the ReFab Diaries

Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Sustainable pet care: 5 ways to get started


sustainable dog treats
Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

If you're a dog owner and also trying to find ways to reduce packaging and plastic waste, this post is for you! As Nat Smith (from Rover) points out, do-it-yourself treats and toys are not only a great way to cut down on packaging: sustainable pet care can also save your money and improve the quality of your pet’s life. What could be better? Here are five ideas from Nat:

SproutingStories: succulent, upcycled book planters.


"Everything deserves a second chance, especially old books." - SproutingStories.


If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I have a board dedicated to upcycled books, which is how I found SproutingStories, my new favorite book upcycler!

Get 20% off your own handmade, succulent book planter. 

Grab the code at the bottom of the post.


An upcycler responds to a refugee crisis: meet Andrea Boyko.



Once in a while, a fellow upcycler sends me a story that blows me away (thank you Feltwerker). This inspiring story starts with a shoemaker who tried to imagine walking miles in no shoes. Not just walking, fleeing. Leaving everything you have and doing it barefoot. Having to make your children do it barefoot.

What’s pearly white and green all over? Tom’s of Maine toothpaste!

Thank you Tom's of Maine for sponsoring this post.


When I committed to trimming my waste in 2016, I happily replaced my plastic toothbrush with one made from bamboo and started making my own deodorant. I did not, however, commit to DIY toothpaste - I’ve had too many issues with my mouth over the years. What I did, instead, was switch to Tom’s of Maine.





Why Tom’s? Because besides being a leading natural products company, they are committed to sustainable practices across the board. The Tom’s of Maine Stewardship Model guides every decision the company makes ensuring that ingredients, processing and packaging meet rigorous standards for being natural, sustainable and responsible. The company has published zero waste goals and all their packaging is recyclable through a partnership with TerraCycle or participating municipalities.

Refashion: Split Shoulder Shirt



It's been a while since I shared a refashion and I'm excited about this one! I bought this shirt because I loved the detail. And while I've worn it often over the years, it's never felt right with long sleeves. The detailed cuffs have also always felt too heavy. So, I decided to turn it into the summer shirt it should always have been, and repurpose the detailed cuffs on the shoulders.