The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The Beauty of Upcycling

Caitlyn Chau

Upcycling is defined as recycling an item in a way that gives the person the ability to resell it for higher than its original value. According to, the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 75% of all waste is recyclable. Additionally, according to The New York Times, Americans throw away more than 12 million tons of furniture each year. 

Given how astronomical these numbers are, it is no wonder why so many people have opted for more environmentally friendly ways to shop for their favorite household items. In doing this, many have prevented well loved furniture from ending up in landfills and creating more greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. When buying furniture second hand, one gets a unique piece of furniture that will become the centerpiece of their home. 

Furthermore, extra wood pallets can be upcycled too! They are very versatile and can be used to make unique bookshelves, herb gardens, tables, and so much more. Other things that can be upcycled include old instruments, jars, and old terracotta pots. 

Sophomore Edith Ung is a huge supporter of upcycling. “Upcycling is a very creative and fun way to reuse items that would have ended up being thrown away. [For example], I have upcycled my old clothes to make clothes for my dog,” she stated. 

Fast fashion was very popular in the late 1990s to 2000s, and then regained popularity in 2021, grossing about $91.23 billion according to Good On You. This is most likely because the price of clothing items are really low which is a huge pro for teenagers and young adults living on tight budgets. However, not only does fast fashion exploit people in poverty and endorse human trafficking and slavery, (according to Pebble Magazine) but it also poses great environmental impacts. This is because most clothes made by fast fashion brands have plastic fibers in their clothing and toxic dyes according to the United Nations Environment Program

A substitute for that would be thrifting! Some local thrift stores in Arcadia include Goodwill, Savers, and The Salvation Army. In these stores, trendy clothing items can be found, most likely made of much better material than those from fast fashion. Additionally, many designer items (albeit rare) have been found at thrift stores. 

All in all, upcycling is a beautiful thing that not only helps the environment, but encourages people to be more mindful of what they spend their money on. 


Photo by Caitlyn Chau


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