From Confetti To Detergent, 10 DIY Zero-Waste Products You Have To Try Making

May 19, 2020

Going zero-waste can be a great way to learn some new simple tips and tricks to do things yourself instead of spending money on items that produce a ton of waste. Here are ten ideas for easy DIY zero-waste products for your home that are environmentally friendly, waste-free, better for your health, and cheaper than store-bought alternatives.

Zero waste

1. Confetti

Oh, how I love confetti. Especially when I can use it to annoy my friends and put it all over their room on their birthday. 😉 But confetti also produces a lot of waste. The confetti itself and the plastic packaging are unnecessary, especially considering that we use the confetti just once. So, how about making eco-friendly confetti at home? All you need is a hole punch and access to nature. Go and grab some big leaves from a nearby tree and use the hole punch to make your biodegradable confetti. In fall you have the option of yellow, green, orange, and red leaves to make things really festive. So easy, isn’t it?

2. Hand Sanitizer

Some DIY zero-waste products could not come more in handy (no pun intended). If not now, when is the time to make your own hand sanitizer? Just a few ingredients are all you need. Mix 2/3 cups of rubbing alcohol with 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel. If you want a nicer smell, add drops of any essential oil. Use a refillable bottle and you will never run out of hand sanitizer anymore.

3. Lip Balm

I have big issues with my lips, especially in winter. They are constantly dry and I apply lip balm all day. But lip balms also produce a ton of waste. An easy alternative is to just mash a few slices of cucumber, apply the mash on your lips and take off after 10 minutes. If you’re feeling super lazy, you could just cut a very thin, round slice (1/16″ thick) and put it over your lips while you go about working at your desk or reading. Nice and refreshing alternative to all these small waste producing lip balms.

4. Toothpaste

I first wasn’t sure about making my own toothpaste. Would my teeth really get clean? The answer is YES. Simply mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of coconut oil. Add some drops of peppermint oil for the taste and store in a little glass container. Clean teeth, fresh breath, zero-waste. All without unnecessary chemicals.

5. Deodorant

This idea is not really DIY but rather a ready-to-use alternative to chemical deodorant. Take a lemon or lime, cut it open and swipe it on your armpits. Be careful if you just shaved, because that can cause irritation. You can use the same lemon or lime for up to a week. If you’d rather use a regular deodorant, check out some of the amazing zero-waste options out there such as from Ben & Anna.

6. Soap

You will need organic soap base as a basis for this recipe. Melt the base in the microwave and add some essential oil. If you want colored soap, add some natural colorant like beet juice. Mix it well and pour into a mold. Let it rest for 48 hours and your soap is ready to use.

7. Powder detergent

All you need for this powder are 100 g grated soap, 150 g washing soda, and 150 g natron. Mix and put in container. Use one tablespoon for each load, two or three if your clothes are really dirty. You can also add one tablespoon of citric acid if you are washing white clothes.

8. Liquid detergent

Mix five tablespoons of grated soap with three tablespoons washing soda and 1 liter of hot water. Fill it in a bottle and that’s it. If you use it for white clothes maybe add one or two tablespoons natron. DO NOT use it for animal derived products such as silk and wool (which I am hoping you don’t possess anyway) 🙂

9. Toilet cleaner

For this simple toilet cleaner you don’t even need to mix anything in advance. Simply pour 3 tablespoons of vinegar into the toilet and then add one tablespoon of natron. The mixture will start to foam. Then you can use the toilet brush to get the foam everywhere. Let it sit for ten minutes, clean it again with the brush and flush. Done!

10. Mosquito repellent

Depending on where you live, mosquito bites can be an absolute nightmare. To protect yourself boil 1 cup of water and add 4 teaspoons of dried herbs. Citronella works great but you can also use peppermint, Spearmint, Lavender, Lemongrass, or a mixture of all. Let it cool and strain it before mixing it with 1 cup of vodka or rubbing alcohol. No more spraying toxic chemicals on your body!

Let me know if these DIY zero-waste products have worked for you and what other tips you have to become more waste free and sustainable. If you are looking for more zero-waste ideas and you need some inspiration what presents you can give your friends for their next birthday, have a look at this post here.

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Photo: pixabay

Rebecca Willems
A self-described queer vegan feminist, Rebecca is also trying to live a more zero-waste and minimalist life. During her undergraduate and graduate studies she put a lot of focus on sustainability, LGBTQ+ rights and gender issues across the globe. Having lived on 5 continents in many different cultures and being an avid traveler, she loves to learn about new cultures, learn languages, and try all the amazing vegan food across the world.


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