3 DIY Upcycling Projects to Transform Your Backyard!

Last month, we celebrated Earth Day, reminding ourselves to leave our planet better than we found it - but let’s not stop at just celebrating! To be more environmentally-conscious means to reflect on our own consumption behaviors. To start, here are three DIY projects you can pick up this summer. Not only will it begin conversations about the importance of upcycling and being intentional with materials, it is also fun to learn new skills and beautify your backyard!

1. Turn ✨almost anything✨ into a planter

Being environmentally-conscious is cool! Turn your trash into treasure and watch your backyard transform into a warm, welcoming faerie garden! Have a broken vase? Old Easter baskets? Antique tub? Divert your junk from the landfill and upcycle them into a planter! Simply give your items a quick clean, add soil, and transfer your plants. You can even spruce them up with a fresh coat of paint to add another layer of fun and functionality to your upcycling. Talk about a beautiful, cottage-core garden area!

2. Start seeds in egg cartons/toilet paper rolls

The secret to successful plants is found in your fridge. Grab your finished egg cartons, add soil starter to each egg holder, and plop your seeds right in. No need for one-use plastics and pesky trips to the store!

Done with toilet paper rolls? Repurpose them as seed starters, too! The great thing about using organic materials is that there’s no need to repot - just plant your egg carton or toilet paper roll seedlings into the ground and you’re good to go. The egg carton or toilet paper roll will naturally decompose and provide bonus nutrients for your seedlings.

3. Collect your food scraps and turn it into soil

One of the easiest ways to access natural, reliable, and safe soils for your plants is by composting! Most modern-day fertilizers found at improvement stores are chock-full of harmful pesticides and chemicals, like nitrogen and methane, that pollute soil and ocean ecosystems. Starting your own backyard batch can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be; composting is a great way to transform your yard waste and food scraps into beautiful, nutrient-rich soils. Start with a compost bin, toss in both green (fruit and veggie peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, and other food scraps) and brown materials (dried leaves, cardboard, wood shavings, and other dried materials), give it some water, and let it sit! We recommend reading through a few resources, like this one, to find what compost method works for you!

Personalizing your backyard with up-cycled materials and projects not only benefits our ecosystems and environment, but also empowers you with a tool belt brimming with new skills and hobbies! Starting new projects doesn’t have to be done alone - hire a ToDoolie Helper to assist with any backyard project. Need to lay down soil in your new-to-you vase-planter or maintain your compost? We got you covered!

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Jamie Chen
Copywriting Intern
Jamie graduated from Wellesley College last year with a BA in Environmental Studies and minored in Chinese Language and Culture. Currently she is working as a program manager at a non-profit in Ventura County, advocating for affordable housing. She is always looking for opportunities to support art, culture, and environmental initiatives, and loves to read and do any arts and crafts in her free time!
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