It’s completely fitting that environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo’s birthday falls on Earth Day! (Happy Birthday, Danny!)
Saving the environment has been important to Danny since he started a teen activist charity at 12 years old. Today, Danny is the author of numerous books and has his own line of eco home product. He is also a regular guest on NBC’s The Today Show.
Danny visited the Honest offices and told us about his love of upcycling and how crafting is a lot less intimidating than people think.
“A lot of people associate crafting with fine arts, but it’s not the same thing at all,” he says. “Upcycling takes less skill, then say, painting or sewing. And traditionally with crafting you have to spend a lot of money for supplies, but that’s not so with upcycling.”
“What’s great about upcycling is you’re using stuff you would have thrown away anyway, so you’re not wasting money and, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t really matter,” he adds.
The creative process of turning trash into something beautiful is what Danny thrives on.
When Danny was 12 he started Earth 2000, a grass roots organization that sprung from his desire to save the planet. It was a small group of his friends that germinated into a national organization and actually challenged legislation in congress. It lasted seven years and taught him the ethics and savvy he brings to his business today.
His book Upcycling and Upcycling Celebrations contains tons of clever ideas for turning everyday items into usable, stylish pieces. And the projects are simple—every project in his book is three steps or less.
Looking to unplug from the daily grind and reconnect with your family, friends, and nature? We’ve got the answer: Camping! From pitching a tent to riding in a cattle drive or hiking a glacier, Sunset shares the best wilderness trips for new and seasoned explorers. The great outdoors never looked more inviting.
What do leftover cabbage, wilted kale, and unused onion peels have in common? They all make easy, inexpensive, and naturally beautiful dyes for your Easter eggs! Plus, chances are you already have everything you need sitting right in your fridge.
By now you’re probably aware of the concerns that food dyes present and, while your Easter eggs may not pose the biggest threat, the natural option is safer and much more fun. This DIY also is a great learning opportunity for your kiddos to see how many beautiful colors can be derived straight from nature — the perfect kitchen experiment.
Hard boiled eggs
Brown onion skin
3 medium saucepans
3 Quart sized Mason jars
1. Chop your cabbage and kale, and peel away your onion skins. Or use whatever vibrant colored fruits and veggies you have on hand — think beets, blueberries, blackberries, orange peels, spinach.
2. Add each food type to its own pot and fill with enough water to cover. Measure a tablespoon of vinegar into each pot.
3. Place each pot over the stovetop and allow a boil. Bring down to a low heat and allow each to simmer for about 15-30 minutes. (If you don’t have enough pots, you can do this step separately and repeat for each different dye).
4. Heat each dye until it appears to be several shades darker than your desired hue. You can test a sample in a white cup or bowl to see the color’s saturation. Once you are satisfied, remove each mixture from heat and allow to cool.
5. Once cooled, strain each mixture into its own Mason jar. If you prefer your eggs to have a natural speckled effect, feel free to allow some of the food pieces to remain in your dye.
Your dye is ready!
1. Wipe each of your hard boiled eggs clean to make sure there are no particles on the outside of the shells.
2. One by one, divide your eggs among each jar of dye. Be careful not to crowd your eggs, as you may risk cracking them.
3. Place a lid on each of your jars and store them in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Natural dyes will take longer to set than your risky artificial dyes, so be patient! However, this step can be customized depending on the color saturation you are aiming for — try removing individual eggs as you go to get different shades of each color.
4. After all of your eggs have been removed, set them on a paper towel to dry. Refrigerate your eggs and keep them on hand for a quick and nutritious snack, or arrange them into a naturally festive centerpiece!
Tip: Make sure to compost all of your vegetable scraps!
What do you use to make natural dyes? Share your favorites in the comments below!
Invite birds to your backyard with this upcycled seed feeder by esprit cabane. The online magazine shows you the sustainable steps for making this rustic-meets-modern “bird bar.” All you need is reclaimed wood, a glass bottle, a hook, some wire, and a sunny Saturday morning. With that, you’ll help the local ecosystem and wildlife conservation.