Trying to reduce your waste can seem overwhelming and nearly impossible in a culture where buying and throwing away a coffee cup every single day is so normal that nobody bats an eye or even questions the sensibility behind it.
The bad news is: first world cultures are built on the convenience of cheap (and often free) disposable cups, spoons, plates, take out containers, gift wrap, food packaging, makeup removers, beauty products, and fast fashion that falls apart after a few washes… I could go on forever.
The good news is: every little effort makes a difference.
Small steps make big changes.
So get those scissors ready and put your crafty pants on because we are about to DIY until we save this beautiful world!
Here are some step by step video tutorials on small changes you can try out in your life to make a big difference in the amount of waste you retire into fill the landfills. #don’tfeedthelandfills
Also, not only are you making a significant positive impact by reducing your carbon footprint on this beautiful planet we call home, but you are normalizing the culture of zero-waste.
You never know who you may inspire to make a zero waste swap or two in their life!
We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.Anne-Marie Bonneau
Learn how to make some origami trash bags.
Using newspaper to line your trash can instead of a plastic bag is the new black.
Opt out of junk mail.
Okay, so this isn’t a typical “DIY project” but it is a simple zero waste thing you can do to reduce your waste dramatically. Similarly, you can do it yourself.
I started doing this years ago and was blown away by the amount of waste that was no longer filling my trash can everyday.
You mean I don’t have to get flustered with all the waste flooding my mailbox on the daily? How did I not know this was even an option?
Save the trees and opt out of junk mail here. Then tell your momma and everyone else you know how to do the same. High five!
Make gifts instead of shopping for your loved ones.
Who doesn’t love a handmade gift? All of the best gifts I’ve ever made have been ones that I’ve made.
Like the time I made my best friend a zombie doll version of herself. She’s now adopted a pretty minimalist lifestyle and doesn’t own many belongings. But you can bet your earth-saving booty she still has that handmade doll I made her!
Let’s give a second life to those belongings you thought weren’t useful anymore and let’s get crafty!
Make your own mustard.
It’s seriously so easy! 5-6 ingredients, unless you want to get fancy, and no plastic waste created!
Ditch disposable paper towels & cut up unwanted T-shirts and towels.
If you want to get really fancy and crazy crafty, try sewing your own “unpaper towels”.
Upcycle a cardboard box.
Give a second life to that cardboard box that delivered your online goodies and add some pazazz to your home or office.
The more colorful and sparkly, the better.
Turn something old and neglected into a planter instead of throwing it away.
In my eyes, anything and everything is fair game for a funky planter.
If you live in a water scarce corner of the world like myself, succulents are a gorgeous low-resource option.
Do a book swap with your friends.
You can never own too many books. We all know that.
But I will say that hosting a book swap is a great way to switch up some books that have been collecting dust on your shelves for some fresh pages that get your heart rate up.
It’s also a great excuse to have a party.
Reuse glass food jars.
How can you reuse glass food jars?
Well I like embrace the glass jar life by storing food found in the bulk section, candles, art, or hygiene supplies in these glass jars.
Check out this DIY tutorial to take your glass jar game above and beyond!
Learn how to ferment some stuff.
Impress your friends and fam with some homemade fermented yumminess. You can add this to your “things most people don’t know about me” fun facts.
I love this zero waste DIY because you can essentially save produce you have that is threatening you with it’s impending doom. Ferment it and enjoy it for many weeks to come.
Do a clothing swap with your friends.
Your friend’s junk just might be your new favorite thing!
Everyone gets one “ticket” or clothes pin for every item they bring to swap.
Be sure to clarify that only clothing/ shoes/ accessories in good condition will be accepted.
Then bust out the tunes and chai tea/ wine/ ginger + apple juice- whatever your cup of tea is- and have a great time shopping second hand in your friend’s wardrobes.
Simplify your hygiene and beauty routine.
Try using less products and making your from the ingredients found in your kitchen. #shoplocal
After all, your skin is the largest organ in your body and anything that you put on your skin is like eating it.
So the next time you are about to lather some product all over yourself, ask yourself, “Would I eat this?”
If the answer is NO, then try out some of these DIY beauty products. I promise: it’s so much easier than it sounds!
Create all natural makeup.
Speaking of making earth-saving, toxic-free products for you skin, try making some of your own makeup!
Have you ever tried using beetroot juice as a lip or cheek stainer instead of makeup? It leaves you with lovely, deep red color and an earthy taste of veggies of your lips.
