From The Vault: You Made This

Making it yourself is at the core of a sustainable lifestyle. Are you ready to roll your sleeves up?

We humans evolved from our simian roots by becoming toolmakers, so it’s no surprise that crafting – building, recycling or even just splashing paint across a wall – is a deeply empowering experience. Let’s look at seven examples of taking matters into your own hands.

Try volunteering. I know, I know, this is not what people usually think of for fun, but my husband has shown me otherwise. He regularly volunteers for behind-the-scenes help at music festivals and expo’s, which means he meets lots of great people and attends the event for free. I’ve done it with him and I have to admit, it’s more fun than simply buying a ticket and being part of the audience.

Broke? 20 Fun Things to Do without Spending a Dime

At the moment, I am battling the worst cold I’ve had in years. Yes, it is so bad that I have dragged myself out of bed to work, hoping that it will distract me from the constant sneezing, headache, and a nose that feels like it should be tied off. Work will save me, right?

In this case, yes! Because as fate would have it, I’ve been tasked to research homemade cold and flu remedies. The fact that fate also reduced my New Year’s Eve celebration to being shaken awake at midnight by my boyfriend to learn 2010 had arrived is beside the point. Who doesn’t want to celebrate amidst a pile of Puffs with lotion? After all, a bad cold on New Year’s Day means a year of good luck, right?

5 Foolproof Cold & Flu Remedies You Can Make Yourself


Personal Sustainability in a Recession: There is only so much we can do to control the world around us so the best place to start going green and saving money is in your own life, home and expenses.

Specific Sustainability and Money-Saving Tips: Once you decide on general strategies for going green you will need these – an arsenal of 25 essential tips for actually making your life greener.

Daily Ways to Go Green: Sustainable options stare us in the face every day, from how we travel to how we transport our foods and work with what we have. Here are some common-sense tips for going green daily.

The Recessionista’s Ultimate Green Do-It-Yourself Guide

True, we are still living in a material world, but cotton grown with pesticides is no longer the fabric of our lives.

The green movement is making huge strides replacing toxins and waste in the marketplace with organic fibers like bamboo and hemp, as well as good old corn starch, throw-away cork and used paper.

The brave, new soldiers of eco industry believe enough is enough when it comes to creating more waste and adding to our grossly overflowing landfills and plastic islands. Bet you do, too!

Instead, the trend has been to meet a growing consumer demand for renewable and reusable resources, seeking out the scraps of industry (glass, cork and plastic bottles) and growing plants without pesticides to make healthy fibers with no trace of petroleum.

A Handy Reference Guide to the 20 Greenest Materials

Is there a hole in the heart of that beloved camel cashmere from your freshman year at Stanford?

Don’t become unraveled! The crafty set – people like Stefanie Girard, who wrote Sweater Surgery – take the green approach to spinning yarns, reconfiguring new objects d’smart from those ratty pullovers that once warmed our bones.

Handwash your old sweater (I like to use baby shampoo) and treat it for unsightly coffee or red wine stains. Then circumvent those Jarlsberg cheese holes in the wool and make something cool!

Operation Old Sweater: 10 Great DIY Resources

Is the economy beating you up? It’s time to get creative. Next time you have an ache or pain, forget about a costly trip to the drugstore and test drive some of your grandmother’s remedies instead. It’ll save money and be gentler on your body and the environment. Recessionistas (and Gents), welcome to the DIY medicine cabinet.

Best Natural Remedies for the 15 Most Common Aches, Pains and Health Complaints

There’s a new crop of gardeners on the scene: they’re young, handsome, and they know their way around a pile of dirt. Some are latter-day hunter-gatherers and others are aesthetic geeks who drool over orchids like some dudes salivate over fantasy football trades.

The guy gardener is not an entirely original phenomenon. In the United States, The Men’s Garden Clubs of America (TGOA/MGCA) was first established in 1932 to promote camaraderie among men and facilitate community beautification as well as gardening education. Today, the organization has more than 2,800 members, though due to organizational changes in 1992, women are now amongst that number.

Manscaping: These Guys Have Stems Attached

Main image: rintakumpu

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.