Take a moment to think about how many items you throw away each day. It really adds up, doesn’t it? Of course, it’s a shame all that waste goes into a landfill, but it’s also unfortunate that you’re discarding objects that are more useful than you realize!
Though you shouldn’t feel guilty every time you toss something out — hoarding is its own problem — there are a lot of valuable items you could be repurposing. Following these green DIY ideas will undoubtedly make your life better, plus the planet will thank you too.
1. Good fences make good neighbors, but this is a great fence. Rather than buy fresh wood, this carpenter used old doors, creating a neat funhouse effect around the yard.
2. Any veterans out there will appreciate this tip. If you’re unsure about what to do with all your old uniforms, take a page out of this book and make them into a cat bed cover! Your new superior officers (the kitties) will appreciate your service.
3. Some dads are handier around the house than others, but this former airline pilot came up with a nifty idea. Rather than throwing away his stacks of maps, he put them to good use as wrapping paper. That’s first-class service!
4. Most people wouldn’t view a $4 t-shirt as anything special, except for standard laundry day attire. However, this DIY-designer turned the bland shirt into a highly stylish collared dress! By the looks of this photo, she’s about to step out on the catwalk.
5. Even the best photographers have bits of film that don’t develop properly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve lost their artistic potential. For example, they can serve as perfectly framed canvases for miniature paintings.
6. In an effort to convert to a zero-plastic household, these innovators repurposed some empty whiskey bottles. They say that it not only offers a more sustainable option but also that “it helps our house look more rock n’ roll.”
7. If you want a pair of shoes that are inexpensive and eco-friendly, look no further. This African entrepreneur makes comfy sandals out of old tires. Most impressively, he can size customers up to the nearest millimeter without needing any measuring tools!
8. Most of us likely haven’t sat in a shopping cart for decades. However, that can all change once you realize that with a bit of DIY magic, any cart can transform into durable patio furniture! One note: it wouldn’t hurt to toss some cushions on those steel chairs.
9. Don’t feel ashamed if you’re one of those people who keeps out their Christmas decorations way too long. By carefully stringing up these lights — and skipping the disposable tree altogether — you’ll have a gift that just keeps on giving.
10. We wouldn’t recommend that you stop bathing to help save the Earth. However, there are little things you can do. For instance, you can make your own shampoo bars, which will cut out the plastic bottles and only cost you $20 per year.
11. Each year, we get a torrent of holiday cards in our mailboxes, often from people we barely know. Nevertheless, they could be more useful than you’d think. With a little bit of cutting, you can salvage a bunch of gift tags to use the following year.
12. Libraries often resort to dumping out old or duplicate books, but this branch came up with a novel alternative. They formed stacks of vintage hardcovers into stools. Even if they’re no longer being read, these tomes are giving people a place to read.
13. At just about any store, you can blow a few bucks on a drawer organizer that may or may not fit inside your furniture. Or, you can make a fully customizable version out of old cardboard. Put those boxes in your basement or attic to good use!
14. In some hidden corner of our homes, many of us have stashed away a giant bundle of plastic grocery bags, which we someday hope to recycle. Finally, here’s a way to make that wish come true — just weave them into a reusable shopping bag like this one.
15. There’s no sight more hilarious than a little kid putting on adult-sized clothes. However, there is a sensible idea buried somewhere in all those folds of fabric. Some crafty folks have taken old dress shirts and cut baby clothes right out of the middle!
16. Reusable bags tend to be pretty cheap, but do you know what’s even cheaper? Making your own! This Redditor simply took an old pet food bag and added a handle to make a trendier accessory than you’d find in any store.
17. More so than any other article of clothing, t-shirts really pile up. But instead of just tossing your oldies in the trash, consider sewing them into a quilt! You can experiment with colors and patterns to make it a future family heirloom.
18. For most people, there’s no trash more commonplace than dead leaves on the ground. But did you know that they can make some all-natural confetti? This project is perfect for any mountain man throwing a surprise party.
19. We may not always realize it, but even the smallest components of everyday objects can be mighty when properly utilized. Just look at this mom, who knitted an entire scarf out of nothing but tea bag string! If she’s lucky, that scarf will smell like chamomile.
20. After a huge dinner party, this Redditor’s friends were about to toss a huge turkey carcass in the trash. Luckily, she grabbed it and made over a dozen jars of savory stock from it! We bet you never thought the word ‘carcass’ could be so appetizing!