Well, after the deodorant, toothpaste, and beauty care products, you might be asking what’s next? You might be taking a deeper look at some of the items that you use regularly and asking “Can I make that?”. The answer is probably yes! Start by taking a closer look at the clothes you wear, the cleaning products you use, the food that you eat… and wondering how hard those things might be to make on your own.
A huge part of my zero waste inspiration came from a love of fabric arts. I knew that fast fashion was pretty horrible for the environment and that making my own clothes was totally possible (I have some basic sewing skills but nothing fancy) but then I started to think about the fabric that I was purchasing to make even those clothes. Where did it come from? Was that something I could make myself? I had some experience weaving so I set out on a year long journey to try and make something that was 100% done on my own. I learned how to source, card, spin, and dye wool. I learned how to weave and knit with hand-spun yarn, and eventually I made a few small items like a scarf and pillowcase. But man, it was hard work! If I was ever to commercialize my efforts, the scarf would have to cost at least $300 just to cover the hours spent in the process. I wouldn’t necessarily call the experience a success but it taught me a lot of skills and also opened my eyes to the true cost of making something seemingly simple.
Luckily, there are a lot of DIY skills you can use to make everyday items that won’t take hours on end! Making your own food from scratch (dumplings are my best success) and basic cleaning products (think vinegar + essential oils or even just orange peels!) is probably easier than you think. And if you’re ready to take your DIY skills to the next level, take a look at knitting, sewing, canning, woodworking or even welding. It may take some time and energy to get going but these are skills that you can carry with you for life and can be worth the investment.
There’s also something special that comes from making things on your own rather than buying them from a store; a deep feeling of accomplishment. Share your new skills and products with friends and family for a serious sense of satisfaction!
Ready to get started exploring other options for DIY projects? Here are some great online resources:
- WikiHow – https://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page
- Doityourself – https://www.doityourself.com/
- DIY Creators on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChKlSK39lLg8eZHIX0iVzLA