Where we sit as a society right now, is on top of a large rubbish tip – also known as Planet Earth. We’re trashing our home, making a bed of our waste… and now we must lay in it. I saw my neighbours bin the other day, overflowing with plastic milk cartons, chip packets, polystyrene meat trays, and it bought back the fact that not everyone knows the best way to reduce waste in their home. While some of this may be second nature, it’s not that way for all.
Reducing plastic, waste and packaging in your home may take time, but can be done in small incremental steps to make it sustainable long term.
Here are some easy tips and great resources to get your home green in 2017!
Pledge to #gogreen2017 in your home!
-Buy products with minimal packaging
-Take note of how much waste you make each day and try to lessen it
-Make sure you’re recycling as much as you possibly can
-Separate your garbage and make sure it’s in the right bin
-Invest in a compost bin
One of my goals for 2017 is to learn how to compost… anyone have any great tips for me?
-Take a canvas tote tote to the shops with you
keep one always in your car or handbag!
-Take your own cups, mugs, and cutlery when you’re out
Say no to the plastic sporks and takeaway cups, and keep a set in your bag or car
In the Kitchen
-Buy your food in Bulk
Take your own up-cycled containers and jars to your local bulk store. Here you can stock up on rice, beans, lentils, nuts, spices, sugar, flour and more … all plastic free
-Make everything you can from scratch
Buy dried beans, soak them overnight and cook them. Buy bulk tomatoes and make your own sauce. Purchase berries and fruits at the height of the season and freeze them – you won’t have to buy frozen bags of them! Harvest your herbs when they’re in abundance, and dry them, or freeze them in ice cube trays with some olive oil.
-Ditch the Glad Wrap (Cling Film)
Instead of using Glad Wrap, I use up-cycled brown paper bags (that I get from the health food store when packing up my potatoes, or that hold my rice from our bulk shopping)
-Invest in some high quality glass containers with snap lids
I’ve had mine for years now, and use them for everything and anything, from homemade sauces, to sandwiches, to dips and soup.
-Reuse plastic bags
If you’re one of the people at the supermarket who puts their bananas in a plastic bag (please, don’t!), at the very least reuse them as many times as you can.
-Grab some eco friendly wraps
I am loving these sandwich wraps and am currently experimenting making beeswax free food wraps:
-Instead of plastic straws, get some Glass Straws!
I have some GlassDharma straws and love them
-Homemade Baby Food
If you’re a mum or dad and are buying those little food pouches of yoghurt and fruit, you know you can actually buy reusable ones and fill them with your own healthy food? These LilPouches look cute!
-Likewise for icy pops
have a look at these fun ZipPops – you’ll never buy a bag of ZooperDoopers again.
-Get a rad lunchbox
-Don’t buy plastic scrubbing brushes
These will never break down. Purchase a bamboo fibre wire bristle brush to do your dishes with. I’ve had mine for 6 months and it’s still going strong.
-Reuse plastic strawberry/berry containers
You know those annoying little plastic containers? I reuse them for my berries once I’ve frozen them, and also use them to put cuttings in! A little soil in the bottom, and voilá! They already have little drainage holes.
In the Bathroom
-Choose brands that use minimal or no boxes or plastic wrappings
Dusk by Adele doesn’t have fancy packaging at all. We reuse bubble wrap to wrap our glass bottles up, and are introducing a recycling scheme in 2017.
-Make your own skincare and body care products where you can
-Invest in a menstrual cup
I love mine! Check out The Lunette from MoonPads
-Buy a Bamboo Toothbrush
There’s absolutely no reason to buy plastic toothbrushes anymore. Bamboo toothbrushes are fantastic and breakdown a lot faster than the old Oral B.
-Reuse shampoo and conditioner bottles
Taking them and filling them up at your local bulk store. They often have great shampoos and body washes (just check the ingredients first!). I reuse mine for my homemade dog shampoo (find the recipe in Delicious Doggy Dishes) and even floor cleaner (vinegar + tea tree oil)
-Or even better, choose shampoo and conditioner bars, or even hair tea (Dusk by Adele Hair Tea coming in the New Year)
-Choose body and face scrubs that contain natural exfoliators
Plastic Micro Beads have been banned in many places- but you’ll still find them on supermarket shelves. Make sure you’re choosing scrubs that contain coffee, or walnut, or better yet, DIY.
-Or better yet, get a bamboo fibre body loofah
It’ll slough off all of that fake tan like no-one’s biz.
-Reuse anything you can
I have reused body scrub and face mask zip log bags – simply wash and dry them well first- and pop nuts and seeds in them for a no-spill trail mix bag
Pledge to go #green2017 in your home, and stay tuned for a very special announcement in early 2017.