diy sustainable living

DIY Sustainable Living Ideas for a Small Space

Jane Marsh - July 29, 2020

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If you are interested in a more sustainable lifestyle, the biggest changes you can make start at home. There are tons of reasons to go green, including benefits to your health and more money in your bank account. However, sustainability is becoming a marketing tool, making it easy to be eco-friendly without really changing our habits. There are plenty of ways you can live more sustainably without spending any money. These do-it-yourself projects are fun, rewarding and great for the environment. Regardless of where you live, there are tons of significant changes you can make. If you live in a small space, here are some easy DIY sustainability projects to try out. 

1. Build a Plant Wall

If you’re working with a small space, the idea of filling every corner with giant fig leaf plants may seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to incorporate indoor plants into a small living space without having them take over your home.

Find a corner or wall in your home that can be used to store plants on wall shelves or in hanging baskets. This is a great way to add greenery if you have limited floor space. Incorporating plants into your home purifies the air and improves your mood. Even if your area is limited, you can build a plant wall for cheap. Remember, going green isn’t always expensive, and adding some greenery in your life is a good decision.

2. Upgrade Your Spice Cabinet

If your kitchen is on the smaller side, you may find your pantry constantly overflowing with jars of spices, tea, coffee and other ingredients. Nowadays, many food packages are designed to be wasteful, requiring us to keep buying new ones that ultimately get thrown in the trash. To make your life simpler, get rid of the small containers of nutmeg and paprika that you dig through every time you open the cabinet. Use old mason jars or other storage containers and only buy spices in bulk. This will take up less space in your cupboard, and your supply will also last longer and stay fresher.

3. Construct a Drying Rack

If you live in a small home or apartment, you may already have a wooden drying rack for your pots and pans. What about your clothes, though? Did you know that a dryer is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to energy usage? Getting rid of it will free up more space, and there are many other options for drying your clothes.

If you are trying to live more sustainably, lowering your utility bill is essential. Consider using a broomstick or wooden pole to build a DIY clothes drying rack. You can use it on your patio, deck or even in your bedroom. Using a couple of chairs, you can easily skip using the dryer without needing to invest in anything new.

4. Clean Out Your Closet

This may not be the most thrilling do-it-yourself project but it will probably be the most impactful. If you have a small closet, the best thing you can do is get rid of stuff you no longer need. Donate any clothes you don’t wear or have a swap with friends. Making changes to your shopping habits is essential when you’re trying to live more sustainably. Consider organizing a capsule wardrobe so you can build a variety of outfits out of just a few items.

5. Make Your Own Candles

Aromatherapy can make a small space feel especially cozy, but your favorite scents may be toxic for the planet. Unfortunately, many candles are made with loads of dangerous chemicals, and their containers produce a lot of waste that cannot be recycled. Instead, why not make your own? With just a few ingredients, you can easily reproduce your favorite smells with natural wax and a few drops of essential oils.

Build Your Own Space

Making significant changes to your home doesn’t need to be expensive. If you are trying to live more sustainably, there are plenty of ways to cut down on waste without spending money. Today, it can seem like sustainability needs to be trendy. Advertisements try to sell us greener products, promising fewer toxins and less waste while still requiring us to keep overconsuming. One of the biggest changes you can make at home is to make do with what you have and see what you can change. Using different spice containers, getting rid of old clothes, making your own candles and setting up a couple of indoor plants in a tight space are easy projects that require no financial investment. Living in a small area makes you find a use for every square foot. Try out a couple of these DIY sustainable living ideas to build your own green space, no cost required.

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.