D is for DIY products

I’m not talking about heading down to B&Q and buying a tool kit here. My DIY projects are much easier, don’t come with screws or instruction manuals you’ll lose and are good for the environment.

I’m glad I finally have a chance to talk about this topic. A while ago I watched this video that was posted on Reddit. It was filmed 2000 miles from the nearest human civilisation and saw birds living on an island. Scientists dissected some of these birds to look at their diets and found horrific amounts of plastic in their stomachs. Bottle top, pieces of toys, packaging and more. Here were a group of birds living as far away from humans as they could be and dying from our man-made products.

DIY productsSince then I have been consciously seeking ways to reduce my consumption of plastic goods, and some things are far easier to eliminate than others. When it comes to plastic consumption, the packaging is usually a bigger problem than the product, such as shampoo, fabric wash, washing up liquid, cleaning products, etc (although they all contain harmful chemicals too, also damaging), and many of these things are items we can’t just stop using, unless we want to attract some funny looks…

What we can do though, is reduce the need to buy them. I’ve switched from shower gel and handwash to bars of soap with only a scrap of recyclable cardboard packaging to worry about, and I have gone one step further in making my own stuff for some products.

Laundry detergent is a ridiculously easy one to do, it works just as well and some people claim it can get your costs of a wash down to something tiny like 5p.

Body scrubs, lip balms, moisturisers and household cleaners can all be made with things that are likely already to be in your kitchen cupboards.

I know lots of people are dubious about this type of thing, and concerned about the ‘hippiness’ of it all, but do me one tiny thing after reading this: Grab a lemon or another citrus fruit, chop it in half and go and wipe it across your bathroom sink. Then tell me if it didn’t just clean it a million times better than a costly cleaner does.

The recipes for DIY products are endless. Just a quick Google search will give you an extensive list, but here is one I’ve found that is particularly good.

The craft element to making your own stuff and storing it in hand-decorated containers is pretty fun too, and even better for the environment if you can reuse old jars. So I’d like to propose that my readers pick out just one thing to try making themselves, and see if they prefer it to a shop-bought product. Save some money, save some plastic, save some birds, and tell me what you’ve tried!

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