If there’s a season especially well-suited for sprucing up your apartment with eco-friendly DIY projects, it’s this one. Signs of life are returning to trees that lost their leaves in the fall. The grass is finally starting to stir. Eventually, wildflowers will dot fields and other open space in many parts of the country.
Spring is the perfect time to inject some eco-friendly life into your home. And we’ve got a few ideas to help you green your apartment without spending heaps of cash or getting help from a professional.
Build a Mini-Greenhouse
Do you have a small herb or vegetable garden in your apartment? If not, do you want to plant and tend one? With a touch of time, a pocketful of change, and a punch of creativity, you can build a greenhouse that will extend your growing season and help your garden flourish.
It can be done in a few easy steps:
- Identify the spot in your apartment that receives the most natural sunlight.
- Figure out how much space you have to work with.
- Weigh the pros and cons of various mini-greenhouse projects. (Depending on how much sunlight your apartment gets, your greenhouse can help you keep some plants alive all year long.)
- Pick your plants!
Small indoor greenhouses can be made cheaply and easily from PVC pipes and plastic sheeting, clear plastic storage bins, or paper cups. Another space-efficient way to achieve the greenhouse effect for plants in your apartment is to install glass shelves in your kitchen or living room window.
Design Your Own Reusable Grocery Bags
With many states and municipalities charging a nominal fee for plastic and paper grocery bags, the incentive to bring reusable bags to the store is higher than ever. If you’ve embraced this trend but want to take it a step further, fashion your own reusable grocery bags from old shirts, flat sheets, or vintage linens. It’s a great way to recycle old clothing, keep plastic out of landfills, and, for some of you, save money.
If you’re anything like me, you leave your dime-a-dozen reusable grocery bags in your apartment more often than you bring them to the store. DIY grocery totes are easy to make. And who knows? If you put the time and effort into making your own, you might actually remember to bring them…especially if you’re happy with the way they turn out!
Install Energy-Efficent Window Shades
Window shades are a fun and easy DIY project for almost any apartment dweller with a creative streak. They’re also a great way to add some of your personality to your apartment decor. Thick, heavy window shades can also minimize heat loss and gain, which ultimately helps you save energy without compromising comfort.
You don’t have to be a DIY all-star in order to design your own energy-efficient window shades. Better Homes & Gardens offers several no-sew window shade designs. Thermal window shades require more work on your behalf, but can still be a quick, cost-effective, and fun DIY project. The greenest way to pull off this project is to use materials you already have. An old comforter, for example, can make for a great insulator. Tablecloths and other textiles can be trimmed and stitched for an aesthetic finish.
Mix Your Own Green Cleaning Agents
Most of the cleaning products you pick up from the supermarket will work as advertised. But many of them are expensive and contain caustic chemicals that can damage your skin and release toxins into the air. Avoid these negative side effects, keep your apartment looking great and smelling fresh, and save money by making your own cleaning products in your apartment.
Lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide can help you keep every nook and cranny of your apartment squeaky clean. Some combination of these natural cleaning agents, most of which are probably already stored in your apartment for other purposes, can help you meet all your cleaning needs. With spring cleaning on the horizon, this is the perfect time to update your collection of cleaning supplies with homemade cleaners made from all-natural ingredients.
Looking to green your apartment this spring? The only limits you face are your apartment community’s living guidelines and your creativity. Hopefully you now have some inspiration. But if you neither need nor want to garden or bulk up the window shades in your apartment, there are plenty of other eco-friendly DIY projects for you to consider.
Whatever DIY project you choose, we wish you the best as you work to green your apartment.
Have you made your apartment a more eco-friendly place with a creative DIY project in the past? Share your advice with fellow apartment dwellers below!
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