Sustainable DIY Tips

DIYing brings people so many benefits. You can work with a lower budget, it challenges your skills, and once the job is done you can be incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved.

But as well as keeping costs low, we also want to be keeping our carbon footprints low. It is possible to DIY in an eco-friendly way, from the start to the end of your project.

Here at Speedy, we have all the DIY equipment you’d need to carry out your project. And we know that sustainability is important to people (and to us), which is why our range includes hundreds of eco-friendly products available to hire.


How to DIY more sustainably

1. Use ‘green’ tools

Electrical tools, as opposed to tools which are powered by ‘traditional’ fuels such as petrol, are much more eco-friendly. But their wires can be impractical.

Thankfully, plenty of battery-powered power tools now exist. The batteries be charged, and then give you hours of use. Batteries can usually be charged individually away from the tools, allowing you to use the tool with a second battery during the charge time. This limits your downtime.

Because they’re electric, they give off no fumes or emissions, and generally very little noise pollution too. This makes them ideal for use within the home.

Ranges such as the Milwaukee M18 cordless system are great for DIYers and tradespeople. They give the power of corded or traditional fuel while being better for the environment.

The UK is aiming to reach net zero by 2050; renewable energy currently makes up more than 40% of the UK’s energy usage, which is a good start. This means that using an electric power tool uses very little of the earth’s resources.


2. Hire tools, rather than buying

Hiring tools means that not only do you have access to high-quality tools as a DIYer, but it also means less strain on the earth’s resources. Lower demand for brand new tools, because the tools which already exist are being used, means tools can commonly be used until the end of their life.

Buying a tool is more expensive, and you probably won’t use it long-term, causing it to be stored away and not used. You may wish to sell it after you’re done, but this involves a lot of hassle (and a loss in money with people looking for second-hand prices).


3. Reuse what you already have

If you’re getting rid of stuff before you start your DIY project, always try to see what you can salvage. From fittings such as screws to fixtures like hinges, everything that avoids ending up in waste disposal is a win for the planet.

Taking apart an old bookshelf? Could the shelves be reused as wall shelves if cut to size? A lick of paint could mean the cut edges are protected.

You can also try to find purposes for any leftover materials. Could spare fabric be used to make hair bobbles or could wood be used to make a raised garden bed?


4. Try to buy second hand

Remodelling your garden? Is anybody selling (or perhaps giving away) old patio stones which could be used in your garden? A blast with a pressure washer or maybe even a lick of paint could make them look good as new.

People are always getting rid of things they don’t need anymore, or which are spare from their projects. Take a look at resale sites before you buy your equipment new.


5. Use eco-friendly paint

If you’re painting a room, fence, or wall, pick eco-friendly paint. Unfortunately, eco-friendly paints are not really available for exterior options, so look for something low in VOC (volatile organic compounds). VOCs evaporate rapidly at room temperature, releasing fumes.

These fumes are what cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous if you inhale them. They’re not great for the planet, either.

As for interior paint, they usually explicitly say that they are eco-friendly. Water-based paints are a good option; oil and solvent-based paints are the worst options. Many brands are dedicated to producing eco-friendly paints.


6. Make your clean-up environmentally friendly

From the cleaning sprays you use to where you dispose of your waste, your carbon footprint lasts long beyond when the job is done.

Plenty of eco-friendly cleaning products are available. Pick these rather than harsh chemicals; they do a similar job without giving off fumes or causing toxins to enter the water supply. When it comes to disposal, you should also recycle where possible and dispose of goods in the correct waste skips.

Green waste (bar soil) can usually be turned into compost. Some toxic materials, such as old paint, need to be dealt with to reduce the risk to the public.

Is there anything that could be given a new home rather than being disposed of? Advertise it before disposing of it if it is in good condition.




Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of tools for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery, so power tool hire has never been easier.

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account today online and instore.

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