10 Ways to Green Your Day Off

tools, wrench, wrenches, remodel, construction, DIY

Green Tip #6: Remodel your home on the cheap with our library of fab reuse projects. Photo: Flickr/ zzpza

6. Start a reuse project

Recycling your household waste is a great step towards sustainability, but why not reuse some of your throw-aways instead? Check out these five super-elegant decor items made from waste, or craft with the kids using recyclables for an afternoon of eco fun.

Want to take your day-off project beyond crafting? Check out our 12 crazy ways to go DIY in every room of the house, from homemade cheese to super-functional storage.

SEE: 15 Reuse Projects to Try in 2012

7. Do a packaging purge

Whether the food packaging in your home is recyclable or not, it's always best to find ways to reuse it before tossing it in the bin. Go through your pantry and transfer dry items from their original packaging into reusable storage containers, like these 100 percent recycled containers from Preserve.

Once you have all your packaging in the same place, consult our food packaging reuse guide to find ways to repurpose it. And take note of the products that the majority of your packaging waste came from. Can you buy any of these materials in bulk to cut back on waste? How about switching to homemade? A little planning could mean emptier trash cans all year long.

READ: 5 Absurdly Over-Packaged Foods

8. Stock up on bulk

Buying your favorite dry foods in bulk results in a huge reduction in packaging waste. But it can be hard to fit a trip to the bulk-foods store into your schedule. On your day off, make a list of the most common dry items you use in the kitchen: cereal for the kids, rice, beans and pasta for nightly dinners and nuts and dried fruits for healthy snacks.

Head to the bulk-foods store with plenty of reusable bags, and stock up on your favorites sans-packaging. Transfer your items into large reusable containers when you get home to keep them from getting stale.

READ: 5 Reasons to Bulk Up on Food Purchases

9. Choose a veg-based meal

Vegetarian Weeks have been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. But you don't need to cut out meat for a whole week to make a difference. Eating just one vegan or vegetarian meal each week will save about 35 pounds of meat a year, amounting to 84,000 gallons of water, 245 pounds of grain and 15.5 gallons of gasoline.

Wary about bland and boring vegetarian food? Our library of recipes, including exotic international cuisine, tasty low-cal delights and compostable classics, is sure to change your mind.

READ: 5 Hearty Winter Soups

10. Plan a green getaway

Having something to look forward to can get you through all those tough weeks at work or school. So, spend some time planning an eco-friendly vacation for yourself this winter. Our go-to guides will help you plan a romantic, kid-free vacation with your sweetie, pick the right location for a family getaway or find a nearby weekend retreat.

READ: How To Find the Best Eco-Friendly Hotels

Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.