The movement to “go green” has been growing stronger over the past few decades. People are thinking more about the everyday changes they can make to help make planet Earth a little nicer and less touched by the harm of pollution. Might as well, since most of us are going to be stuck here for the rest of our lives.

Whether you’re building a wind turbine for your home or just planting a garden, there are a lot of DIY ways for you to go green.

Green Energy Projects

Over the years, we at Make: have had a lot of fun experimenting with electronics, but what’s cooler than experimenting with sources of energy? Renewable energy is just fun! Turning wind and sunshine into power for your home and devices is an economical and interesting way to lower your carbon footprint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You’ll be turning wind into energy in no time with this turbine project.

This wind turbine project made from bike parks and discarded aluminum gets bonus points for using recycled parts.

Solar panels are also a good way to get renewable energy. Learn how to convert any home appliance into a solar-electric hybrid.

Learn the essentials of solar power by making your own 20 watt solar panel.

img_5437

This solar panel is made to be portable, for when you need to charge your power tools in electricity-free environments.

If you made the last project you can boost your solar panel off the ground with this solar panel tripod mount.

Connect small solar panels to devices like this little solar cricket or this solar powered flashlight, and forget about replacing batteries.

Gardening Projects

11.1-DIYAqua-4

Planting a garden will literally make the world a greener place. (Unless, that is, you only plant red cabbage, which begs the question: What are you going to do with all that cabbage?) Gardening as a practice can give you a more practical understanding of how things grow and thrive in a small ecosystem you make yourself.

An aquaponic garden uses a closed system of fish, water, and dirt to replenish plants with nutrients as they’re being watered.

Hydroponics are like aquaponics except without the fish or dirt. It’s a more efficient way to use water, since the runoff gets pumped back into the system.

But even a simple irrigation system can save water.

iStock_000018394132Large

Try your hand at a plant cloning, by cloning a fig tree. It’s simpler than you’d think.

Give your seeds a good start by making these seed starters.

Learn how to compost with worms or learn how to compost quickly using bokashi.

Bees are good for the environment, but lately they’ve been hit with hard times. This bee hive sensor setup allows a beekeeper to monitor changes in the hive over time to better understand the overall health of the swarm.

You can make a simple hive from scratch if you want to start beekeeping.

Bees that don’t live in hives need a place to rest too. It’s pretty easy to make a little bee home for these guys too.

Recycle

glassRoundup_5

We’ve featured so many recycling and upcycling projects on Make: that we could easily bore you for hours going through each and every one. But here are some of the best posts we’ve done on salvaging parts to reuse and on how to recycle common materials.

Not everything that’s trashed belongs in the garbage. Here are 8 items you should never pass by when they’re put on the curb.

What’s an old or broken printer if not a collection of useable parts? There’s more than one way to dissect a printer, so be sure to check out both.

You can give a glass bottle a second life by cutting off the neck and using it as a drinking glass. Plastic bottles can be turned into a string. Milk jugs can be turned into plastic blocks, and so can plastic bags!