WOODEN KITCHEN UTENSILS
Draw an outline of a spoon, fork, and knife on three 3/4-by-2-by-6-inch maple boards with a pencil. Saw along the pencil lines using a band saw to cut out the three utensil outlines. Carve out the shapes of the utensils. Hollow out the bowl of the spoon using a medium gouge chisel. Carve the fork tines so that they are flat and slightly rounded on the edges. Sand all of the surfaces of the utensils with medium-grit sandpaper until the surfaces are smooth.
SEW AND DESIGN YOUR OWN BAG
- Heavy-duty fabric, such as canvas or upholstery fabric
- Sewing machine
- Choose some heavy fabric – canvas or upholstery-grade cotton. Measure out a long rectangle for the bag. Measure out two long rectangles for handles – 6 inches wide. Sew the handles – fold the long edges of your rectangle into the middle, fold in half then topstitch it together.
- Sew a half-inch seam along the short ends of your long rectangle on each side (they need to face each other when you fold the edges together) and attach the handles 4 inches in from the edge on the sides with the seam. Fold the good sides together and close the two long sides (the bottom of the bag is made up of the fold, which is why you cut a long rectangle).
ELIMINATE COOTIES, DIY BOTTLE
This one is easy and only requires some non toxic permanent paint and some creativity. Grab your paints, a stainless steel or glass bottle and get colorful!
NON TOXIC AND ZERO VOC PAINT
No, we’re not asking you to make your own paint – although creating your own stains and dyes from berries, fruits, and items such as mustard is really fun and easy. Here are our recommendations for purchasing zero VOC non toxic paint:
- First, look for an EPA registration number on paint cans. The EPA only regulates paints that contain toxic ingredients. For the same reason, stay away from paints regulated or restricted by OSHA or DOT.
- Understand the difference between no or low-VOC paint, and non-toxic, natural paint. Low VOC paints still contain harmful chemicals and can irritate the eyes, throat, lungs and skin.
- Read the ingredients. Non-toxic interior paints contain natural, non-hazardous products like plant dyes, essential oils, milk protein, clay and resin.
- Add a natural color tint. Color tints usually increase a paint’s VOC content. Buy non-toxic paint products for interior project start-to-finish. Paint companies sell non-toxic primers, sealers and paint strippers.
- Be prepared to spend a bit more but know that protecting yourself, your family and the environment is worth the additional cost.
DIY T-SHIRT PRODUCE BAG
- Heavy-weight cotton T-shirt
- Sewing machine
- Medium-size bowl
- Water-erasable marking pen
- Turn T-shirt inside out and pin bottom of the T-shirt along the hem. Using a sewing machine, sew bottom of T-shirt closed. Flip shirt right side out and lay flat on table, making sure all seams are lined up.
- Place medium-size bowl about half-way over the neck hole. Using a water-erasable marking pen, trace along the edge of the bowl. Cut along the outline, making sure to go through the front and back sides of the shirt, in order to create an opening for the bag that’s larger than what the neck hole allows.
- Line up the hems on the front and back side of the sleeve and cut, making sure to go through both sides of the shirt. Repeat on the other sleeve.
MAKE YOUR OWN SHOWER CURTAIN
- Measure your shower stall before you get started. Choose your fabric and purchase six yards.
- The next step is to cut out the panels. Each panel should be cut to 88 inches in length.
- Cut two panels, and then cut one of those two panels in half again. Then, pin the panels together. Once pinned, sew the panels together.
- Trim and finish edges.
- Cut the width to 80 inches, allowing for a 4 inch seam, and leave the length at 88 inches allowing for a hem of 8 inches.Using a T-square will make the process much smoother.
- After cutting, finish off the edges by first ironing in a crease, then stitching them with a zigzag to prevent unraveling.
- Add Grommets to the top so that you can hang your curtain. Place the first grommet 3 inches from the end, then place the rest six inches apart.
- Insert the shower curtain hooks of your choice, install a bar, and hang.
NON TOXIC TOYS
Mix all ingredients in a pot. Cook and stir over low/medium heat until dough is formed and no longer sticking (too much) to the side of the pan. Allow to cool and when it’s not too hot for you to touch, knead it until you have a smooth dough. This is the time to add coloring if you’re going to use it. Knead until color is distributed throughout. Store in an airtight container.
MAKE A GREENHOUSE
- Measuring tape
- Marking paint
- 18 feet of 1/2-inch flexible PVC pipe
- Hack saw
- Plastic sheeting
- 6 2-foot long 3/8-inch rebar stakes
- Binder clips
- Measure your flower or vegetable garden. This example is for a garden that is 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. Mark it with marking paint and then place 2-foot long 3/8-inch rebar stakes in each corner of the flower bed, hammering them into place with a heavy mallet. Hammer the stakes 18 inches into the ground.
- Cut 1/2-inch flexible PVC pipe into three 6-foot sections using a hack saw.
- Create the skeleton of the greenhouse by sliding one end of the PVC pipe over a stake, and then arch the PVC to reach the other side of the bed and rebar stake. Slip the other end of the PVC pipe over the stake. Repeat this process with the two remaining pieces of PVC pipe, giving you three hoops over the bed.
- Drape plastic sheeting over the hoops and cut it to fit. Ensure that you leave 20 inches of sheeting past the base of the hoops so you can secure it.
- Roll the excess sheeting toward the greenhouse and weigh down all of the edges with bricks.
- Use binder clips to clip the plastic sheeting to the hoops. This will ensure that your greenhouse covering will stay in place, even on the windiest of days.
MAKE YOUR OWN WASTE FREE LUNCH KIT
The cheapest route is to make your own; which also is the most creative, customizable, and fun. There are also lunch kits available online with all the parts for $40-$70. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own!
- Sewing machine
- Craft glue
- For the bag – Cut a 12- to 16-inch section from a pant leg.
- Leave the side seams intact. Fold a 1/2-inch strip to the inside of the sack, around the top.
- Sew the strip down using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, to form a casing.
- Leave a small opening the casing. Thread a 3-foot long cord through the casing and tie the 2 ends together.
- Cut another piece of fabric from the pants that is 1/2-inch bigger than the pant leg’s circumference.
- Turn the pant leg inside out. Pin the piece of material to the bottom of the bag.
- Sew the bottom to the pant leg. Flip the bag right side out. Decorate the bag with patches, iron-ons and buttons.
- Let your child customize the bag. Do not sew through both layers of material when attaching buttons.
- Attach buttons, sequins and rhinestones with fabric glue.
- Now just piece together the remaining elements. Pyrex containers, stainless steel bottle for a drink, bamboo or metal utensils (or try making your own – link here).
PLASTIC FREE FOOD STORAGE
There are a number of non-plastic, non toxic products on the market that effectively store fruits and veggies – there’s also some tricky and unique ways to store specific items. We’ve included a few below but check out the link below to download a document for even more ideas.
Apples – store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.
Pears – will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
Avocados – place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening – place an apple in the bag with them.
Carrots – cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.