A big topic that everyone uses (but loves to ignore, if your anything like me) is cleaning. There are so many products on the market nowadays but a lot of them include A LOT of plastics; like wipes, bottles and spray toppers, plastic fibre cloths, etc. By cutting down some of the plastics in my cleaning routine, I am not only saving money, but also space and my conscience! These are a few of the changes I have made, and also some alternatives I haven’t tried yet, that might work for you:
- Multipurpose cleaner: Instead of having a different cleaning solution for everything, I use a multipurpose anti-bac spray which I can fill up from my zero waste shop. For Christmas my mum got me lots of glass refillable bottles, the spray nozzles are plastic but that’s a lot less plastic then I was using before. I’ve tried toilet salts and toilet bombs but have had to go back to bleach for the toilet, I would love to find something non toxic but manages to get as good a clean as bleach does in the basin.
- Citrus vinegar cleaner: If you have a little more time on your hands, and find that you like specific cleaners for different uses, making your own might be the way to go! This is a cheaper way, and completely non-toxic but I don’t feel I have the confidence to do it myself.
- Dissolvable pods: A new product on the market (ocean savers) are the pods of concentrated cleaning solutions, which you can add to your own bottle with water. This means you are only buying the cleaning product rather than water, and they come in eco friendly packaging. I’ve loved using this option and have saved lots of space in my cupboard.
- Drain cleaner: I’ve been using a mix of baking soda and white vinegar solution to clear and clean my drains. I haven’t in the past but recently read that adding the juice of half a lemon makes a nice citrus smell too!
- Bamboo fibre cloths and sponges: Instead of disposable paper towels and plastic based cloths, I now use bamboo towels. Which are reusable, washable and can be composted at the end of their use. I use them for everything. Sometimes I feel like they clean better than the old cloths I used to use – the blue and white cloths.
- Unpaper towels: this is an investment that are reusable handmade cloths you can get them in a range of pretty patterns that you throw and wash in the washing machine over and over again! I didn’t tend to use paper towels before moving towards a more zero waste of life, so haven’t felt the need to invest in these.
- Bamboo brushes: A bamboo scrub brush for washing up. Some people love these for their ease, the tops are easily replaced for sanitary purposes. I personally went with coconut sponges to get the stubborn grease off my pans – it’s a dirty job but they work!
- Laundry & dishwasher tabs: Switching to bio-laundry capsules and dishwasher tablets has been so easy. SMOL offer delivery on a subscription basis, in cardboard recyclable packaging, ready to go. Im really happy with switching over, and the non-toxic ingredients are kinder overall for our planet.
- Wool Dryer Balls: these are the most eco-friendly option during winter times. The best way would be to air dry but with the English weather always changing this isn’t always a possibility. I have started using organic wool dryer balls to reduce the drying time. The balls also help reduce creases and keep my items soft, which is a definite bonus and you can add essential oils too them for an added aroma.
I hope these tips are useful, and let me know of any zero waste or eco friendly swaps you have done as I’m always learning and interested what others do too!