We know what you will think now…Oh no, another list of things that I should do to be more eco friendly and feel good about myself but that I will never be able to follow…
We hear you!
Remembering when we started making more sustainable choices in a journey to be zero waste at home: we were overwhelmed by how many pieces of advice were out there, confused where to start from and even considered to close our computers and do nothing.
But a more sustainable life doesn’t have to be difficult, at all.
Remember that if you make even one small change every month, by the end of the year you might have saved hundreds of plastic packaging from the landfill or maybe litres of water from being wasted or litres of chemical ingredients being dispersed in your grey water (and ultimately back to landfill again).
Do you want to know where we started from?
Here is a list (another!!!) of 10 simple tips to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable in your home:
1) Use products made from natural ingredients and materials: what has been created by mother nature cannot hurt mother nature, right?!
This can be using soap bars made with essential oils and organic ingredients, cleaning products that will dissolve in water with no chemical residues, switch for glass or paper packaging.
Ok, here a real-life example for you:
Have you ever thought that what you wash your dishes or clean your house with will ultimately end up on your hands? Remember: skin is humans’ largest organ and the one the most exposed to environmental aggressions.
We started by swapping our dish liquid soap for a dish soap bar (and yes it took us a bit to get used to it, but my hands have never felt itchy or dry again!)
2) Go completely plastic free in your bathroom: not that you usually wrap yourself in cling wrap before taking a shower, we know that!
Let’s be honest: have you witness a family member questioning why there are 6 bottles of undefined products to wash/condition/treat/rewash/rinse/moisturize under the shower when you can wash every cm of their body and hair with one soap bar?
Well, here I have some bad news for you: they were right (for once in their life!) and accidentally being more eco-friendly than you!
We were as doubtful as you when we started and, not all the soap bars or shampoo bars out there are good or even natural enough. We have tried many products before falling in love with the ones that we currently stock, Hibar and Chagrin Valley Soap Company. Yes, we know, they might be a little bit more expensive than what you can find at your supermarket but the research behind these brands is simply amazing. They have invested years to find the right natural ingredients’ formulation to make sure that the natural essential oils used are exactly what your skin needs to feel amazingly clean and your hair to have a salon like treatment!
3) Keep a bucket in your shower to catch the water while it's heating up and use it to water plants or flush the toilet.
This one really is a no brainer, right?
4) Wash clothes using cold water: they will say thank you by lasting longer!
And, in the process, you will also use less energy for your laundry so a win-win, won’t you say?
We know it’s difficult to find a good detergent for cold washes, but we have found a revolutionary product that amazed us: Dizolve (also sold under the brand True Earth) laundry detergent strips of ultra- concentrated detergent. We can picture your puzzled face right now, thinking: how do they actually work??
Well it’s a simple as that: you take one strip, place it inside your washing machine with your clothes if it’s a top loader or tear it in small pieces in the detergent dispenser if it’s a front loader and use your usual washing program (the cold one, remember?)
That’s it. Really.
They are also biodegradable, safe for grey water, hypoallergenic and vegan.
And they are packed in cardboard so that you say goodbye to that heavy and big plastic detergent bottle!
5) Go for compostable dish sponges or scrubs.
This is an easy one, you won’t even remember how the old sponges look like after trying these compostable dish sponges made from loofah.
And they even make for a great body scrub sponge too!
When you have used them to their last bit, you can simply compost them or bury them in your garden (just don’t do it in front of your dog if you don’t want to find the sponge back inside again…..)
6) Use reusable bags at the grocery store (and keep them in your car to not forget them home)
The supermarkets’ ban in Australia of plastic grocery bags has probably been the best news from last year and we couldn’t have been happier!
And yes, we did forget our reusable shopping bags home a couple of times during our first weekly grocery runs
So we decided that the best way forward for us was to go home, empty them and put them back in the car immediately after.
This way there were no excuses to buy those “re-usable” plastic bags offered (that we all know will never get re-used again)
And remember, reducing your trips to buy food is also another way to be more environmentally friendly!
7) Use reusable dishcloths and napkins instead of paper towels.
Even with the toilet paper and paper towel panic buying that happened in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic (we all laugh at it now, but it caused serious breakdown for many!), we were relaxed.
Why? Because we had swapped for re-usable cotton napkins and dishcloths which save a huge amount of paper (read trees) from being wasted to clean your mouth once.
So, don’t wait for the next pandemic and go use this as an excuse to go shopping for some nice fabric prints!
8) Invest in a water filter or find natural ways to purify your water and avoid buying bottled water.
Because you read until here you must be very invested in this environmentally friendly thing, you have surely heard already the advice of using your own re-usable water bottle instead of buying a new plastic bottle every time you feel a bit thirsty.
But, let’s be honest: sometime tap water doesn’t taste like the “naturally filtered through glacial rocks for 15 year” water you got used to.
So what do we do? We found out that our wise Japanese friends uses bamboo sticks to purify their tap water. Genius, right?
By simply boiling three bamboo sticks and putting them in your water bottle for an hour, you will completely change its taste, and in a natural sustainable way!
9)Compost your food scraps.
We read that 16% of all methane emissions are from foods that can’t decompose in landfills and we know that you have always thought “ what damage can food do, it’s compostable after all, isn’t it?”
The problem is that food should be separated from your hard rubbish and disposed of separately.
Composting is not an option for only the lucky ones with large gardens, there are many solutions out there offering convenient composting solutions for smaller households.
We can’t help you here (for now) but do a simple research on the internet and you’ll find many out there!
10) Choose compostable paper litter for your pet.
We too made the mistake to focus only on what waste we could reduce ourselves before we actually looked at our beautiful ginger cat and thought: what about her? How can Cici become a more sustainable cat? And help us with this blog….
We now make sure to only buy recycled paper litter for her (and not those fancy crystals that smells of lavender I obviously got her when we took her home) and we ditched even those compostable pet waste bags and opted to dispose of her n.2 down the toilet.
Thank you for reading our list of eco tips to become more environmentally friendly, we hope to have given you come courage to start with this zero waste journey!