Benefits of the Green Cycles: Precycling, Recycling, Freecycling, Upcycling and More

We just celebrated America Recycles Day , but with it some people may have a few questions about the various forms of recycling and what do they actually mean?  What are the benefits?  When did recycling get so complicated?  I turned to one of my great green friends to help us out with learning about the benefits of the green cycles.

Green cycling can help the environment and help you build a better, greener, healthier planet. There are several different cycles and each have various benefits. It may be hard to do all of them, but many of them can be easily adapted into everyday life.

PRECYCLING– Precycling is “preventing recycling” according to Planet Pals.  It is a very simple action to take and it basically means know what you are buying before you buy it. Think ahead about your purchase to reduce waste and save yourself some money. Planning what you are going to buy ahead of time can prevent many items from ending up in landfills.  A few ways to precycle include bringing reusable bags to the store with you, buying products that have limited packaging, and buying “lifelong” products instead of disposable items (batteries for example).

RECYCLING– Recycling takes used materials and makes them into new products through processing. This reduces waste of useful materials. It also reduces energy usage, air pollution and water pollution. Recycling products like glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles and electronics can help make the planet a healthier one.

FREECYCLING– Freecycling is one of the easiest green cycles to add into your life. It is the act of giving away unwanted, useable items to others for free.  This prevents the items from being disposed of in landfills. There are many online groups and mailing lists that offer freecycling programs.

UPCYCLING– Upcycling is the act of taking waste materials and otherwise useless products and creating new materials or better quality products.  The use of upcycling helps reduce the consumption of raw materials when creating new products. It can also reduce energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.  Upcycle That is a blog that inspires readers to create new and useful products including Egg Carton Flower Lights, Halloween Spider Decorations, and Upcycled Tables.

DOWNCYCLING– Downcycling is the opposite of upcycling. It is the act of creating new materials and lesser-quality products to keep them out of landfills. It is more like recycling and reclaiming materials. The products made are of lesser-quality and can be weaker than the original product. However, downcycling can keep items out of landfills longer. Some ways to downcycle include creating recycled paper from paper, making rags from clothing, and recreating product packing from cardboard or other packaging materials.


Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.


  1. Christo

    This is simply coming full cycle in mindsets. All the old values were tossed out when the new plastic lifestyle came in vogue. We were taught to look after our tools and possessions. Not to waste simply because it was the right thing to do. Seems it was – for many more practical reasons than just being a good boy or girl.

    Some oldies may remember the buzzwords built-in obsolescence. This is still done, but without any fanfare. Precycling is the counter to this. It also saves you lots of money. You also nowadays get forced buying where you can get – especially in batteries – only four or eight of them in a pack. Why should you carry the cost for the manufacturer and the shareholder? They can make a smaller profit and take responsibility for smaller, safer landfills. Buy and use only rechargeable batteries. Mine are in the region of eight years old now and only a few went to battery heaven. Saves in gas too, They’re ready to go.

    As a handyman it works too. Frugal buying and management of stock materials actually see to a better profit and smaller losses.

    Another crazy thing is the slimming industry. Naked profiteering from pushing indulgent gluttony. Eat everything girls! We’ve taken out all the foodstuffs. You’re paying for chaff and we’re taking all your money, then we put it into “enriched” products and make you pay triple for it. Don’t get caught girls. Watch what you eat.

    My point? Caveat emptor. Don’t believe everything you’re told. There are many more examples of how marketeers are out to take your money without giving a damn about you or your environment.

    And you don’t have to go marching. Simply do not allow others to erode your good values. Live by them and you will reap the benefits. Yes, it sounds like an old man talking because it is an old man talking. The joke? I did not believe mama either. Now we live in our own filth.

  2. Christo

    The really sick joke? Now they’ve got us onto the green wagon and keep on making the money. But here’s a beautiful one. The call centre tape machine. This was installed to counter abuse and bad manners. Good move.

    So? Use good, exact language without anger or abuse and make your point clearly. The internet market research is just as good a tool to steer your world. Refuse to buy garbage. Refuse to roll over on anything that just does not carry your say-so. The data miners are gluttons for this. Tell them. Do your thing. Live your own life. They want to see your buying patterns. Show them. Tell them.

    Then one big one. The most abused word in this is convenience also now known as user-friendliness. Wait for the third or second to last iteration in the development where you get the most powerful app/gadget. Use it for many years with good satisfaction and returns on investment. And repeat the pattern only when you need to really do it.

    Watch out for the Odie factor. Good, little odious doggie. No wonder Garfield slags him.

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