Turning unwanted objects into prized possessions instead of sending them to landfill not only protects the environment but also encourages creativity with the cheapest of raw materials.
Londoners have caught the upcycling bug in a big way as they seek items that are not only kinder to the environment but also cannot be bought on the high street, however deep their neighbour's wallet.
In the last year, Gumtree, the online classified bazaar, has had a 64 per cent rise in the number of people selling upcycled items and an astonishing 1,000 per cent rise in searches for upcycled pieces.
Grand design projects - Beetlemania
Grand design projects - Beetlemania
1/12 A man and his Bug
Professional upcycler Max McMurdo has joined forces with classified website Gumtree to transform a derelict classic 1974 VW Beetle.
2/12 Charity sale
All items are for sale on Gumtree with a combined price of more than £5,000. Follow the project with the hashtag #Beetlemania on Twitter.
3/12 Nose to tail
Using the old car from front bumper to rear, Max created more than 20 pieces of furniture and household fittings to help raise money for The Butterfly Tree, a charity that provides classrooms, books and toilets for children in a rural Zambian community.
4/12 Rocking chair
Max is sitting on a rocking chair made from one of the Beetle's front seats. It's priced at £400.
5/12 Dressing table
This dressing table is very recognisable from the car, with the windscreen being used as a mirror. It is priced at £750.
6/12 Single bed
A single bed was made with one of the Beetle's doors and costs £350.
7/12 Living room
This sofa was made out from the back seat and is priced at £650.
8/12 Other Grand Designs projects
Inventors Harry Dwyer and his partner Charlie Waller have created the world's first cardboard houseboat. Made entirely out of recycled cardboard, it contains two bunks, an electric motor and a kitchen.
9/12 Cardboard houseboat
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and Harry will be sailing the boat along the Thames at the opening of Grand Designs on April 30.
Snoozy is a flat-packed two-person portable sleeping unit. Each one can be stacked on top of one another to create a mobile hotel.
11/12 Festival hotel
The portable hotel room comes with mood LED lighting, secure keyless entry, clothes storage and beds. Concierge service, private integrated bathrooms and kitchens are also included.
Outdoor bolt-hole Bothy can be delivered ready made or as a flat pack. It's designed to create outdoor space for your home without the need for planning permission.
Designer and professional upcycler Max McMurdo has taken his passion to extremes by turning an unloved VW Beetle he paid £700 for into 20 pieces of furniture and household items worth £5,000.
From transforming a door into a headboard, to making clocks from numberplates, McMurdo didn't let anything go to waste.
“Upcycling is booming across the UK, especially amongst Londoners,” says McMurdo. “People are just much more aware of the effects of waste on the environment and it's a great way to completely re-purpose items that you would usually throw away.
“Aside from it being green and of course economical, it's also about creating unique pieces with a back story that you can't just buy off the shelf.
“Gumtree is on a mission to revolutionise the way we look at waste and I’m excited to be part of it through projects like this one. We want to show people that you can create quality items out of anything, even a run down VW Beetle. This project is a great way to share these opportunities and help people uncover their own creativity and put their hand to making something amazing.”
He worked with Gumtree to create the items and all proceeds will be matched by the company and donated to The Butterfly Tree charity to build classrooms for the children of a rural Zambian community.