Now more than ever, it is crucial to live as sustainably as possible. We make sure to recycle properly, we are conscious of where we buy our products, we try to eat clean and locally, but there is still so much more to be done.
We often find ourselves feeling like we have come up short, like these daily tasks aren't enough, and we think we need to go to the extremes in order to have a good effect on our environment.
I'm here to remind you that you don't need to start a compost at your home or live as off-grid as possible.
If you want to offer any help towards the fight against climate change, there are a plethora of items and object sitting around your house right now, waiting to be recycled and useful in a new way. To get you started, here are five simple and easy eco-friendly DIYs:
1. Make your own toothpaste.
400 million toothpaste tubes are discarded yearly in the US alone. Not to mention the theories on the dangers of fluoride and the corrupt nature of the parent companies of toothpaste brands, this number alone should make you want to rethink your toothpaste.
There are tons of natural ingredients that are extremely beneficial to your mouth, with abilities to whiten your teeth, pull out toxins, and balance the pH levels of your mouth.
Making your own toothpaste is extremely easy.
You can customize the amounts of each ingredient to get the effects you want! I make my own toothpaste with coconut oil, xylitol, baking soda, and peppermint essential oil, you can find a similar recipe here.
2. Make your own deodorant.
Similarly, to toothpaste tubes, hundreds of millions of deodorant containers are discarded each year in just the United States. Also, like toothpaste brands, there is controversy surrounding the ethics of big deodorant brands, and if the ingredients of mainstream deodorants are even safe.
Switching to "natural" deodorant brands can lead to burning and bumps with the exposure to new ingredients.
Making your own deodorant is a guaranteed safe option. I make my deodorant by mixing baking soda with arrowroot powder (for its antiperspirant properties), then adding coconut oil and essential oils with antibacterial properties.
This allows you to make the scent completely unique! I use this deodorant every day and my pits stay dry!
3. Make your own "paper" towels.
Do you have old clothes lying at the bottom of your drawers that you know you will never wear again? Yeah?
Well, instead of donating all of it, save some of these clothes to make "paper" towels.
Paper towels are (most of the time) nonrecyclable, and think of one household you know that doesn't use up a ridiculous amount of paper towels. Everyone does it, and that is why it is important to cut back once you've realized that 13 billion pounds of paper towels are thrown away each year.
Instead, take old clothes, mix and match absorbable fabrics (like cotton) with other fabrics, cut them into rectangles, and sew the pieces together to make paper towels!
I have made different paper towels for specific tasks, such as water clean-up, counter wipe down, and eating.
I used the most absorbent fabrics for towels doing water clean-up. There are tons of resources out there to get even more ideas to make these "paper" towels.
4. Make your own food wraps.
Even with a whole cabinet dedicated to storing food containers, the average family goes through about 24 rolls of plastic wrap and 1,000 plastic bags every year. We know how detrimental plastic waste can be on our environment, so it's important to look for different outlets to storing leftover foods.
That's where DIY food wraps come in. Like the "paper" towels above, there are tons and tons of resources out online for making your own food wraps.
I like food wraps made with beeswax, such as this recipe.
You can also put your sewing skills together to make reusable fabric bags in the replacement of plastic bags.
5. Make your own dog toys.
Perhaps, you are someone who happens to accumulate a lot of decorative pillows, like myself. These pillows are always rarely used, and end up just getting thrown out whenever I have a desire to decorate differently or move somewhere new.
I don't have any statistics on how many throw pillows get thrown out (haha) each year, but I do know that they are just going to waste this way.
One day I realized, instead of buying toys from big-brand companies I don't want to support, I can make my own!
Since then, I have made five different toys of varying sizes and shapes from two old pillows, and my pup loved them. If you have a dog who loves to destroy your toys, try this method to save some money and possibly some waste!