In today’s world, you can get just about anything pre-made and ready for you right off the store shelf. Unfortunately, those things are often filled with artificial preservatives, chemicals, and additional packaging. These things are wasteful and harmful to either our bodies or the environment. Here are seven ideas for items that you can try making yourself instead of buying them pre-made from the store.

1. Cleaning Supplies

Commercial cleaning products are often filled with chemicals that are harmful to the environment and toxic to our bodies. Do yourself (and our planet) a favor and make your own. Homemade cleaning products often are made of simple ingredients (such as water, baking soda, and vinegar) that do as good a job cleaning as the store-bought products. You can make disinfectant spray, laundry detergent, furniture polish, and more.

2. Beer and Wine

It may take a little bit of trial and error to get the perfect result that you’re looking for, but that’s part of the fun! Look around online for good recipes. Before you know it, you could be crafting your favorite beer from the comfort of your own kitchen! You can experiment with fun flavors and get hands on with mother nature, using a variety of flowers, fruits, and other plants.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

There’s nothing more satisfying than making a home cooked meal with fresh ingredients that you grew in your own garden. You’ll be getting fresh and organic produce and you won’t have to worry about what harmful pesticides or chemicals could be lurking about. Say bye-bye to buying produce from the grocery store! If you’re not a professional gardener, don’t worry! There are many tools and tips available online to beginning gardening.

4. Toys

Toys don’t need to be elaborate and expensive to be fun! This is especially true with the younger kids. They can even be involved, making their own crafts or toys to personalize and play with. Entertain them for hours with homemade paints, coloring books, putty, crayons, play-doh, or bubbles. If you’re not concerned about a little extra mess, they might enjoy being able to help create a masterpiece for them to play with!

5. Cosmetics

Cosmetics purchased from drug stores often contains chemicals, dyes, or fragrances that can be irritating to skin or cause allergic reactions. You can make your own lotions, soaps, fragrances, and makeup using simple ingredients. This ensures that you will be free of those harsh and harmful chemicals. Plus, it will help you avoid that hefty price tag that some name brand cosmetics carry!

6. Food from Scratch

In addition to growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can mix them together to create your own fun recipes.  Take a crack at making your own jarred baby food, pasta sauce, or jam. Anything that can be canned and preserved is great to make in bulk to use over the course of multiple meals. AND it will save you time and money, because many of these foods take minimal effort to make. It’s an extra assurance to know there won’t be all those harmful chemicals and preservatives in your food!

7. Gifts

Making homemade gifts will save you time, money, and unnecessary packaging. What’s great about making your own gifts for birthdays or other holidays is that you can get creative and make something personalized from the heart. There is no shortage of ideas. You can make your own candles, perfumes, lotions, or other crafts. You can bake a tasty treat (maybe using your fresh produce and recipes from scratch) and decorate it to your hearts desire! It’s easy to make a gift be perfect for any occasion!

From Mother Nature Network