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  • Jess Panetta

New year, new project ideas

Looking for new ways to keep busy? We've got you covered! In this blog post, Jess shares some of her personal project ideas for 2021.

I've always appreciated the perspective of looking at a new year as a fresh, new start. It's a great time to reflect on the past year, to rethink our goals and intentions for the upcoming year, and to press the reset button. With the current situation causing me to spend much more of my time at home and on my own, now is the perfect time to start new projects.


Need help thinking of a new hobby or project? Here are some of my personal ideas, most with the goal to live lighter on the planet. Hope they can provide some inspiration!


Replenish your cosmetics with homemade alternatives. There are plenty of toxic and harsh chemicals in many of the items we come in close contact with daily. By making our own products, we can know what goes into them and ensure they are safe to use. I recently realized the importance of this when I noticed my face was burning as soon as I put on a face mask from the pharmacy (!!!) Check out my previous post for some recipes for homemade soap, Jenn's recipe for hair gel and a face mask, and Stop Trashing It's DIY self-care recipe book! I recently made these lip balms that taste like a dessert - recipe coming soon!


Get creative in the kitchen. Nothing warms up the soul like a fresh, homemade meal. 2021 could be a great time to try new recipes and cooking techniques, like fermented foods! Did you know fermented foods have many health benefits and are a great way to reduce food waste? In this previous blog post, Stephanie shares some awesome tips and her favorite recipes, such as kimchi, sauerkraut and sourdough. I'm getting hungry just writing this!


Get crafty. Why did the arts & crafts sessions from my childhood stop as I got older? In the past few years I have gotten into making macrame plant hangers, which I find such a calming and therapeutic activity. Since I ran out of ceiling space and places to hang them, I started new macrame projects, like this boho coaster. To keep it as low waste as possible, I save all the scraps to make these cute feathers.


Speaking of low-waste, my dad saved the wood from trees that fell on our property at the cottage. We just ordered some epoxy resin to make our own wood resin projects, like coasters, side tables and a charcuterie board. I've always wanted to learn some basic carpentry skills, so I'm really looking forward to those projects.


Looking for some other crafty project ideas? Savandhi recently explained a cross-stitch project and Jenn's previous post shares instructions for DIY upcycled reusable cotton pads and a pillowcase!


Winter days can feel long, especially given the current context. Projects and hobbies are a great way to keep busy, to relax and use the more creative parts of our brain. I hope this post inspired you with some project ideas for 2021, and I'd love to hear about your projects in the comments below!

Jess is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Sustainable Development and Management at HEC Montreal and works in a company's sustainability team. When she's not studying, she is playing in the snow, likely on downhill skis, snowshoes, cross-country skis or skates. When warming up indoors, she's been trying out new vegetarian recipes, doing yoga and playing the ukulele. Follow her adventures on Instagram @panettajess


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