Image by: Kirsty Hall
More and more of us are becoming concerned with living a sustainable existence after so many years of just taking from our Earth. Gone are the days where you simply threw your trash in the trash can – this is the time of recycling, upcycling and reusing!
However, green living doesn’t have to be a chore. Yes, it’s a little more effort, but there are some simple DIY projects you can use to decrease your carbon footprint and increase your positive effect on the environment around you.
1. Build a Compost Heap
Composting is one of the simplest ways to ensure your food and garden waste is put to good use, and won’t end up in landfill. Make sure you’re only composting fruit, vegetable and garden waste, as any animal produce (meat, dairy, eggs) can attract pests.
It’s best to keep your compost heap to a size of 5ftor less so it can heat up and decompose evenly, and so you avoid any putrification. Compost needs good air circulation, so start your heap off on a base of reclaimed bricks, in rows spaced 4in apart. Wooden pallets work especially well as the sides of your compost bin, as the gaps allow the air to circulate – just make a 4 sided frame, connecting the 3 of the 4 pallets with L-brackets, and then the last with hinges to make a door.
Then simply fill with your compost materials and let it mulch down into great food for your garden.
2. Make a Recycling Sorter Bin
Recycling can often be forgotten purely for the fact that there’s nowhere to hand to keep recycling – unless you spend a lot of money on a plastic store-bought one. Instead, create one yourself out of a triple compartment metal-framed laundry basket.
Simply take the measurements of the laundry basket frame, and create a four-sided box – preferably out of reclaimed wood – to contain it, securing with sturdy L-brackets. Create a split lid with the same wood, ensuring that it will allow you to access each basket individually, and attach each of the three parts of the lid with 2 hinges. Put your laundry basket in, and label each lid ‘Metal,’ ‘Plastic’ and ‘Paper.’
The laundry bags can be removed individually to empty the contents, and can also be washed when they get grimy.
- Remove your home’s window screens when the winter comes. Screens shut out a third of the sunlight from your home, so removing them can mean your home gets warmer with the solar radiation, and you use less energy for heating.
- Sew a thick backing or blackout material onto the back of your curtains – it will help your home retain temperature in the nights.
- Clean you boiler or furnace’s heat exchanger before the cooler season. Grime builds up on this over the year and makes it far less efficient.
- Fill your fridge or freezer to the brim, as when they’re full they work far more efficiently. Cutting your weekly shop down to once a fortnight also means less petrol if you have to drive to your local supermarket!
What have you done to your home to supplement a greener lifestyle?
Estelle Page is an interior designer with a love for green projects. She blogs whenever she’s not running around after her kids, or deciding where her oak dining table should go in her new kitchen.