5 fun craft ideas to help you reduce your household waste
Reducing your household waste needn’t be a chore! Try your hand at a few of these easy craft ideas
If you’re anything like the team here at Vegan Life Magazine, you’re no doubt doing everything you can to reduce your impact on the environment. Scott Hawthorne, from waste management solutions provider SkipsAndBins.com, shares his tips for giving your old stuff a new lease of life, so you can reduce the amount of waste you’re sending to landfill.
These days, we’re all becoming much more aware of the effect that our household waste is having on the planet, and doing what we can to try to cut back on the amount that we’re producing.
While lots of materials can now be recycled — including most types of glass, card and certain plastics — many of the items in your household waste bin will still end up in a landfill or an incinerator, neither or which is great for the environment.
So, it’s always best to try to reduce, re-use, and recycle wherever you possibly can. One way to do this is by repurposing your household waste into supplies for craft projects. This way, you can turn your rubbish into brand new items, and have a bit of fun while you’re at it.
Here, I’ve shared five crafty projects that will help you to reduce the amount of stuff you’re throwing out.
Turn old containers into a kitchen garden
Even if you’re careful to buy foods without packaging whenever you can, it’s not always possible to completely avoid it. But that doesn’t mean you need to throw those used cans, jars, and plastic food containers away.
Once you’ve washed off the label, these containers are often the ideal size and shape for compact plants like thyme, basil, cress, or other herbs and flowers.
So, why not upcycle them into a kitchen garden? All you need to do is wash them thoroughly, remove the label, and add a little compost and some seeds.
You can even jazz your new planters up a bit by adding a lick of paint.
Turn old bottles into wildlife-friendly garden accessories
Here in the UK, we throw out around 7.7 billion plastic bottles every year, many of which will end up in landfills, rivers, and oceans (Water.org).
So, if you have some empty plastic bottles to throw away, why not upcycle them instead?
By making a few simple adjustments to an old plastic bottle and adding some nuts and seeds, you can turn an empty plastic bottle into a bird feeder that will nourish our feathered friends through the winter months.
Check out this YouTube video from Eco Sapien to learn how to make a bird feeder.
Make gift bags from old newspapers
If you read a lot of newspapers or magazines, you’ll probably always have a few stacks of old issues lying around the house. So, why not turn them into some quirky gift bags?
They look very unique and whimsical, and are sure to impress your friends and loved ones — especially when they find out you made them yourself!
And, you won’t need to buy new gift bags, which will save you some money, too. To learn how to make these, read this guide from How About Orange.
Turn jars into homemade candles
Glass jars are recyclable, but they can be upcycled in all sorts of ways, too: you can re-use them as storage jars, or to make your own preserves and jams. You can also turn them into homemade candles.
To do this, all you need is some wicks, some candle wax pellets, and maybe some essential oils or candle fragrance oils. Be sure to find pellets that don’t contain real beeswax, though — soy versions are cruelty-free and better for the environment.
Take a look at this beginner’s guide from The Spruce Crafts to learn more about making candles.
Jar candles have a whimsical charm as they are but, if you like, you can add some decoration to the finished candles to make them even more stylish. For example, you could tie a strip of fabric and some ribbon or string around it: lace works very well for this, because it creates an interesting play of light and shadow when the candle is lit.
These make beautiful gifts and are all the more special because they’ve been made by hand.
Transform old rags into pretty homewares
If you have any old clothes that are past their best and can’t be sold or donated, don’t throw them away just yet! Scraps and rags of old textiles can be used in all sorts of sewing projects.
With just a needle and thread, you can transform unwanted clothes into all sorts of new stuff, like tote bags, bunting, cushions, or scrunchies.
If you’re up for taking on a bigger sewing project, you could even turn a bag of old scraps into a patchwork quilt that will look wonderful draped across a bed or sofa.
Take a look at this guide for beginners from the Guardian to learn where to get started.
Words by Scott Hawthorne, SkipsAndBins.com