7 DIY eco-friendly products
As part of our sustainable series, here's seven DIY eco-friendly products that will reduce single-use plastic and your impact on the planet.
Throughout our sustainable series, we'll be focusing on all the little ways you can help the planet and become more eco-friendly. Today, we've gathered 7 eco-friendly products so you can reduce your plastic usage and live a little greener, and the best part? Most of these you can craft yourself making them affordable, fun to make, and fab stash buster projects. We've included everything from reusable dishcloths to crochet makeup pads and many of the patterns are beginner-friendly. There's plenty of ways you can become more sustainable (check out our eco-friendly Christmas crafts for festive suggestions) but these eco-friendly products are a simple way to get started.
Feature image taken from Botanical Inks extract in Mollie Makes issue 103.
DIY eco-friendly products
By knitting or crocheting your own dishcloths you'll reduce your wastage and your yarn stash (make sure you tag us in your pictures for #molliestashchallenge). Sponge scourers and plastic brushes are really bad for the planet, taking years to biodegrade. But, by making your own dishcloths which you can fling in the wash, you're helping cut down on plastic and single-use items. Head over to our dishcloth crochet pattern to hook up your own.
2. Crochet makeup remover pads
Makeup and beauty products are some of the easiest products to swap. There's plenty of eco-friendly products out there in the beauty sphere but we wanted to give you some more handmade versions! Use our reusable cotton pads pattern alongside our wash bag pattern to make your own sustainable beauty options.
3. Wooden toothbrushes
Did you know it can take over 400 years for a single toothbrush to decompose? They're a necessity but they're terrible for the planet which is why we love that wooden toothbrushes are now all the rage. There's loads of different ones on the market but we love BamBearCo's bamboo toothbrushes on Etsy. They're made from 100% untreated biodegradable bamboo and are completely compostable. They also have a wonderful initiative which means for every four brushes sold, they plant one tree in an area suffering from deforestation in return. Your bathroom's never been so clean or green.
4. Reusable tea bags
Tea bags can be harmful since many high street brands are sealed with polypropylene, a type of sealing plastic which keeps the tea leaves in. Not only is this plastic harmful to the environment but it's not exactly what you want in your morning brew.
That's why we're switching to reusable teabags which can be filled with local, organic tea leaves. Easily washable, these little tea bags are a nifty weekend project which you can sew yourself thanks to Happiest Camper's free pattern. They'd also make great gifts for any eco-loving pals.
5. Bars of soap
Back in the day, we all had bars of soap to keep us clean, but now they've been swapped out for plastic containers full of liquid. It's time to switch back and start using natural soaps which make you feel fresh and smell lovely. We show you how to make soap at home here on Gathered.
These soaps also double up as a lovely handmade present, but remember, most wrapping paper isn't recyclable. So why not use Becki Clark's naturally dyed gift wrap tutorial? Lavender-infused soap wrapped in strawberry scented fabric? We can smell spring already.
6. Beeswax wraps
More than 1.2 billion metres, equating to 745,000 miles, of cling film is used every year and most of it is unrecyclable. This means the wrapping of your BLT can end up in the ocean and can be fatal to marine life. So swap your clingfilm for reusable tubs and containers or, our personal fave, beeswax wraps. They're all over the market but since we love the DIY approach, we've been making our own! Use up that fabric you've been squirreling away and follow our how-to make beeswax wraps video tutorial.
7. Natural surface cleaning
Last but not least is cleaning products. Many cleaning products include harsh chemicals and toxins which aren't only damaging to the planet, but also humans, causing skin or breathing problems. Hello Glow has a whole section on their blog dedicated to homemade, natural cleaning products. They use ingredients like lemon, white vinegar and tea tree oil to keep your surfaces shiny. Check out their list of DIYs below.
- Homemade Grapefruit All-Purpose Cleaner
- Lavender Sage All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
- Bleach Alternatives
- Homemade Cleaning Wipes
Even if you make just one of our eco-friendly products, you'll be starting on your green living journey. Share your swaps and other eco advice with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And remember to get involved with #molliestashchallenge – our fortnight-long Insta challenge where we'll be sharing patterns and prompts, encouraging you to go eco by using up your stash instead of buying new. Head over to our sustainable crafts for more eco projects.
Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.