Recycling is a great start, but it's such a shame to throw some things away when they still hold so much potential. That's where upcycling comes in - one of our favourite words here at Expert Home Tips.
Upcycling is all about taking something old or used, and turning it into something new - usually something with a purpose. It's about giving a new lease of life to objects that would otherwise end up in the bottom of our bins.
Cans are a prime contender for upcycling projects. Every minute of every day, an average of 113,200 aluminium cans are recycled, which, whilst better than being thrown into landfill, requires a tremendous amount of resources. This seems like such a shame, as most cans these days feature some really cracking designs that are art in themselves.
I saved some of my favourite beer cans from our local craft beer shop, Inn at Home, and, once the beer had all been drunk - and thoroughly enjoyed - I came up with a simple way of upcycling them in a way that showcased their amazing designs.
Cacti and craft beer cans? Have you ever seen a cooler pairing?
If you needed any convincing that upcycling is the way to go, this tutorial is it. It's quick, simple, customisable and, best of all, uses bits and bobs most of us will have lying around our home or garden.
Here's what you need:
- Cool cans (soda/beer - anything goes)
- Small stones/gravel (the fancy type you fill your fish tank with, or those found in your garden are perfectly adequate)
- Small cactus/succulent (you can also opt for artificial plants if you're worried about caring for them)
- can opener
- beer glass
- Empty your chosen beverage into a clean, cool glass and set aside for afters.
- Rinse the can out under the tap.
- Use your can opener to cut around the inner section of the can. This should come away smoothly.
- Fill the empty can half full with soil.
- Place in your cactus or succulent.
- Fill the gaps around the edge of the plant with more soil until packed tightly.
- Top up with small pebbles, arranging them evenly around the circumference of the plant.
- Great job! Now, time for that drink!
As you can see, the tutorial is insanely easy! It's one of the most simple but effective projects you can do, and so cheap too.