upcycling can achieve: it cannot be recycled, so it’s if thrown away it will end up in a landfill
site; yet it isn’t something you’d normally keep because it serves absolutely no function. Yes, a rotary phone is retro and could be a talking point as an objet d’art in your home, but rotary phones work on an analogue system, so cannot be used with the modern digital telephone system without a converter. Even if you could use it, you probably wouldn’t want to after realising just how agonisingly slow they are to dial (especially bearing in mind that the ‘9’ takes almost the longest to dial, which seems a massive flaw in a country where our emergency services can only be hailed by dialling 9 three times...).
Turn your old stuff into something amazing
By turning a rotary phone into an attractive yet highly practical lamp, Judy demonstrates in her first video the principle that anyone can turn anything into a useful item and increase its monetary and/or aesthetic value. More videos will follow so keep an eye out for them in our Upcycling
section of our blog and we think that you’ll soon start making better use of the stuff you already own rather than replacing them with new products.
Just as landfill space is finite, so is your home, so if you are thinking of throwing something away but think you may be able to upcycle it instead, why not make use of self storage to keep it safe and dry until you have time to make it into something you’ll want to keep? We have 120 storage facilities nationwide so there is bound to be one near you.