In case you are actually looking for some more DIY projects in addition to the ones you put off over the winter, we've selected 13+ handy how-tos and tutorials to inspire your summer-friendly green upgrades.
Make a Cardboard Laptop Stand - If you're anything like me (which I'm guessing you are, since you're reading this) you spend enough time on the computer to know that it runs a little hotter in the warm summer months. You can extend the life of your laptop by running it at cooler temperatures and you do that by getting it off the table, desk, or lap it usually sits on. Alternatively, if you're looking for non-cardboard inspiration for a laptop stand, try making a coathanger laptop stand.
Make a Homemade Swamp Cooler - Even the most efficient air conditioners are energy hogs. But ask anyone who owns a real efficient swamp cooler, they will tell you they provide just as much cooling at a fraction of the cost.
Cut Up an Old T-Shirt - If I had a nickel for every t-shirt I don't wear anymore, I'd have a whole bunch of nickels. If there was only a way to find new interest in an old t-shirt. Well, there is. Actually there are 99 of them.
Build a Vertical Garden - Since over half the world's population now live in cities, it's no surprise that the container and urban gardening movements are becoming increasingly popular. Growing gardening structures vertically allows you to make efficient use of three precious commodities in any garden: sun, water and space. But you don't necessarily have to go out and buy all kinds of new materials to build a vertical garden, try making a vertical garden from old rain gutters or even an old shoe organizer.
Grow Potatoes in a Barrel - In this era of a sluggish economy and a growing awareness of the benefits of gardening at home, there has been surging interest in growing vegetables at home. And fortunately for apartment dwellers and the like, there are entire websites devoted to container gardening and making the most of limited space to grow a garden. This handy tutorial will get you started on your way to growing a hundred pounds of potatoes in a barrel -- whether you live in an apartment or 5,000 sq. ft home.
Make a Homemade Rain Barrel - Municipal water conservation and rationing measures that put controls on when and how much outside watering you can do are becoming increasingly common as long-term droughts have hit many parts of the U.S. in recent years. Drought or not, no time is a bad time to build a simple rain barrel to collect water that falls on your roof to use in your garden.
Make a Batch of Homemade Sunscreen - Having a nice tan may feel like a rite of summer passage, but prolonged exposure to the sun's powerful rays without protection is bad for your skin and could lead to skin cancer. Try this recipe for some homemade sunscreen or alternatively you can even try using broccoli juice.
Craft a Corkboard Out of Wine Corks - I've been meaning to make one of these for a long time and I think a quick peek into my kitchen drawer would tell me I've stored away sufficient resources for the construction of one.
Build a Solar Oven - So much solar energy is "wasted" on heating things that don't need to be heated (roads, sidewalks, rooftops, etc.). Check out this easy tutorial to build a solar oven so you can capture some of that solar energy for something's that do need to be heated -- like cookie dough.
Make Your Own Solar-Rechargeable Batteries - Trickle charging is the slowest kind of battery charging around, but it is also the easiest to reconstruct. After assembled, the batteries should be left to bask in a sunny window for a while and they will slowly recharge. Pretty cool.
Mend a Broken Strap - To be honest, I don't wear many garments with straps (i.e dresses and blouses) but I know lots of people who do. What I do know is that there are both a lot more opportunities to wear sleeveless dresses and tops in summer and it can be one way of beating the heat. Check out Becky Striepe's handy tutorial for mending a busted strap.
Build a Wine Bottle Gas Lamp - After you finish off a wine bottle you can either find something else to put in it, recycle it, or better yet, repurpose it. Just one look and this very cool wine bottle gas lamp and you'll be saving up those wine bottles and planning your new outdoor lighting in no time.
Build a Mini-Greenhouse or Coldframe - I recently replaced all of the windows in my house and saved them for exactly this project. My house has some excellent (and unused) southern exposure that I should be able to start seedlings early in the spring in a coldframe like this. I might even be able to grow hearty winter vegetables all winter long.
Photo credit: L. Marie via flickr