Whether you’re a full-time eco-devotee or only light green, doing more things for yourself can be a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Repairing clothes instead of buying new ones, growing your own food instead of buying it from the supermarket, or even (if you have the know-how) creating or modifying your own super-efficient transportation are all possibilities. From our friends at Treehugger and Planet Green, here are some tips to get you started on the DIY path.
Use what you already have instead of buying something new: that’s an integral part of living green. Planet Green has tons of helpful articles to help you reuse all kinds of things you’ve probably already got sitting around your house.
5 Amazing Reuses for Dryer Lint
5 Reuses for Leftover Soap Bits
6 Reuses for Video Game Controllers
And they even have a handy use for all of those disposable chopsticks you have languishing in a drawer.
Energy consumption is a somewhat controllable part of your ecological footprint. Almost all of us can reduce the amount of electricity we use or bike to work instead of driving a car, and some of us can go a step further by switching partially or completely to alternative energy. Learn all about making your own electric motorcycle, or get inspired from this solar-powered scooter or this 95 MPG modified Civic. A little closer to home, you can reduce your energy intake by making your own super-cheap solar panels or solar heater, build a wind turbine, or use old trash you have lying around to create an on-the-cheap recycled solar collector or solar heater.
If you have old sweaters, t-shirts or other clothes that are just taking up room in your closet, making them over is a great way to get more life out of them and avoid the cost of replacing half of your wardrobe. You don’t need to be a sewing expert to perform surgery on your t-shirts or create a cool mash-up sweater; you just need a few supplies and some creativity.
Food you grow yourself not only tastes better; it’s better for the Earth. You can grow organic, pesticide-free produce right in your own backyard – or, if you’re yard-challenged, learn how to get started on home aquaponics or hydroponics, and in no time you’ll be growing your own delicious fruits, veggies and herbs.
Before you throw something away, look closely at it. Could it be transformed into something completely new? Even things that you were pretty sure were just garbage (or, hopefully, recyclable) can be made into surprising new items. These articles will clue you in on how to fuse plastic bags into fabric, make a tote bag or quilt squares from that plastic bag fabric, or crochet plastic bag yarn into a cool tote bag.