What is Our (Re)Purpose in Life?

What is Repurposing? 

Repurposing, that is “to Re-Purpose” means the use of something for a purpose different than its original, intended use. Repurposing an object may be done by using the item as is, in a new way or by altering it for a new use. Repurposing items in our everyday lives has a positive impact on citizens, our Planet, and for our future on our Planet. It helps us eliminate the need for landfills and thereby reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gases like Carbon Dioxide and Methane into our atmosphere. It also helps us become more conscious about our consumption and waste.

 The practice of repurposing is not limited to physical items. It’s common to repurpose marketing material and content. For example, a business may use images from an older, successful advertising campaign in a new campaign rather than come up with brand-new images. In the pharmaceutical industry, medications are repurposed by being frequently used to treat illnesses and symptoms for which they were not originally intended.

How is it different from Recycling?

Repurposing is the usage of an object for a purpose other than its original purpose by modifying or using the item in a new way. Recycling an object is actually moving it through some kind of process that changes its very being in order to prepare it for being reused again. 

According to National Geographic, 91% of plastic worldwide is not being recycled. How much of that trash could have been recycled or better, repurposed for a different use? It is because recyclable items are not actually being recycled, the sheer size of our landfills have reached a staggering record than ever before in human history. It is not just our land that is being polluted, even our oceans are facing the brunt of the blatant ignorance of proper waste management. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as denoted is a ginormous vortex of non-biodegradable litter, a result of dumping of wastes into our oceans and other water bodies that eventually find their way into the oceans of the world, collecting into a huge spinning underwater hurricane, breaking down debris into micro-plastic that eventually finds its way back to us. 

Repurposing and Recycling are inherently not different. In fact, Repurposing falls under the wide umbrella of Recycling. The crux of the matter is that we, as a species, need to learn to manage our waste in an efficacious manner. 

Are Upcycling and Repurposing the Same thing?

Repurposing is quite similar to upcycling, the main difference being that with upcycling, an object still operates with its original function, it is simply altered to become better, whereas, with Repurposing, the object’s very purpose is changed. 

How is Repurposing Beneficial? 

Repurposing is a highly beneficial process. Repurposing not only helps us manage our waste with more dexterously but also significantly reduces our dependance on our already limited resources.

When Repurposing is performed as a way to reduce waste and supplant a new, manufactured good, it becomes an element of micro-sustainability, which is focus on small environmentally friendly actions that can add up to a larger environmental impact.

Each drop counts on the way to becoming an Ocean, right? 

Repurposing and upcycling curbs pollution caused by reducing the need to harvest new raw materials.

We must learn to manage our waste efficiently; even though there is a lot of fad surrounding Recycling and Recycled goods, we must pay attention to the invisible costs of this process. Recycling consumes a lot more energy as compared to Upcycling and Repurposing. The cost of recycling plastic is way more expensive than the cost of producing virgin plastic, thereby not sustainable. 

With fewer amounts of waste ending up in landfills, there will be a considerable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change, there will be no need for landfills or incinerators! 

The whole point of Repurposing being our most obvious way to deal with the problems of today with solutions for our future is that repurposing is multi-fold. The main reason is with waste management, wherein we carefully scrutinize what connotes as waste, does it necessarily need to be “waste” and how can this not-so-waste “waste” be rerouted from landfills, also parallelly acknowledge the fact that most waste produced today is not actually waste, but termed so by giant conglomerates looking to maximize profits. If we can effectively supplant this “waste” as raw materials, with the process of Repurposing and Upcycling, we can make a huge dent in the number of things ending up in landfills, which, if left uncurbed will inevitably lead to our own destruction. It is time to take action. 

The adoption of small changes we make now will have a lasting effect in sustaining the environment for future generations. We will also begin to have a deeper sense of appreciation of everything we have and treat it with respect, which will form ripples that will be felt a long way from us.