Do you wish you could make your home more environmentally friendly with little to no extra effort? Well, you can! Though some of these tips take a little more work than others, ultimately, we all know it’s worth it. After all, there’s no Planet B.
So let’s get to it:
1. Gow, Grow, Grow!
Or rather, re-grow. Lot’s of little cut-offs from your kitchen can be set up to grow again and save you some cash, such as garlic, spring onions, and even carrots! As well as looking super cute on your windowsill, it’s an easy peasy step towards giving your fresh food another life. Check the re-growth opportunities for the products that you’re buying before you throw them out next time and give plant parenting a go!
2. Ditch Paper Kitchen Towels.
There are so many spillages and messes in the kitchen to clean up, daily, and I for one have gone through rolls and rolls of paper kitchen towel to keep on top of it all. The wastage is huge! And it’s expensive. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Why don’t you try using cloth towels?
3. Try To Live Plastic Free.
This is one we all know about, but still struggle to live by. From plastic bags to plastic water bottles, even when we try to live plastic-free we all fail sometimes, and that’s okay! It’s giving it our best shot that matters. Try investing in a glass or metal water bottle, there are so many great brands out there: one of my favorites is Chilly’s. Pocket shopping bags are also a great idea! You can get them for next to nothing on Amazon or in most gift stores.
4. This One Is For The Girls.
Something to think about – a woman uses roughly 17,000 period pads in her lifetime, and if she isn’t using products that are plastic-free, such as those made from biodegradable materials like organic cotton, that will all contribute to landfill waste. Did you know conventional pads and panty liners are made up of 90% crude oil plastics? They also contain other hazardous ingredients such as odor neutralizers and fragrances.
The vagina is one of the most absorbent and sensitive parts of the body, as well as thinking about the environment here, think about you! Period care manufacturers are not required to disclose product ingredients, and while you might be a pad user experiencing little to no issues with conventional products, if you ever use tampons I would urge you to go with a brand that is 100% organic cotton like TOTM Organic. I’ve been using them for years and love them. Read up ladies and get informed, because we should not keep getting screwed over a natural biological process.
Not into pads and tampons? Have a look at Shethinx.com (period absorbing underwear) or TOTM Organic’s menstrual cup range.
It goes without saying that this is one of the easiest ways to do your little bit for the environment. Whether you’re only able to do this little bit, or this is your step towards eco-warrior status, the world will thank you. Research what you can recycle and where in your area and get to it! Literally one of the most simple jobs.
Wondering how you can do a bit more? Think about the products you’re buying and the companies you’re buying them from? Is the packaging recyclable? Are they doing their best to reduce plastic waste?
6. Meatless Monday.
And no, I’m not telling you to go vegan or warp your diet to fit societal trends. I’m simply advocating for a more mindful meal plan. Did you know that animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction (cowspiracy.com)? There are all kinds of reasons people change their eating habits, but it’s worth being as informed as possible – the smallest change carried out by enough people can make the world of difference.
Oxford University has found that the average “high-meat” diet produces the equivalent of 15.8 pounds of carbon dioxide per day, and, in contrast, that the average vegetarian diet produces about 8.4 pounds of carbon dioxide per day which is roughly half as much. Let’s do our best and cut down, each step forward is a positive step.
7. Zero Waste Cleaning.
Do-It-Yourself. There are so many ways to save wastage (and money) by getting a little bit creative with your household products. Not only will a DIY version of near enough anything be better for you than a shop bought version, but it’s also likely, especially in the case of cleaning products, to be far better for the environment.
Check out some DIY cleaning products for your house online! One of my favorites at the moments is a vinegar citrus spray and it’s incredible. The vinegar cost me around 30p, and I was buying a bag of oranges to juice in the mornings weekly anyway – so saving the skins for a little extra use seemed like a great idea! It works really well and saves me lots of ££. Though not all DIY cleaning products are suitable to destroy all germs, many, vinegar being a prime example, do a damn good job. Do some research first and choose the best option for you.
8. Zero Waste Eating.
There are many products we use on a daily basis in our kitchen, and one of the easiest to make yourself would be non-dairy milk, particularly oat milk. I have consumed non-dairy milk for years now, and though this choice was due to dietary requirements, if I could consume dairy milk I wouldn’t – for many reasons. But this isn’t a comment on the dairy industry, it’s a helpful tip on how to save a little and receive a lot.
Oat milk is really simple to make. A one-off payment of a nut milk bag strainer, which you can get from Amazon for under £10, and a bag of oats that will cost you less than £1 (and can be used for more than one batch) and you’re good to go! Wandering_wild_home has an easy recipe for oat milk in one of her Instagram posts. Water, oats, blender, bag and a glass bottle are all you need for this easy peasy zero waste recipe. You can even use the remaining oat pulp if you wish!
9. Find Your Nearest Zero Waste Shop.
Dive in at the deep end and force yourself to be more mindful and less wasteful! We buy so many packaged goods when we shop at supermarkets, forgetting to recycle that packaging or finding that that recycling isn’t actually being recycled at all despite your best efforts! To top it all off, we often forget to reuse our bags and chuck it all in another 5p plastic carrier. Why not try a zero waste shop instead? Taking your items home in paper bags or glass jars purchased there or brought to the shop by you. All you’ve got to do is weigh and pay!
The nearest to me is, I believe, Edinburgh’s The Eco Larder, and I’ll be sure to stop in there soon.
10. Keep Swapping!
Little swaps are good transitional steps towards having a more environmental home. Think about all of the products we only use once, or for a short period of time, before replacing. Can you extend that shelf life? Can you swap out products that aren’t recyclable for ones that are?
Some examples of good swaps are: reusable organic cotton rounds and facial wipes instead of cotton wool pads, bamboo toothbrushes rather than plastic, bamboo cutlery and ear cleaning buds rather than plastic ones and beeswax food wraps rather than cling film. What else could you swap?