Weekend Projects

One Eco-Friendly Thing You Can Do This Weekend (Which Actually Involves Doing Nothing at All)

updated Apr 22, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

When you think of environmentally friendly choices or ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, you probably also brace yourself for a bit of work. Composting requires saving scraps, taking them out to the compost pile, and turning dirt. Recycling requires separation and storage (and even then you might not be doing it right). Re-using items also often involves a bit of ingenuity and making do.

Even if you’re able to put in those efforts to take care of Mother Earth, it’s easy to forget that one of the most sustainable practices out there is to make full use of what you have, without consuming additional resources.

Earth Day has just passed as we make another trip around the sun, so why not take one last chance to work your most sustainably-minded muscle: making do with the things you already own.

This Weekend: Challenge yourself to a no-spend weekend.

Committing to a no-spend weekend is a win all around. You save money, exercise your creativity to find solutions other than buying, and preserve the planet’s resources in one small way that you might even carry forward for an even bigger impact.

Here are some ways to not spend:

  • Rather than eating out or buying more groceries, clear out your pantry and fridge to make your weekend meals. The impacts are many: you’re ensuring you don’t waste what you already have, avoiding spending extra money, and reducing take-out or grocery packaging as well.
  • Instead of buying an organizing solution or a decorative object, shop your home first. See if you have something that could work, and if not, shop your local free, reuse, or trade groups.
  • If you need a kitchen tool or some hardware, see if your neighbor has any extras rather than immediately buying your own.
  • Need a new book to read? Offer to swap with a friend or go to the library.
  • See if you can create a DIY solution from pantry staples if you need to restock cleaning supplies. Remember vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda are useful in so many places.
  • Opt to use the trial-sized moisturizer, shampoo, or sample makeup. You’re clearing clutter out of your drawers, making sure to use up perfectly useful products before they go bad, and extending usage of your regular supplies.
  • Feel like shopping? Declutter your clothes collection instead. You’ll find some “new” things and you’ll know exactly what you need to fill in actual wardrobe gaps once you’re done.
  • Spring weather might have you itching to get some fresh plants. This weekend, trim, weed, re-pot, and propagate instead.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.