Fall’s almost here! School is back in session, the leaves are changing colors, and it’s a perfect time to make a renewed commitment to a no waste lifestyle. To celebrate the season I want to share some fun zero waste projects to try out.
In addition to welcoming in the new season, I want to show my readers that there are enjoyable ways to go zero waste. The wise Dale Carnegie said “people rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing”. These fall DIY projects are fun ways you can work towards zero waste. So let’s commemorate fall with 4 eco project ideas that have a positive impact on the environment, and you can have a blast completing!
Zero Waste Project 1: Reuse And Repurpose Household Items
My first fall zero waste project is inspired by Bea Johnson’s “Third R of Zero Waste”. Reuse! I’ll bet you have a ton of household items that you can reuse or repurpose in creative eco-friendly ways. If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas here is one of my favorite ways to reuse common household items.
Do you have any old clothing or fabric you are considering throwing away? Perhaps a stained shirt, ripped pair of pants, or some dirty bed sheets. Instead of throwing them away, cut them up to make homemade dish towels. Used pieces of clothing make a fantastic alternative to paper towels and napkins. This is a fun and easy solution to decrease your use of pesky paper products that go straight to the landfill.
That’s just a few ideas for repurposing unwanted items in your home. There are plenty of other ways to get creative with the items you reuse. If you want to turn this into a bigger zero waste diy project check out other clever ways people have repurposed household items. Take a look at the links here and here for inspiration for more zero waste home projects.
Zero Waste Project 2: Create A Zero Waste Kitchen
Looking for a zero waste approach to restocking your kitchen and pantry? Empty food jars make convenient cups and storage containers! Use those old jars and empty containers to store food items like rice, pasta, cereal, snacks, nuts, and spices. Most of these items come in non-reusable plastic wrapping so this will help with waste management in your kitchen.
Common kitchen condiments like ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing also come bottled in plastic. Replacing these pre-packaged sauces with homemade recipes is another fun fall DIY project for zero wasters. Check out Delish’s guide to homemade condiment recipes to get started. Why not make a cooking night out of it! These homemade recipes are a perfect excuse to prepare a meal with eco-conscious friends or family members!
To round off this zero waste project, make sure you pick up some reusable grocery and produce bags for your kitchen! This cuts down on wasteful paper and plastic bags that make their way from the store to your kitchen. If you don’t already have one, grab a reusable cotton produce or grocery bag.
Zero Waste Project 3: Do The Fall Declutter Challenge
The next idea is an eco project for your home, called the “Fall Declutter”. The start of a new season is a convenient time to evaluate what you do and don’t need in your home. Even if you’re an ardent zero waster, you probably have items that you don’t use. If you can’t find a way to repurpose unwanted items for Projects 1 or 2 now is the time to donate them to your local Goodwill or secondhand store.
To transform your declutter from a stale seasonal cleaning to a fun fall project I suggest you come up with a “challenge” for yourself. Make a benchmark for the amount of items you want to get rid of and set up a reward if you meet it. For instance, I like to reward myself with one item from my favorite secondhand store for every 5 to 10 things I donate.
To make the challenge even easier you can isolate it to a specific room in your home. If you need a desk for your office set a goal to donate 5 items in your office and reward yourself by purchasing a desk second hand if you succeed. This eco friendly home project helps you reduce clutter, and gives you an excuse to splurge a little at your local thrift store. Which is a “win/win” in my book!
Decluttering your home is also a step towards a minimalist lifestyle, which goes hand in hand with a zero waste living! Unnecessary clutter takes up space in your home and in your head. It’s not only wasteful but can serve as a constant source of worry and distraction. It gets in the way of what you really value in your life, and can divert attention from larger goals like your commitment to a zero waste lifestyle.
Zero Waste Project 4: Start Composting
Do you compost? If not, this is a fun eco project that has a huge impact on the earth! Composting is a zero waste disposal method which transforms material into organic matter that nourishes our soil. There are many environmental benefits to composting. It helps enrich the soil, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, and fights climate change by lowering your carbon footprint.
Not sure how to compost? Well, there are tons of things you can compost. You can compost food scraps such as apple cores, banana peels, and egg shells. You can compost organic material like dead leaves, branches, and twigs. You can even compost household items such as paper towel rolls and egg cartons.
If you own or rent a home you can start a compost pile in your backyard. For a comprehensive guide on outdoor composting check out this great article on the subject from the Kitchn Blog.
Don’t have a house or backyard? No problem! There are plenty of ways to compost in your apartment. If you want an ambitious eco friendly project you can create a homemade Worm Bin. There are also indoor composting bins you can buy such as Bokashi Bins, and Electronic Composters.
If you don’t want to compost in your backyard or apartment many cities have composting programs. Search online to see if your city has either curbside composting or a private composting program. If your city does not have a municipal program many local farmers markets and community gardens have piles you can use.
Going zero waste doesn’t have to be a chore. Try one of the four suggestions above if you’re looking for an eco DIY project that is easy, fun, and great for the environment. If you have your own zero waste projects please share them in the comment section below. Help us make saving the planet more enjoyable for everyone!