When it comes to recycling, it can be a little confusing as you have to skim through posters to see if what you’re throwing out is recyclable. But also, recycling might also not be the best choice. Most of what we think gets recycled, ends up in landfills far away. And also we have to factor in emissions that come from transporting and the process that comes into recycling the item. For example using EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), it focuses on what happens after the material is discarded.
As shown here, is the life cycle of glass using WARM. After product use, there remains a lot of positive emissions in the whole process after recycling which comes from transporting, combustion, and from recycling the glass for manufacturing.
Of course the best way to minimize emissions is from refusing, which is being mindful of what to purchase. But if we were to cut the process of recycling and discarding objects, that would cut down emissions. The best way to do that is by reusing or repurposing objects for use after it’s main product use has been done.
Similar to recycling, it can be a bit confusing in what to do with the object after we’re done using it. An idea I have is to create a community that focuses on upcycling. By creating a community, ideas can be shared and questions can be answered to make the whole process less complicated. Ideas can also be built upon and improved if there are more voices contributing. To do that I have designed a forum based app to share these ideas.
Using the model of social media, There is an idea of rewarding upcycling ideas when shared through likes and engagement. Users are able to submit posts of their upcycling ideas and add on or discuss through commenting.