The selection of eco-friendly products is growing. While it's nice to have the option of reducing one's carbon footprint, choosing to be eco-friendly can be expensive. Sometimes the product is one-hundred percent worth the money. But if you want to save a little cash, here's a list of eco-friendly devices that anyone can make. The best part is, most of the materials are recycled from things you already have at home.

1. Reusable Shopping Bag

 

reusable shopping bag


Okay, these may seem a little overdone. But that's one thing in their favor; you've seen them made enough times you can probably tell yourself with confidence, “Hey, I bet I could make that."  These adorable print-yourself market bags from Cakies can be whipped up and ready to hit the grocery store in a single morning.
 

2. A Bag Made of Bags

 

bag made of bags


In case you were wondering how you could ever redeem the abundance of plastic shopping bags you have stuffed somewhere, here’s how.  Craft Penguin provides a simple tutorial (with pictures) on one of my favorite ways to repurpose plastic shopping bags.
 

3. Produce Bag

 

Produce Bag


Not quite the reusable shopping bag, the reusable produce bag has often been overlooked. It always feels a little funny to bring a reusable bags while still using the plastic bags in the produce section. One easy way to avoid this is to not use a bag for items you are only getting one or two or three of.  Another solution is to save the plastic netting bags that these various produce items come in: sweet potatoes, grapefruit, oranges, onions, lemons, apples, etc. Buy a few of these items in bulk and you are all set on produce bags for days!  For some other clever uses of these bags, check out this page at Frugal Village.


4. Coffee Holder

 

Coffee Holder


This adorable and easy idea from That Artist Woman makes a great personalized gift. It can also be made in a variety of colors to last the week! It may not seem like much, but every little effort counts.
 

5.  Paper(less) Towels

 

Paperless Towels


These are bound to be an everyday-use item. This tutorial from De Jong Dream House is chock-full of instruction and pictures that may just motivate you to create a roll or two of paperless towels! Start small—you don’t have to stop using paper towels altogether, just introduce the reusable towels alongside your regular ones, and your paper-towel usage is sure to shrink.
 

6. Reusable Swiffer Pads

 

Swiffer Pads


This tutorial’s simplicity will balance out the multi-step project of the paperless towels­—two minutes and you’re done! Follow these instructions from The Creek Line House and you’ll have washable, reusable, eco-friendly Swiffer pads in minutes.
 

7. Reusable Snack Baggies

 

Snack Baggies


This sweet and simple tutorial from Happy Hour Projects is yet another use of the plastic shopping bag! Save yourself the money and stop wasting plastic snack bags with these little guys instead.
 

8. Oilcloth “Brown Bag” Lunch Sack

 

"Brown Bag" Lunch


Martha Stewart
provides a thorough tutorial on how to make your own reusable “brown bag” lunch sack. Your kids may feel too cool for a lunch box, but you don’t have to cave to the brown bag routine.  Create a simple reusable bag (or two!) for your kids (or you!) in lieu of the paper bag. They are so cute and simple, your budget and the trees will thank you.


If you’re not in it to "being green", that’s okay. These ideas are not only eco-friendly, but also extremely cost effective. You and your kids will have fun creating them together, whatever the reason!

 

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