People are always talking about reuse, repurpose, recycle, upcycle, but do we really understand what it is and how it helps? What is upcycling/reusing/repurposing? How can we use it to everyones advantage to get rid of waste, not only lengthen the timeframe until the material goes into the landfill?

Hipcycle said is best: 

Recycling vs. Upcycling

Recycling takes consumer materials — mostly plastic, paper, metal and glass — and breaks them down so their base materials can be remade into a new consumer product, often of lesser quality.

When you upcycle an item, you aren’t breaking down the materials. You may be refashioning it — like cutting a t-shirt into strips of yarn — but it’s still made of the same materials as when you started. Also, the upcycled item is typically the same or better quality than the original.

So what does "upcycling" actually look like?

Taking the old billboards from The Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group Vegas Label

And turning them into these durable, useful products that can be used to spur the discussion about sustainability, environmentally conscious practices and social responsibility.

Blue Man Group Las Vegas Upcycled Tote

 Why not upcycle to create marketing products, swag bags, or other promotional items instead of bringing in new materials from overseas that increase the amount of waste headed to our landfills?

Blue Man Group Upcycled MakeUp Bag