ByChrystal Johnson

Nov 14, 2014
Old tools for home DIY projects

As the use of the internet and social media has grown, so has the proliferation of home DIY projects. According to a survey conducted by TheStreet, Inc. and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, 70% of all home projects now involve some sort of DIY component.

It’s so easy to hop on Pinterest or your favorite DIY website to locate a project; why hire someone when you can save money and do it yourself? Of course, DIY projects can become costly very fast if you don’t adhere to a strict budget.

Supplies alone can get expensive if you’re paying retail prices for new materials. There are now websites that help DIYers locate free materials for their projects – and for people looking to unload their unwanted supplies.

Home DIY project
Image courtesy of Kevin Bailey

For example, DIY Exchange is a free website that was created to help DIYers locate, share and sell extra DIY project and home repair materials. Members can find (and list) a wide variety of items, including appliances, light fixtures, fencing, joint compound, drywall and much more on DIY Exchange.

Another useful feature is the ability for members to barter labor for labor, ask and answer questions within the community, offer project coaching and discuss stories of success. It’s designed not only as a listing site like Craigslist, but one where DIYers can build a community.

Saving the green in your wallet isn’t the only reason to reuse construction materials – saving the environment is another huge factor. According to Green Waste, home construction, remodeling and demolition projects account for 25-30% of the country’s municipal solid waste each year. The U.S. EPA says that 170 million tons of excess home renovation materials end up in landfills annually. However, the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association estimates that number to be closer to 350 million tons.

Instead of contributing your old home improvement and DIY supplies to our growing landfills, you can make an eco-friendly decision to pass them onto someone who will put them to use. If you simply don’t have the time to list your materials on the DIY Exchange website, another option is to call up your local Habitat for Humanity chapter and see if they need materials for an upcoming project.

Either way, it will serve us all best to reduce the amount of waste that goes into our landfills. Paying forward our home renovation and DIY project materials is one simple way to do that.

Feature image courtesy of Sean

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.