The need for recycling and upcycling is greater than ever before. The polar ice caps are melting at an unprecedented rate, with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting a six to eight-inch increase in sea level in the last ten years alone, and unless we take drastic action, much of our beautiful planet won't be around for generations to come.

Plastic is one of the biggest contributors to landfill waste because it's so commonly used. And what is useful to us for nothing more than a few days, if that, can take up to 1000 years to decompose, the thebalancesmb.com reports. That's why it's so important that we recycle as much as possible, whether it's plastic or other materials, and luckily, there's a lot of incredible crafts and DIYs out there which will breathe new life into your trash and turn it into eco-friendly treasure.

1. Plastic Bottle DIYs

Whether you've only got five minutes to dedicate to upcycling or a few hours, there's a great DIY out there for your plastic bottles. From storage containers to bird feeders to planters - there are so many uses for these humble plastic bottles.

2. Plastic Farmyard DIY

Looking to decorate your home with something unique and modern but don't want to break the bank? Well, everything you need is in your trash can (providing you're willing to buy a few bits and bobs). These crafts would make great kids toys too!

3. DIY Gift Bags

There are few things more frustrating than getting someone a great present only to realize that you've got nothing to wrap it in and no spare gift bags to hand, but as long as you've got some ribbon and plastic bottles, you can easily make one yourself! This is also a great way to save money. Ribbon is, after all, very cheap but gift bags and wrap are expensive. As you can see from the image above, they're great for gifting craft materials.

4. DIY Bottle Decorations

Okay, these mini tables are adorable! Glass bottles are perfect for decorating your home - not only do they cost nothing, but providing you're willing to invest a little time and effort into your creation, will enable you to create one-off pieces like these which are totally unique to your home!

5. DIY Jewelry Holder

As any jewelry fanatic will tell you, it's easy to lose rings and broaches when you haven't got an efficient and practical storage solution. But you can make this problem a thing of the past with this DIY jewelry holder idea.

6. Jeans Chair DIY

Okay, we're not going to lie, this DIY definitely won't be for everyone, but if you're looking to create an interesting talking point in your backyard, terrify the neighbors, deter trick-o- treaters, or all three, it's worth considering!

7. Recycled Cutlery

Unlike with plastic bottle DIYs, the ones made from cutlery really don't look homemade. In fact, similar products are often sold for outrageous prices. So why not cut out the middle man and save yourself some cash by making something awesome yourself?!

8. Coke Can Camera

While this, admittedly, isn't a functional camera, it's impossible to deny that it looks awesome. And if you're a photographer, or simply looking to surprise someone who is, it would make a great DIY home accessory.

9. More Plastic Bottle DIYs

From candle holders to bowling pins, the internet really is awash with great ideas for recycling your old bottles. This is enough to inspire anyone to turn to Google to see how they can upcycle their trash before they think about throwing it out.

10. Hot Air Balloon Light Bulbs

Unfortunately, lightbulbs only have a relatively short lifespan, and contribute a lot of waste to landfills, but if you've got a steady hand, you can easily turn yours into incredible miniature hot air balloons. We think these would make epic DIY gifts.

11. Candle Holder DIY

Who'd have thought old ladles make incredible candle holders? They cost nothing, but look seriously bespoke and expensive!

12. Bottle Bird House DIY

What we love about this hack is that it costs virtually nothing to make, but looks completely bespoke. All you need is a plastic bottle of the right size, some rope to hang it up with, paint, and a little bedding and voilà! DIY birdhouse.

13. Milk Bottle Toy House

The great thing about milk bottles is that they aren't transparent, which makes them the perfect item to use to create a DIY toy house. All you need is a steady hand to cut out the shapes of windows and some stickers to decorate them!

14. Recycled Owl DIY

If this DIY isn't a testament to the fact that you can use 'junk' to create something awesome, I don't know what is. Whether it's bottle caps or even a bike wheel, with the right circular shapes, you can easily make a DIY owl. The thing is, once you start, you won't be able to stop!

15. Cookie Shapes DIY

If you're looking to make cookies anytime in the not too distant future, don't worry about buying shapes in a store. All you need is a can. Literally. Cut it into rings as demonstrated above and then bend them into shapes of your choice (use with caution).

16. Empty Gallon Bottle DIY

The water these bottles once contained helped to cultivate health within you, and even once they're empty, you can still use them to your advantage. Simply fill them with soil and use them to grow vegetables like lettuce and radishes. Perfect for starting a food garden in your conservatory, or on your patio.

17. Shampoo Bottle Into A Cellphone Charging Dock

With a few cuts to an old shampoo bottle, you can create a holder for your phone while it's charging. Because a phone needs to be kept in place and not be left dangling to charge successfully! This prevents any potential damage to both the cable and the cell phone.

18. Watering Bottle DIY

If you have the right knowledge, you really can turn an old plastic bottle into just about anything. The picture above is great inspiration if you're looking to water your lawn more efficiently, whether it's by hand or by attaching a hose like so.

19. Colander light DIY

Don't throw out your colander when it's past its best. Give it a lick of paint and use it as a fabulously unique kitchen lampshade!

20. Plastic bottle and CD DIY

Sometimes the best recyclable DIY ideas involve combining more than one item, so if you've got plastic bottles lying around and some CDs, why not try out this idea to make yourself some pretty regal looking planters or even cups?

So the next time you've got some trash lying around (which, most likely, is right now), use it as an excuse to get creative. You'll get some seriously awesome items as a result and help save the planet to boot.

×