Some objects just don’t have a very eco-friendly alternative, like mirrors for example, which are difficult to recycle, especially if we are talking about upcycling rather than downcycling (see Cradle to Cradle). Using second hand objects saves them from becoming obsolete and ending up as landfill, and, saves new resources and energy from being used to make new objects. Recycling processes can be pretty energy intense (manufacturing, transport, etc.), so why not use what already exists. We should therefore focus on re-usability, rather than recycling whenever possible. And re-use can be fun (as well as inexpensive) too; we found some very nice objects in second hand shops, have a look:
Second-hand 60ies bathroom mirror, found in Gracia, Barcelona, 25€.
Original PH lamp by Poul Henningsen (1894-1967), found in Copenhagen, Denmark, 35€
Second hand lamp, found in Copenhagen, Denmark, 25€
Second hand rocking chair found in the street in Barcelona, coated with recycled newspaper, 0€
Massive mirror, found in the street of Barcelona, re-used as sliding door, 0€ (image above)
You just have to be patient and keep your eyes open until the right object for you comes along. Have a look at Barcelona Forever, a recycling interior design installation by Mette Bak Andersen.