14 Easy Eco Friendly Project Ideas

By Brittni • Updated on 04/14/2024

Eco friendly projects to celebrate Earth Day and beyond.

6 DIY ideas for eco friendly projects that help reduce waste and reuse items you already have in your recycling bin

Earth Day is around the corner (April 22nd). So, today I wanted to share a handful of eco friendly projects that will help you reduce waste and make a small, but meaningful, impact overtime.

The best part about these DIY ideas though is that they all use items that you probably already have in your home.

So, you (most likely) won’t have to buy a single thing to remake one of these eco friendly ideas.

Eco Friendly Project Ideas to Reduce Waste

These six projects will help you reduce your waste, while using what you already have.

From household pantry staples that can be used to clean the house to reusable grocery totes from old t-shirts, there’s something for everyone.

Hope you find something on this list that inspires you to make a swap!

A small stack of cloth unpaper towels on a white table with a bottle of cleaner behind it.

1. Using unpaper towels as a replacement for regular paper towels.

I’ve talked about my switch from regular paper towels here many times. But I will never stop because it’s honestly not as hard as you may think.

And overtime, it’s really a helpful change for the environment.

My DIY unpaper towels are a great way to use up scrap fabric to help make this change as easy as possible.

There’s a sewn version (my fave) and a no-sew version too for anyone without a sewing machine.

Spraying natural cleaner from a spray bottler onto the window.

2. Using homemade natural cleaning products when possible.

I shared 3 ideas for natural cleaning products a while back, that includes an all-purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner, and a natural room spray.

I’m willing to bet you have the materials in your home already to make at least two of the three cleaners in that post. And they work really well too!

Have you tried homemade natural cleaners before?

Running water over a dish in the sink, using a natural jute dish scrubber.

3. Swapping out your old sponge for a DIY natural dish scrubber.

This is one of my most used eco friendly projects to date and probably one of my favorites too!

These DIY dish scrubbers are made out of one single material, jute! And that’s it!

There are no other supplies needed to make one of these scrubbers and each one lasts a really long time. Months and months!

But the best part? When you’re ready to swap it out for a new one, your old jute dish scrubber is completely compostable.

So you can feel good about replacing it with a new one when you need to.

Closeup photo of striped grocery bag made out of a t-shirt.

4. Making easy reusable grocery bags from old t-shirts.

This grocery tote project is so incredibly easy.

Beginning sewers, you can absolutely do this one!

And all you need is an old t-shirt, a pair of scissors, and a sewing machine. You can make a single strap tote or a two strap bag.

Either way, you’re helping to replace single use plastic grocery bags.

Detail photo of DIY utensil wrap, with wooden utensils and reusable straw inside.

5. Bringing a DIY utensil wrap on the go to help replace single use plastics, like straws and plastic silverware.

Load this DIY utensil wrap up with a reusable straw and reusable utensils and you’re ready for anything.

Toss it in your purse or leave it in your car and you’ll never be without a reusable option when you’re on the go.

Reusable produce bags for the grocery store, with apples coming out of it.

6. Sewing reusable produce bags for trips to the grocery store.

Last but not least…these reusable produce bags are super easy to make.

And they’re not just for produce either – use them for purchasing bulk items too – like nuts, oats, seeds, etc.

colorful abstract artwork made with cereal box cardboard and a pair of scissors

More DIY Eco Friendly Projects (Recycled Materials)

7. Cereal Box Art

Here are a handful of additional eco friendly projects that give recycled materials new life.

Make a little DIY wall art using leftover cardboard from cereal boxes and kids art supplies. You can even make a matching game, with some of the smaller leftover pieces.

modern abstract artwork made with scrap canvas cut into small shapes to create a design, sitting on a wood desk 

8. Scrap fabric art work.

Plus, 6 more cool art ideas that can be DIYed. Many of which use recycled materials, like this one that uses leftover canvas to create an abstract piece of wall art.

large plant leaves with holes punched in them to create biodegradable confetti for parties and celebrations

9. Biodegradable confetti with leaves

Throwing a party for little ones or celebrating Earth Day? Try making biodegradable confetti instead of buying premade confetti. 

child holding toy fish made of colorfully painted egg carton pieces

10. Reusing egg cartons for kids crafts

With a young kid of my own I always enjoy a cute egg carton craft.

This one I made with the help of my son – egg carton fish that he can pretend he caught with a (stick) fishing pole.

Great for imaginative play and didn’t cost any money at all. Plus, it reuses an item that might otherwise be discarded.

Person making a paper bow for a present out of recycled magazine scraps

11. Magazine clippings to bows for presents

Grab an old magazine and learn how to make a bow for birthday presents and parties. The end result is cute, cheerful, and most importantly made of recycle scrap paper, so you’re not wasting any extra paper for wrapping presents. 

organized child's room with cute stuffed animals and a book shelf that has crafting storage

12. Shoebox DIY idea

This shoebox project is a fun way to reuse the box after getting a new pair of shoes. Works great for kid size shoeboxes, as well as adults.

small patterned planter with succulent inside sitting on a desk

13. Planters made from tin cans

Grab a can from your pantry and some scrap fabric and you can make a cute vase or planter in just a few minutes. Here’s the tutorial for the cute can DIY vases and planters.

woman holding small zipper pouch made of denim with a striped shirt on 

14. And a recycled jeans project

Have an old pair of jeans that are about to get tossed? Turn them into shorts and with the leftover material, make a zipper pouch.

Cute reusable products that are eco friendly.

Prefer to buy than DIY, when it comes to eco friendly products?

I totally get it. There are some items that you just can’t DIY.

So I rounded up 24 eco friendly reusable products that are actually super cute. So you can help reduce your waste without sacrificing style.

6 comments | Click here to reply

I enjoyed this post thank you for the inspiration
Kathy

Kathy

I love that you talked about how to make our lifestyles more eco-friendly! Recently, my wife and I started to think about how we contribute to our environmental impact. We want to produce less waste and help our community, so we’ll be sure to follow your tips.

Eli Richardson

You made a good point that reusable grocery bags would help a lot in reducing waste significantly. I’m thinking about hiring green waste management solutions for the grocery business I’m planning to open someday. Minimizing the use of plastic will surely give my business a good reputation.

Alice Carroll

I think it’s just great!! Incredible work!!

Nippon

Hi Jennifer. I would imagine that any bacteria would be removed after it’s washed in the washing machine and dried for reuse. And cloth would be just as flammable as paper? But it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. And if that’s all you’re using paper towels for, that’s a major reduction on what the average household uses, so that’s awesome.
-Brittni

Brittni

The only thing I use paper towels for is under tofu after frying to soak up oil and to dry off chicken after brining. I would worry about using cloth paper towels this way? Flammable? Bacteria?

Jennifer
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