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Teaching kids to be aware and understand the importance of upcycling

Do you know that we are producing a humongous amount of waste every single year?
Take a look at the counter on The world counts website and you will understand what it means.

Do you know that as a country become more developed, there will be more waste produced? Not sure why?
That is because as people become wealthier, the demand for items increases. Hence, items are being replaced more frequently than before. Let us use fashion as an example, whenever there are new designs for certain clothing being produced, old clothing will be thrown away and replaced by the new ones.

Why are we so concerned about the waste?
Waste causes a huge threat to our environment and health. Landfill (a land where waste is placed upon) causes pollution to the air, water, and soil. If incineration is involved, it may result in air pollution due to emissions of air pollutants.

So, how do we reduce waste?
There are many ways to do this and you may be thinking about recycling. We did many recycling projects and you can check out some of the recycling projects and craft works that we did previously:
Our little chicky craft for CNY
How to make milk stone
Bottle caps art

But this time around we are not talking about recycling instead we are talking about upcycling (turning waste or unwanted product into a better-quality product). By the way, this is not only for the adults to be aware and understand the importance of upcycling. We have to get our children (next generation) to be involved too.

Recently, we took part in an UP-Challenge 2018 where I sent in photos of smarty’s Transformer costume which he made last year for the Halloween party (you can read more about it here). Surprisingly, we got selected and we were required to attend the UP-Fest event to share and talk about our creation. Smarty was super excited and nervous.

When we reached, we were given an upcycle starter kit. It was filled with goodies that we can use for upcycling. How cool was that?
Smarty gotten his Starter Kit

People started streaming in while we were preparing ourselves for the sharing session. We even spotted Spiderman! Smarty was a little shy to ask for a picture though, hence the reserved smile.

After the sharing session, our creations were all put up for voting. While waiting for the results, we explored to check out what was interesting there. There was free food (but bring your own utensils and we did), and free workshops! It was an eye-opener for us as we found out that there were so many things we can use for upcycling. What caught smarty’s attention was this station where everyone was packing soil into the inverted bottles.

We thought this was about planting but wait, it wasn’t. What they were doing here was to introduce to us about vermicomposting where the earthworms were used to convert organic waste into fertilizers via consumption. Smarty was really excited and started joining in and searching for worms for his container of soil. Mind you, he was always the first to jump up whenever he saw creepy crawlies but not this time and I was really surprised.

He couldn’t wait to have them as pets! Can you guess how many worms did he get?

While he was busy searching for worms, the next station caught my attention instead. They were using used tees to make accessories. Yeah, I know. Typical girly stuff right? But check out their samples! Weren’t they pretty?

I sat down and started making one for mei mei otherwise she would start cursing and swearing if we went back empty handed while smarty gor gor had a “pot of worms”. She didn’t join us for this event as she was busy. Yes, she’s a busy girl.

Look at that? Isn’t it gorgeous? I made this, ok. Tell me is gorgeous, please!

Next, it was the bento bag making. Oh, I couldn’t wait to take part in this workshop as I always make bento for smarty. Guess what? All we were given was just a black piece of cloth and a template to draw the design out.

We would be able to get a bento bag after some careful cutting along the lines! We were called up to the stage for the prize giving session before we could manage to get it all done. Not to worry, they allowed us to bring it home to continue. Yeh!

Frankly speaking, we weren’t expecting anything as our main purpose was to have fun and for smarty to gain some exposure, experience and learn about upcycling. Before we knew it, we got ourselves a prize. We got a Mobile Timber Amplifier and Planter & Pen Set from Triple Eyelid studio. It was mind-blowing!

You know what? My mind was so blown up that I announced the wrong prize on Facebook. Big oops! Anyway, my purpose of taking part wasn’t for the prize. My main purpose was to bring the awareness and showing the importance of upcycling especially for smarty. This event not only did he got exposed to more ways of upcycling, I too was amazed by all the talented people who made upcycling so hip and trendy. Both of us enjoyed ourselves throughout the day with all the workshops and food. We got to meet many new friends too. Best of all, smarties now have new pets and they have been faithfully feeding them with leftover cut veggies.

Thank you Up & Away for creating some awe-inspiring campaign to encourage families to reduce waste through upcycling. We learned a lot during the event and it was a blast! We hope to see more of such events coming up soon 😉

Can you list out what are the upcycling projects involved here? What other upcycling projects can you think of? Do share with us!


Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. No monetary compensation was received. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. 

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