Everything is built out of recycled pallets at the PalletFest upcycling festival

wooden shipping pallets
CC BY 3.0 Frédérique Voisin-Demery

The US' first upcycling festival is opening in Denver this weekend, featuring art, live music, upcycled fashion shows, and even pallet parkour.

One of the key elements in the infrastructure of the shipping industry is the humble pallet, which gets used to secure and store and transport just about anything and everything. Pallets are used for everything from bringing raw materials to the factory to delivering finished goods to the store, and it's said that there are about 2 billion pallets in use around the world right now.

However, about 2/3 of those pallets only get used a single time, and it's estimated that U.S. companies alone throw away some 4 billion board feet of wood pallets every year, so putting them back into use as a building material is a great way to repurpose this "waste". Not only are pallets are sturdy, relatively easy to find and work with, but the price is often right (free) as well.

In fact, they're so well-suited to upcycling, a whole weekend has been dedicated to them. If you want to be an upcycled pallet pundit or are an aspiring reuse and repurposing rockstar, then a new upcycling festival, PalletFest, might be the place to be this weekend.

The free PalletFest upcycling event is taking place in Sculpture Park, located on Speer Blvd. & Champa in Denver, CO, on October 11th and12th, and will feature live music, art, an upcycled fashion show, food and beer, a team "Pallet Build Off," pallet parkour, a pallet maze, and more. Everything for the festival will be built from recycled shipping pallets, and attendees will get an opportunity to see ideas for creating furniture and other functional items for their home and yard, as well as view upcycled art made from items originally considered to be trash.

PalletFest is said to be the first upcycling festival of its kind in the US, and there are plans to take the show on the road for a national tour after the premiere in Denver this weekend. Find out more at PalletFest.

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