#Upcycling: it's not just for hipsters

Upcycling is gainin’ some serious attention since Pinterest and the DIY craze.  At The Emerald Journal, we are huge fans of upcycling as a fun, inexpensive way to be sustainably chic.

Like its Cuban cousin recycling, upcycling makes the world and your wallet happy campers.  To clarify the difference, upcycling gives an item a new (often times better) purpose while recycling takes plastic, paper, metal, glass, etc., and breaks them down to their base materials in order to produce a new product.

Anyone can upcycle items at home, which is one of the best ways you can personally serve Mother Nature.  We’ll show you some very simple examples below with an old yoga mat we converted into new products. As yoga enthusiasts, we were especially excited to refashion our leftover mats.  A lot of serious soul searching took place on our mats and it’s a shame to just throw them out, plus they would likely end up in a landfill—sad, but true.  So, we decided to make some koozies because beer is awesome, and a simple welcome mat for any home.

You’ll need:

An old yoga mat

Sharpie markers (oil based)


A glue gun

A can of your favorite beer


Killer Koozie Action:

For your koozie, you’ll need to place the beer can against the edge of your yoga mat to measure exactly how much mat you’ll need to cut (leave a little extra once you measure exact). Don’t forget to cut a circle for the bottom, again leaving a little extra room around the exact measurement.

Once you’ve cut your strip of mat, tag up your koozie with some genius from the inner banks of your mind.

Finally, take out your glue gun and once it’s warmed up, glue the longer piece together first, then the circle. Let it sit for some time and you’ve got yourself some seriously hip koozies to keep your beer cool.

Hippie Chic welcome mat:

The welcome mat is even easier than the awesome koozies you just upcycled for yourself. Take the leftover piece of your yoga mat (you should have plenty) and place it against a welcome mat (if handy). If you don’t have a mat, then good for you for joining the welcome mat community, and a solid measurement would be 18"X30".


And that’s it. Easy-peezy. We chose some basic colors, but feel free to go picasso on your upcycled mat goodies and color to your hearts content.


Do you up-cycle or have an up-cycle suggestion? Did you like our koozie or mat? Are you a hipster with any other general thoughts to share? Drop us some comments below!