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Transformation Begins at Home

The concept of upcycling is an application method that we have started to hear frequently recently, but has long existed in our lives. Take the word wasteful, for example; Turkish people define waste with extravagance. “Don’t be extravagant” is also a phrase passed down from village to city.

So how can we not be extravagant?

Experiencing absence before moving from the village to the city actually encouraged people to upcycle. Let’s not think of the absence here as material. Ease of shopping, which is the main reason why fast consumption has become widespread; It was just as difficult in the village and in the countryside. This difficulty indirectly told people the value of what they had. Food waste that feeds animals, plastic boxes and bags that can be washed and reused. Finished cans transformed into pots, storage boxes and many more examples. These have always been in our lives and as we got closer to urban life, people were consumed by the passion for consumption. Convenience is what impressed us the most. Ease of transportation, ease of acquisition, ease of having thousands of varieties…

Did convenience bring us to the days when transformation did not start at home, or is it our ambitions?

As a sales professional, if I were to explain sales to someone who has no knowledge of my job, I would divide it into two main topics. Hunter and farmer. The hunters brings opportunity from the outside, seizes the opportunity and are always hungry for the new. On the contrary, the farmers takes advantage of the opportunities which they already have. They adds more value to their opportunities, sells again and again, and provides benefits… Life was that simple, in fact, as humanity, we were hunters and farmers. We developed, learned and discovered. This development led us to hunt more, we became more ambitious and better hunters. There is no problem in being a hunter, we need hunters both in sales and in life. But we lost our balance and forgot about farming with hunting ambition. We have forgotten the value of what we have, we cannot learn to evaluate the absence without experiencing it.

We were and we were…

Then we came to these days, these days bring microplastics into our lives. Introduced the concept of landfill. Bring the green washing. Even though I sometimes question how I have witnessed all of these in this life that I have lived for a quarter of a century, I try to learn, perceive, apply and then teach as much as I can.

On the one hand, “I want you to act as if your house is on fire because it’s on!” exclaimed young climate activist Greta Thunberg, while also saying, “Climate is probably the most boring topic the scientific community has had to present to the public.” said marine biologist and filmmaker Randy Olson.

My house is not on fire, the world is not on fire yet, but it is obvious that some troubles have started. There are landfills; that big brands thoughtlessly throw away waste that will never disappear in nature and engage in greenwashing activities by announcing through marketing efforts that they do not do this. There are microplastics; mixes with our body from the water we drink and the food we eat, and we never know exactly what health problems it will cause us to fight in the future. This is a boring subject; yes, that’s exactly why it doesn’t attract the attention of the whole world on the same day, like the new iPhone 15. It cannot be put on the market like a product that is sold out all over the world, pre-ordered and expected… Understanding the climate crisis; It requires empathy, it requires imagination so that you can understand what you read, visualize what the reports tell.

As a result, the upcycling that has taken place in our lives from past to present is a responsibility and an opportunity in every aspect of our lives. By seizing this opportunity, we can take steps towards building a more sustainable and conscious world in the future, and this is a goal that should be shared. Upcycling is our commitment to leave a greener and more livable world to future generations. The world is not burning yet, but together we can kindle the fire of this change.

Nil Karul