The Upcycling division was added to Da Vinci Fest in 2019. Students are challenged to make a useable or artistic object using at least 80 percent discarded items.
Upcycling improves efficiency of a resource, reduces waste, and transforms by-products, useless or unwanted products into materials better for our environment. By reducing the consumption of new, raw materials, upcycling lowers energy usage, air pollution, water contamination and even green-house gas emissions. This regenerative effort means end products are cleaner, healthier, and often of better value.
Think of upcycling as refurbishing, refabricating, re-manufacturing, recycling, converting or transforming something that already exists into something different, whether it ends up as an artwork or a useable object.
In Industry, a key goal of upcycling is to reuse finite resources and reduce waste and consumption. Consumer electronics often uses refurbishment or re-manufacturing. Beer brewer’s spent grain is being used to create biodegradable six-pack rings. Old, unused granary buildings are being turned into modern, functioning living and working spaces. There are so many ways upcycling is being incorporated into products and design.
Young designers are using waste plastic bags or leather skin from old couches, or discarded rubber tires to create backpacks. Did you know the fashion industry is the second-most polluting industry after oil? While most textiles are recyclable, 85% end up in landfills in this country. In a circular economy, resources are used for as long as possible, getting the most value out of them while in use and then restored or repurposed.