Going Green via DIY

31 May 2015 by

Going green is easy, fun, and not quite as obvious as you might imagine. Sure, it’s hip to bring your jute bag along when you shop at Whole Foods, or wear hemp shoes to yoga class… but that’s not exactly what I mean by “going green.”

I don’t mean buying more earth-friendly stuff, though I am all for all things earth friendly. What I’m talking about is reducing, reusing and recycling in the process of making the most of your home and garden—going green with DIY projects.

Need some ideas? I’ve got some to share.

Let’s start in the kitchen. What’s more green than planting your own vegetables and herbs? You can do that more easily than you might imagine. You can even skip the seeds and plant vegetables from kitchen scraps. Here are helpful hints for growing 25 foods—including super foods like avocado and ginger—from the things you might otherwise throw away after making a stir fry.

Here’s another thing you can do to go green in the kitchen: make your own scrubbers. You’ll save tons of money that you would otherwise spend on sponges (not cheap) or those newfangled “erasers” for the kitchen.

While you’re in the kitchen, rather than buying chemicals to clean your sink or refresh your garbage disposal, use lemons. Yep, those precious citrus items you thought were just for decorating martinis can also be used to clean. For the sink, try this recipe. The natural acidic qualities of lemons take care of the cleaning part, and their scent helps erase all sorts of nasty odors.

Finally, if you’ve been wondering about how to replace that blue—yet very effective—dishwashing liquid, here is the potion you’ve been looking for. And this is where it gets ultra-green: no need to use a dishwasher, because you really can clean everything you need with your home-made dishwashing liquid and your DIY scrubbers.

Moving outside to your back yard, there are so many things you can do with a tin can! In addition, you’ll find an amazing array of DIY projects on Pinterest. Yep, it’s that easy! Here’s what I found for DIY garden creatures (and who doesn’t love a plastic bottle and twine hedgehog?). What’s so cool is that each of these is made of recycled materials, things you have handy or might find after your next block party.

Maybe the best and easiest way to go green—indoors or out—is the simplest. Plants. They release oxygen into the air. Whether you are outside or inside, planting herbs or a ficus tree, potted plants add a truly green sense of style to your home and garden. And hey, if you start them out with cuttings from plants that your friends and family have already grown, that’s even greener.

 

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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