The Amazing Cardboard Chair

By Ayrel Clark-Proffitt, Sustainability Resource Center

You’ve heard of upcycling, right? In a nutshell, it’s taking something that was “useless” and heading to the landfill and making it into something productive and worth keeping. (Like using a nutshell to make jewelry, for instance.) The term was popularized in the American vernacular by the 2002 book “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things” by McDonough and Braungart.

Our University ends up with a lot of cardboard to recycle, so Brady, a part-time custodial crew member, decided to take the cardboard and upcycle it into an armchair. Using mostly notches, and only a little bit of glue, he created a sturdy and surprisingly comfortable chair. Josh James, recycling coordinator for the University of Utah, shows off Brady’s creation below. For ideas on making your own amazing cardboard chair, check out Pinterest. Do you have amazing upcycle projects you’d like to share? Send photos to to be featured on Sustainable Utah.



Ayrel Clark-Proffitt is the education and outreach coordinator for the Sustainability Resource Center.

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