In the first article of the How to Be More Eco series, we covered food. Today we’ll focus on another aspect of our lives where we tend to use products that are harmful to the environment (and often to ourselves). Cleaning is something that we do on a daily and weekly basis, which is why it’s so important what we do it with. Conventional cleaning products, such as soaps and detergents, are usually full of toxic chemical compounds which not only irritate our skin but also contribute to water, air and soil pollution.
WASHING THE DISHES
If you’re a dishwasher girl, you may want to try making your own dishwasher detergent, using washing soda, borax, kosher salt and citric acid. You can follow this recipe. Alternatively, you can buy environmentally friendly dishwasher detergent. The process is similar if you usually wash your dishes in the sink: you may want to try one of these recipes to make your own detergent or buy an eco version. Of course, making your own detergent means that you’ll be consuming little to no plastic. If you’re washing dishes in the sink, you will encounter another ecological problem: sponges that are usually made of plastic. You may want to look into plastic-free versions next time you’re buying.
When it comes to washing clothes, the first thing to consider is the laundry detergent you’re using. You can buy eco-friendly detergents online and in supermarkets. You may also want to try making your own laundry soap using washing soda, borax and bar soap. Liquid fabric softener can be easily prepared in the comfort of your home too: the ingredients are white vinegar, baking soda and an essential oil of your choice. You can follow these instructions to make it.
CLEANING THE BATHROOM
The bathroom is another area where white vinegar and baking soda will come in handy. The combination of the two cleans the bath, the shower, the sink and the toilet perfectly: just scatter some soda over the surface and pour some vinegar onto it (make sure you wear gloves). White vinegar is also great for cleaning the floor (add some essential oil for a wonderful smell). For mirrors and windows, you should try this DIY recipe or buy an eco-friendly glass cleaner. When cleaning various surfaces, try using biodegradable cloths.
ZERO WASTE SHOPS
Making your own cleaning products will always be more ecologically friendly than buying. If buying ready-made products, you may want to look up shops which offer refilling. This means that you’ll only have to buy bottles and other packaging once. Plastic Freedom even offers refilling by sending bottles back.
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