If you have known me for a little while, you will know that one of my biggest concerns is helping our environment in any way I can. I may be just one person, but you’d be surprised how much one little person can do on their own already! You’ll find my previous post about this topic here, in case you weren’t around then and missed it.
This one will be a continuation of sorts through my journey of reducing waste, recycling and repurposing. Even though my focus is on dramatically reducing one-use plastics, I try whatever I can incorporate into my lifestyle and avoid going through extreme lengths for this goal.
On an easy-to-incorporate habit level: I bought linen serviettes and avoid buying kitchen roll. I will admit that every now and again I do buy paper towels as they are efficient for certain things, however my household’s use of paper in the kitchen has decreased a lot. Word of advice if you plan on following this suggestion: buy a colour that won’t show stains too much.
Another one is cotton buds. I now buy a brand which I can find at my regular drugstore, which is made with just cotton and paper. No plastic! If you didn’t know about this environmental hazard, read all about it here.
Two recycled products I use since some years ago: recycled bin bags and toilet paper. You are giving both paper and plastic a second life, and these products are popular enough that you will find them in your regular supermarket!
If you drink a lot of tea, like I do, switching to a metal strainer instead of using bags should not be much of a burden. Did you know that most tea bags have polypropylene? Now ask yourself if you really want to be drinking that… I’ve had my tea strainer for over a year now and I’m really happy with the swap. Also, it’s very easy to clean!
Perhaps on a slightly higher level you find the beeswax wrap. You know that strange wrap which supposedly replaces cling film? I’ve decided I’m going to give it a go! I will definitely be letting you know what I think after I’ve tried it.
Slighty higher commitment
A step higher on the scale is the fact that I have begun to make homemade cosmetic products, such as deodorant, body butter, face masks… This involves some patience and craft, but I’m doing this hand in hand while learning all about essential oils, which is great fun and one of my new year’s resolutions! It feels so good to use only natural products on my skin, I can’t believe I didn’t do the switch sooner!
Another skill that goes higher up the ladder is learning to repair your clothes. I recently learned how to fix jeans that have a small rip, and have been able to continue using perfectly good jeans for 6 more months to almost 1 year! This goes for anything: buttons, zippers, holes in pockets! Buying the few tools you will need and learning a new skill from the million and one tutorials on youtube will make you feel so grown up and proud of yourself, it’ll feel you’ve finally got life figured out. Trust me on this!
And last but not least: Homemade all-purpose cleaner! I bought a set of glass spray bottles from amazon and I can make all my potions in them! My most precious one at the moment is my Thieves cleaner. It will clean my kitchen, my floors, my toilet, or even mould. One tablespoon per almost a litre of water and you can clean the house from top to bottom with it. Not just that, but you will also be able to eat off the surfaces as well, as it is completely natural, non-toxic and smells incredible. This will save you from having to buy several different products, all of which come in plastic bottles. An alternative homemade cleaner can also be made with Thieves and Lemon essential oils, which are available in this kit.
What do you think of my list? Do you also do any of these things? Do you do different things? I’d love to hear your opinions and suggestions!