Plastic-free cleaning. I really love this topic. We are using an incredible amount of plastic and disposable items when it comes to household and cleaning and sometimes we don’t realise the impact. The picture I have taken below perfectly represents the problem with conventional plastic sponges – something that millions of people are purchasing and using religiously on a daily basis. It is small, yet very powerful.
These yellow sponges we use for our dishes are made from plastic and by using them we are sending small plastic particles into our oceans every-single-day. A couple of weeks or months down the line (when they look like this) we are throwing it away sending them to landfill, replacing them with another one which will eventually end up at the same place.
The thought of this vicious (and damaging!) circle was certainly a great eye opener for me and I have decided that it’s time for me to make the change. I wanted to swap and ditch the disposables from our kitchen.
While a lot of the “supposedly more sustainable” household products are rightly being criticized for feeding our appetite for consumerism even further the reality of it is that you can still make a conscious decision by educating yourself on what is being classed as an “ethical” and “good” purchase and invest in something which is infinitely reusable. Doing sustainability imperfectly is better than not doing anything at all.
Follow these easy steps and make the swaps in your household for our planet and our future.
We have purchased this sturdy and pretty wooden dish brush from a small eco-store in Warwickshire and it is already performing much better than anything else we have ever used before. It is a hard dish washing brush with stiff tampico bristles ideal for pans.
It is not only eco-friendly but a lot more effective than the yellow and green plastic sponges which contain several nasty ingredients we should avoid at all cost: 20% Polyester, 80% Nylon.
This was certainly a powerful and great change in our household and I have a few more things to share with you which I’m now loyal to and swear by when it comes to household duties. I’m only sharing tips and tricks that has worked for me and I hope they will bring the same success to you too.
Use lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for cleaning. I start my days with warm lemon water and often use the leftover lemons for cleaning. There are a lot of recipes online (more complicated ones) on how to make your own zero waste cleaning products and if you are feeling creative by all means give these a try. I usually find that lemon, vinegar and baking soda works quite well on its own. The citric acid cuts grime and it will help deodorizing the sink whilst the baking soda polishes the stainless steel surfaces.
Try reusable cleaning and dusting cloths instead of the disposable plastic ones or wet wipes and surface cleaners. I’ve been using a sustainable dishcloth from a small brand called SUPERSCANDI. I love home and interior design, therefore style and functionality are both very important factors for me when it comes to new purchases. Let’s be honest, it’s nice to own nice things and things that are pleasing for the eye. These clothes are stylish and 100% biodegradable. They have the durability of up to 15 rolls of paper towels. I’ve purchased mine from Amazon and they are perfect for wiping surfaces, washing dishes and mopping up liquid around the house. They have a money back guarantee scheme too which I think is quite a nice touch from a small business like them.
Keep your home minimalist.
Don’t purchase but re-purpose glass bottles when making your own cleansing spray.
Re-purpose old unwanted clothes and use them as a cloth.
Utilize baking soda smarter and better: Mix it with water until it forms a paste and use it to clean your kitchen cupboards, oven or just simply remove stains. You can use it for your sink as I’ve mentioned before but you can also clean your carpet with bicarbonate soda by adding a few drops of essential oil to the mixture before applying it to the surface.
Avoid fabric freshener sprays in plastic bottles, use essential oils instead. I really enjoy using rosemary or eucalyptus oil for cleaning. I usually just put a few drops on our stairs and carpets after cleaning which makes the house smell like a spa facility. I quite like that!
Don’t throw out everything from your cupboard which is in a plastic bottle and doesn’t have the organic sticker on it. Don’t waste, just aim for better in the future. I’m content with my shopping choices and I accept that there is always room for further growth when it comes to producing less waste and buying kinder products. I enjoy this journey and I allow myself to fail so that I can grow more. I have made silly purchases too, everyone does.
Don’t go and pick big supermarket brands without understanding the ingredients and impact. Check the label, check the ingredients. Most of the cleaning products are also in close contact with our skin. We are paying attention to what we put in our body and what we wear on our face, therefore it is important to understand how certain chemicals are affecting us.
Buying and gathering a great collection of environmentally-friendly household products are not the end of the road.
Educate yourself, try different methods because I can almost guarantee that some won’t work. Some didn’t work for me – and it’s fine. Keep exploring. Once you are comfortable with your own needs and likes, your personalised and customised plastic-free cleaning routine will become easy and the new norm.
Important Values To Look Out For In A Company Or Product When You Are Looking For A Swap:
- Plastic free packaging and item
- Commitment for the environment and sustainable development
- Value and respect for diversity
- Fight against cheap labour
- Sustainable supply chain management which is a strong driver of value and success for both the business and for our society
- Locally produced
- Handmade from recycled materials
- Natural ingredients: the less, the better
- Company ethos, social contribution