Try creating some skin healthy makeup that won’t give you wrinkles or chronic diseases and save the world! What did you do this weekend?
Transform an old shirt into a bag.
Turn an old, unwanted tank top into a produce bag by sewing across the bottom.
Not into sewing? No problem. Check out these no-sew tee to bag tutorials.
Make waxed fabrics for food storage.
Say “later gator” to plastic wrap and plastic bags for your food storage needs.
Learn to make your own salsa.
Salsa is a non-negotiable in my life so I’m sure you can imagine how heart broken I was when I realized what a plastic waste my salsa habit was.
Recently, a friend showed me how to make a quick salsa and my taco-worshipping soul will be forever grateful.
SO easy and no plastic needs to be harmed in the making.
Create your own cleaning products.
Embrace making your own cleaning products with simple ingredients in your home like baking soda, vinegar, fruit, herbs, and essential oils.
Most commercial cleaning products are full of harmful, synthetic chemicals that can lead to a whole host of health problems with long-term exposure.
The recipes for infused water below are lovely but if you need a multi-purpose cleaner that is a little stronger, then check out this recipe here!
Upcycle your own grocery tote from dog food packaging.
Upcycle old papers and fabrics for gift wrapping.
Wrap presents in old calendars (bonus points for puppies and national parks), newspaper, paper grocery bags, or colorful bandanas. Add finishing touches with a spring of rosemary, lavender, or a handmade pom pom.
Make your own stamps to decorate your DIY up cycled gift wrap paper.
Cutting out a design on a potato or apple is an awesome, cheap, eco-friendly way to make stamps to decorate gift wrap.
DIY face mask.
Skip the expensive and harsh face treatments and try using aloe or fruit peels as a face mask.
My favorite zero waste face mask is literally rubbing a sliced piece of aloe vera on my face. I cut a small fresh piece everyday off a single, large “leaf” that I keep in the fridge.
One piece will last me weeks in the fridge and all the waste is compostable!
Sew some make up remover pads.
Give new life to that old tee shirt and reduce your dependence on disposable products by sewing some make up remover wipes.
DIY dish scrubbers.
All you need is some hemp string and a down to make these plastic-free scrubbies for your zero waste kitchen .
Mix up your own laundry detergent.
I was blown away when I found this simple 2 ingredient laundry detergent tutorial! So simple!
DIY Whipped Shea Butter
Shea Butter is great for your hair and skin. Whipping the shea butter makes it easier and smoother to put on.
So whip it good!
Make your own natural candles.
These are perfect for refilling those burned out candle tins.
Use the following essential oils for outdoor candles to repel away those freaking mosquitos:
- clary sage
- sweet basil
- tea tree oil
DIY all natural toothpaste
Making your own zero waste toothpaste is super easy, healthy, and cheap! I’m about that life.
All you need are three ingredients:
- Baking Soda
- Coconut Oil
- Essential Oil(s)
Lastly, this zero waste swap is awesome because you can reuse the same glass jar for your homemade toothpaste for the rest of your tooth brushing days.
Make your own almond milk.
Sidestep all the preservatives, sweeteners, packaging by whipping up your own fresh almond milk.
Make it zero waste by watering the plants with the water used to soak the almonds and use the leftover almond pulp as a skin softening, face mask.
DIY Dryer Sheets
Toxin-free, zero waste dryer sheets to make your clothes smell like magic and flowers with three things that you already have in your home?
Oh, hell yeah. Let’s do it!
Sew your own period pads.
These can be a great option to use in partnership with a menstrual cup if you have a heavy flow.
You won’t regret it and will definitely wonder why you didn’t embrace the menstrual cup life sooner.
This zero waste DIY list wouldn’t be complete without an all natural diy deodorant? Am I right?
This tutorial teaches you 2 different recipes to whip up your own underarm potion.
Bonus Videos: Stop buying things you don’t need.
What does it mean to only buy what you actually use?
Don’t we have intentions to use all the things that we buy?
Hopefully the following videos will help you walk through the thought process of no longer buying things you don’t need.
Next, this video talks about how often we buy things for out “ideal selves” and our “ideal lives”- not actually who we are or what we actually use.
Have you been hit by the DIY zero waste inspiration fairy yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Get to DIY’ing! 🌻🧚♀️
P.S. Have you tried DIY’ing any zero waste products? What did you make and how did it go? Let me know in the comments below. 🤗