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


Going green – we hear it so often, but what does it really mean to go green? In some cases it’s about much more than making a global impact on a local scale: it can also be a way to save money during a recession, try something new and learn through doing. From self- to home-improvement, design to decor, here are dozens of carefully chosen, essential ways to craft an eco-friendly lifestyle that are good for you, your pocketbook and the planet.

Overall Strategies for Personal Sustainability in a Recession


(Image via: Tracy Olsen)

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.

Giving Green: Eco-Friendly Presents on a Budget


(Images via: RobLee and ArtzyViva)

Cheap and Eco-Friendly Gifts: You don’t want to come off as a cheapskate, so hide your frugality and do something good by giving a green gift that still fits within your personal budget.

Giving Meaningful and Green Gifts: The kind of gifts we give say a lot about who we are as people. Sure, there are thoughtful object gifts but you can also give of your time, money and more.

Green Gift of Your Time: Want to give something but don’t have the funds? Well, one great way to help the world and save money on presents is to give the gift of your own time and energy.

House and Home: Making Use of What You Have


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Reduce, Reuse, Remodel: So, you are closing in on the end of your remodeling project but you have run out of money. Here are some ways you can still make the most of your planned interior redesign project.

Recycling Around the House: When most of us think of recycling we imagine tossing something into a box that is whisked away – but there are many things you can creatively reuse around your own home.

Even More Upcycling Ideas: So many things got thrown away casually when they could become something entirely new with little or no effort – try to upcycle before you recycle.

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Affordable Green Apparel  Strategies


Stylish Second-Hand Stores in the US: Saying yes to second-hand clothing is a great way to go green and find fashions that won’t be pushed on you at the mainstream stores.

Make Clothing Last Longer: We all have our favorite clothes and shoes we had to lose to wear and tear, so like good health care you can and should take steps to prevent problems before they become too big to handle.

Wash Less, Save More: Wash your jeans a little less often and save the equivalent energy of turning off thousands of light bulbs – a fairly simple way to save money, time and energy all at once.

Sustainable Consumption: Money-Saving Food and Water Tips


(Image via: HLK)

High Food Prices Explained: Why is food so expensive and, more importantly, what can you do to save money without sacrificing your favorites or cutting down on quality?

How to Eat Well on a Budget: Cutting back on your grocery bill does not have to mean eating Mac-and-Cheese or otherwise compromising the quality and taste of your meals.

Cheap and Safe Non-Organics: The idea of buying only organic fruits and vegetables sounds nice in theory but in practice it isn’t necessary. Here is a list of safe-to-eat conventional versions.

How to Stop Wasting Groceries: In a recession especially it becomes important to make the most of what we have – particularly if as much as 1/3 of your groceries may be going straight into the garbage.

Water-Saving Strategies and  Tips: Cutting down on our use of water is only going to be more important as this vital natural resource becomes the center of increasingly many power plays around the world.

Reduce Waste: Reuse Everyday Household Goods


(Image via: Jenna Carver)

Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh: One of the best ways to save money is to be less wasteful – and one of the biggest sources of food waste is your fruit-and-vegetable drawer.

Reuse Old Make-Up Brushes: There are so many things that we throw away on a regular basis that can be repurposed quite easily and successfully for other projects – this is just one very good example.

Reupholster Your Sofa: A great DIY project, reupholstering your sofa is a way to save massive amounts of money you might spend on new furniture while also reducing your waste.

Mulch Leaves to Reduce Waste: One of the most painful things to see in the Fall is the number of big plastic bags filled and waiting on the curb to be taken away – when they could be composted right at home.

How to Green Your SUV: It sounds like an oxymoron – what, you ask, could a green SUV possibly be? However, if you are stuck with one of these fuel-suckers you can at least mitigate its damage!

Green DIY: Sustainable Make-Your-Own Home Projects


(Image via: Phil Garlic)

DIY Green Home Projects: There are a lot of ways to go green at home but some are a lot more fun than others. From sun jars to milk paint, here are some particularly nifty and unusual ways to keep it green.

DIY Chemical-Free Cleaning:  Standard chemical cleaners are not only smelly and expensive, they are also often about as far from green as you can get. Check out these cheaper and better alternative cleaners.

DIY Non-Toxic Milk Paint: Yes, you read that right – you can create your own paint right at home and, best of all, it is not toxic and made from an everyday material you surely have at hand.

DIY Laundry Detergent in 5 Minutes: Have a few minutes and an urge to do something good for yourself and the world? Save money, stop using chemicals and make your own green laundry detergent.

DIY Wood Polish: Creating eco-friendly wood polish is a lot easier than most people realize. Why go out of your way to buy something expensive at the store when you can use leftover lemons instead?

DIY Soy Candles: Soy is useful for so many things – but did you know that it is also ideal for creating candles? Make your own soy candles in a few simple steps at home.

DIY Homemade Curtains: Making your own curtains at home does not mean you have to have curtains that look homemade – here is a great way to go about it while still preserving your sense of style.

DIY Eco-Friendly Facials: Once again, here is a way to not only go environmental but also save money by doing it yourself. Some of these tips are so old they have been forgotten by many others are fresh and new.

DIY Pesticides and Fungicides: Commercial solutions to pests and fungi are often expensive, not to mention being environmentally unfriendly. Here are some easy do-it-yourself home solutions to these common problems.

Main image: Sarah Parrott