4 ways to embrace recycled materials in your home


Forget about “out with the old and in with the new” – this January, we’re transforming the old into something new, giving pre-used materials a brand new look and feel in our homes.

And we’re not just talking with homeware, but building materials, too. Wood from old worktops become shelves with a rustic twist; old doors are sold back to help you upgrade to more energy efficient options; and bricks from a dated patio make for simple plant holders or bird baths when stacked in the garden.

Let’s start with the materials themselves. We’ve already discussed what types of waste can be recycled, but what are the best materials for recycling to make something new?

  • Wood
  • uPVC
  • Glass
  • Brick
  • Aluminium
  • Steel

Rest assured, you don’t necessarily need to be a DIY master to use recycled materials in your home – most often, skilled artisans and builders will do the work for you. But if you need a little more convincing, here are our top four reasons to embrace the old to make something new.

1. Recycled materials add character

The thing about using recycled materials in your home is that you’re essentially adding something that already has its own story. These pieces might not have a shiny new smell, but they’ve got a history that straight-off-the-shelf items need years to acquire.

This coffee table is the perfect example – it was made from wood on an oil rig, and all its marks and grooves tell a story. In terms of a conversation piece, it doesn’t get any better than this.

2. They’re totally one-of-a-kind

If you’re somebody that loves pieces that are exclusive to your home and your home only, homeware made from recycled materials should be your new best friend. When transformed from old materials of which there are only a limited few, these items can’t help but be one-of-a-kind, or at the very least one from a very small set.

This is especially true if you’re using materials that come from your property, or that you’ve made yourself – nobody else is going to have shelves made from wooden planks recycled from your old barn except for you.

3. Using them can save you money

Style aside, using recycled materials in your home is also an easy way to save cash. This isn’t just because you’re avoiding having to buy new, more costly things or construction materials, but because some environmentally friendly companies reward customers for going green.

For instance, Anglian is currently running a scrappage scheme that rewards customers up to £3,000* when they recycle the materials from their old windows, doors and conservatories and upgrade to newer, more energy efficient glazing. That means as you improve your home, you’re not only helping to cut down on material waste, but getting a little bonus in the process.

4. Reusing materials is good for the environment

There’s a reason recycling is one of the most fundamental ways to help the environment. It works to reduce waste created and the pollution that comes with it, as well as preserve natural resources.

Where plastic is concerned, this is especially important – because plastic is non-biodegradable, once it’s been made, it’s here to stay. Reusing wood means less trees cut down every year, and recycling steel helps save the energy needed to create it. Luckily being able to re-purpose these materials in our homes means we can cut down on sourcing them, helping keep the planet happy and healthy.

Got any tips on using recycled materials at home? Let us know how you’ve gone green in the comments below.

*T&C’s apply.

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