This is a really helpful guest post with some tips on greener family living, by Sue Campbell, founder of award-winning plastic-free shampoo and conditioner KIND2
Making your home greener is something you probably want to do, but with busy family life and working within a budget, it’s not always easy to make changes. Don’t beat yourself up, celebrate what you have already achieved. No-one is perfect … and very few people really can fit their years garbage into a jar!
I’ve put together a list of my favourite tips for making changes that will help you on that journey.
First of all, the greenest thing is using the stuff you already have.
Start by changing to a greener energy supplier can save you money and it’s now pretty easy to do with sites like https://bigcleanswitch.org/
In the Kitchen, some simple tips and swaps
- Plan your meals as much as possible to reduce food waste (~20 – 25% of food waste happens in the home).
- Batch cook and freeze, it not only reduces waste but also saves energy
- Instead of those nasty, bacteria laden plastic sponges and replace with coconut fibre pads and brushes.
- Cut up old t-shirts or tea towels and use them as washable/ reusable wipes. No need for paper towels.
- Beeswax wraps or reusable, sealable containers for storing food and leftovers. Clingwrap has been banished from our house for 5 years.
In the Bathroom.
- Shockingly, only 50% of Brits recycle their bathroom plastic, so switching to solid soaps, shampoo bars and conditioner bars is an easy and more sustainable option that will also save you money.
- Bamboo toothbrushes, there’s even replacement heads for electric ones now.
- Salt deodorant sticks, they really work and last forever.
Around the House
Switching to greener cleaning products is not only better for the planet with less plastic and less nasty chemicals, it can also be a real money saver. It’s fair to say that you can probably do the vast majority of household cleaning with these 4 natural products, plus laundry powder, dishwashing detergent and dishwasher tabs.
- White vinegar can be purchased in bulk and most refill stores have it in stock. It’s a cleaning staple and great for a multitude of uses. The smell vanishes pretty quickly after you use it, but if bothers you, just add some citrus peel to tone it down a bit. Use with scrunched up newspaper for cleaning glass and windows, or removing limescale from shower screens or taps. If your gym clothes have developed a stubborn stink even after washing, a soak in diluted vinegar for ~30 minutes before washing should banish this. Cannot tell you how happy I was to find out about this!
- Soda Crystals, sometimes known as washing soda – softens water and removes grease brilliantly, it’s cheap and readily available in your supermarket. Great for cleaning the oven or BBQ, unclogging drains, cleaning the toilet and running through the washing machine every month or so to keep it smelling fresh.
- Citric Acid – not only is it available in a cardboard box, it’s really effective in removing limescale and cheap. Removing limescale from your appliances helps them last longer. Adding a tablespoon into your kettle when the water has boiled, let it soak and rinse or run some through the empty dishwasher on a hot cycle regularly to keep it sparkling. No need to buy expensive “appliance de-scaler”!
- Bicarbonate of Soda – also widely available in cardboard boxes. It’s great for deodorising the fridge, freshening the carpet or mix into a paste to clean the bath or the base of your iron.
Share your experiences and tips for greener family living with friends and family to inspire them to make changes too.