After having presented how to make different parts of your life more eco-friendly, this final instalment of our reducing waste series will focus on eco-friendly DIY projects that can replace some of the previously mentioned alternatives that you can buy.
These projects are often budget friendly and fun to do with kids, if you want to entertain and keep them busy for a while.
One of the easiest bathroom items to make yourself is lip balm, all you need is beeswax pallets, coconut oil and a skin safe essential oil of your choice. To begin with you have to melt the beeswax pallets in the microwave, then add the coconut oil and essential oils and microwave the mixture again. Fill the mixture into small containers while it is still liquid, it usually solidifies within minutes and is ready to use.
For a vegan version of the lip balm you can use candelilla wax, which is derived from plants, and some shea butter instead of the beeswax. These lip balms are very versatile and different ingredients, such as honey, can be added. This website offers detailed instructions for different lip balms, if you are looking for inspiration.
Deodorant can also be made at home, by mixing coconut oil with baking soda and corn starch. You can simply fill the mixture in a glass jar and use a small amount to put under your arms each morning. Baking soda has odour absorbent qualities but you can add some essential oil of your choice for a fresher smell. However, some people react sensitively to baking soda and these deodorants are therefore not an option for everyone. You can find detailed instructions here.
Face masks are another item that you can be make yourself using only natural ingredients, which you already might have at home. If you are looking for a moisturising mask, you can mix half an avocado, some honey and oats together and let it sit on your skin for about 15 minutes.
You might be surprised that you could eat all the ingredients but they all have nourishing qualities. A lot of DIY facemasks also use yoghurt but before using them it is advisable to look up which ingredients suit your skin type and needs best.
In the article focussing on reducing waste in the kitchen I mentioned beeswax wraps, these can also easily made yourself, all you need are the same beeswax pallets you have used for the lip balm and some fabric.
You don’t necessarily need to buy new fabric but can simply use some old bedsheets that would have been thrown out anyway. First, cut the fabric into the size and shape you want your wraps to be, then put it on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Sprinkle beeswax pallets over the fabric and put the tray in the oven so the wax can melt, once it is melted you can use a brush to evenly spread the wax over the fabric.
To dry, you can simply hang them over the back of a chair, you just need to be careful when peeling the fabric off the tray so the wax does not crack. This DIY idea does not only allow you to repurpose fabric that would have been thrown away, but you can also adjust the size and look of your wraps to your needs.
I have not tried to make the vegan version of this myself, but according to this article it should work just as well with candelilla and soy wax.
Ideas for DIY cleaning products can be found in instalment seven.
These are relatively easy DIY ideas I have tried myself and found worked rather well and do not take much time to make.
The internet is full of other DIY projects and probably the best source of inspiration, people have found ways to make almost everything themselves, from make-up remover to shampoo.
If you are better at arts and crafts than myself or are up for a challenge, you might want to take on bigger projects such as restoring old wooden furniture or building a shelf out of leftover wooden boards.
Why not knit your own socks, scarves or even jumpers if you know or want to learn how.
The possibilities are nearly endless, it all depends on how much time you want to invest and the level of your skill.
Questions? Comments? Further suggestions for living an eco-friendly lifestyle? Leave a comment below!