10 eco-friendly life hacks

Rebecca Thair
By Rebecca Thair,
updated on Oct 7, 2020

10 eco-friendly life hacks

Save the planet, save money, and save time with these DIY, environmentally-friendly tips


Whether you manage to get abroad this year, or are venturing to the coast for a staycation, the last thing you need is to miss out on fun because you’re left guarding the valuables.

SOLUTION: Clean out an empty sunscreen bottle and use it to house your keys, money, and potentially phone (depending on the size of the bottle) while on the beach – it won’t attract attention, and despite a growing consciousness of sun safety, is unlikely to be stolen.


From headphones to charging cables, it’s like there’s a mystical presence that tangles up your wires the moment you look away. And if you keep all these electrical goods in one drawer, good luck ever undoing that Gordian Knot.

SOLUTION: Fill a sturdy box or your chosen drawer with empty cardboard loo rolls, standing upright. Then neatly wind up each individual cable, and store within a separate tube. What you’ll have is great organisation, and countless hours saved scrambling through a mess of wires to find what you’re looking for!

Good vibrations

When you’re working from home, or having a socially-distanced hangout, you may want to blast out some tunes. Speakers aren’t hard to come by, but they can be an expense, and another thing using electricity. You might even find yourself outside more with no power outlets – so what can you do to keep making that music?

SOLUTION: Turn an empty loo roll tube into a phone speaker! Although it’s not quite the same as a Bose system, this simple trick still amplifies sound. Simply cut a slot big enough for your phone to sit in, then use a couple of drawing pins to act as feet, and stop it rolling around. Sounds good to me.

Keep it fresh

If you’ve got more restraint than me, and can leave a bag of sweets or crisps before the end, then you’ll know the agony of the remainder either spilling all over your cupboards, or going stale when left opened.

SOLUTION: Cut the top third off a plastic bottle, thread the top of your packet through it, then fold it down over the bottom and screw the cap on. Signed, sealed, delicious.

Water great idea

If you’ve been inspired to get green-fingered during lockdown – whether that’s growing your own little veg patch, or simply a few pots on your windowsill – we have a simple trick to save you from splashing out on a new watering can.

SOLUTION: Rinse out an empty milk bottle, and poke some holes in the plastic cap. You can now easily give your thirsty, leafy friends a gentle sprinkling of water! Plus, you can put your crafting skills to the test by giving the bottle a mini-makeover so it can look nice and appealing on your counter as well.

Pencilled in

With a lot of us setting up our own home offices, you may find yourself making a mess with all your essential items sprawling out, and yet there’s never a pen to hand when you need it!

SOLUTION: Take a clean, empty milk carton, safely cut the bottom off from below the handle on one side, leaving a nice tray for you – the perfect makeshift pencil case. You can leave it neatly on your desk space, or even attach it to a wall. Inspiration strikes.

Bonus tips

Put a clean, dry towel in your tumble dryer with wet clothes, and it will absorb some of the water. This means that you don’t need to run the machine for as long, making it more energy-efficient.

Instead of throwing away silica packs – the little gel pouches used to draw moisture out of boxed items such as shoes – pop them in your jewellery box to help keep silver items from tarnishing.

If you need food bag clips, and don’t have a bottle to hand, you can also remove the clip from a trouser hanger! Fresh food, no hang ups.

Trouser hangers can be useful for other things, too. Do you know the struggle of following a recipe when your cookbook won’t stay open? Simply use the hanger to clip each side of the book open on your required page. Now we’re cookin’!

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