Searches for Recycled Decor Are Up 95%, So Here’s How to Reuse Your Coffee-Table Books

And the countertop scraps from your kitchen reno.
living room with vintage leather recliner

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Living sustainably shouldn’t be something you do just on Earth Day (today!). Luckily Pinterest, which recently launched a new campaign to keep misinformation and false statements about climate change off its site with the help of Leah Thomas, founder of The Intersectional Environmentalist, is packed with ideas for how to take your eco-conscious efforts to the next level. Raw vegan meal prep, how to recycle old jeans, and upcycled cube storage are just some of the solutions its users are looking for the most. 

According to the platform, searches for “recycled home decor” have increased 95 percent compared to this time last year, and inquiries around “eco-friendly house design” have jumped a whopping 73 percent. This means people aren’t just interested in reusable straws and salvaged clothing, but in lessening the ecological footprint of their spaces as well. To help you get started, we’re highlighting three of our favorite upcycled home projects, starting with how to put your leftover reno scraps to use.

Recycle Old Reading Material

If you are like us and don’t actually read those beautiful books piled on your coffee table (or straight-up own too many), use the pages in a different way. Anthony D’Argenzio of Zio & Sons sourced 6-foot-tall windowpanes and adhered a sheet of paper to each of the see-through glass panels using chemical-free duct tape. The best part: If the images no longer spark joy, simply swap them out for another set.

Reduce Material Waste

After her kitchen renovation, jewelry designer Caitlin Mociun was left with too much terrazzo (she opted for London fabricator Dzek’s marmoreal white slabs for her new countertop) and nowhere to put it. But instead of tossing it or having it soak up space in her Brooklyn apartment, she and her furniture-maker husband had a pair of nightstands crafted out of the offcuts for their primary bedroom.

Reuse Old Toys

When Geneva Vanderzeil was given a less-than-pretty plastic children’s bike, she got creative with her daughter’s hand-me-downs. With a lick of paint, some hot glue, and a bit of rope, Vanderzeil transformed it into a perfectly pleasing toy she no longer wants to hide in her garage.

Kate McGregor


Kate McGregor covers everything related to the home, from design inspiration to IKEA hacks. She has been the market assistant at ELLE Decor where she focused on curating product for the print magazine’s market pages.