Upcycleverb1. reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original-istsuffix1. a person who does a specified action or activityUpcyclistnoun1. a person who reuses discarded objects or materials in such a way to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.
Everything I do has an environmental aspect to it.
Back at University I studied Environmental Science. When I was a free wheeling traveler, I wrote about subjects that mattered to me: hemp surfboards in Japan, permaculture in Cuba. When I began to want a home, I decided that the only way to ensure my house was “as eco as possible” was to build it myself, so I began to teach myself building. When I moved to Sydney I became appalled at the volumes of hard rubbish thrown out, so I began upcycling it.
Now, I run a business building all manner of things with recycled materials.
Recycled timber is my main material of choice. Why ? Because I enjoy working with wood and I love trees, so the only way I can happily work with timber is to know that it wasn’t cut down just to satisfy my creative urges. But that is not all. When working with recycled timber there is a certain character and aesthetic to the material which I genuinely appreciate, and which I find absent in freshly milled timber. Also, there is the fact that most recycled timber is completely dried and hardened to an extent that only years of gradual process can deliver, i.e. it’s a better product. I also enjoy finding this old timber, lurking around the fringes of demolition sites, frequenting ramshackle timber yards run by scruffy old stalewarts and just plane fluking it in random places – it’s all a bit of fun.
When I build tiny houses I start to use a whole lot more than just recycled timber. Those little houses hold a special place in my world. I think they represent so may worthy ideals, all packaged into one thoughtfully designed piece of architecture; low impact living, debt free living, owner built housing, minimalism, limited consumerism, craftsmanship and community. I know tiny house living will not suit everyone but I do think it offers a real alternative for some people and a way they can be comfortable and happy in their own home without the burdens the current model of home ownership involves. As a matter of fact, I am building a tiny house right now for my fiance and I to start our life together in.
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