Sh*t is getting real. German cities are cracking down on diesel. EkoPlaza (Dutch supermarket in Amsterdam) has introduced a plastic-free aisle and we’ve seen a wave of Blue Planet inspired anti- plastic commitments. I have noticed a lot of huge corporations are announcing new environmental policies and exploring more sustainable routes in their businesses. Do you think that they have done this out of the goodness of their own heart? Think again. More likely, they have noticed that companies that do declare a more sustainable method of bringing their product to you, appear much more admirable to the consumer and are much higher in demand. The power is very much in the consumers hands!
As well as making ethical choices when it comes to your purchases here are some of the easy changes I have made at home to make my household a little greener:
- Switch from shower gel to soap; it’s usually cheaper (or you can treat yourself to a fancier bar of soap), there’s usually less chemicals and WAY less packaging and it lasts AGES!
- Buy your groceries at the market using produce/tote bags (thus reducing plastic usage). I was pretty shocked at the amounts of single fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic in the Netherlands. (Shrink wrapping a single courgette??Madness!). Also it is more likely that your veggies have been sourced locally if they are not wrapped in plastic.
- Switch your single-use razors to reusable ones- or better yet don’t shave! Don’t worry I am not going to get all “free the bush” on you, but if you can get away with not shaving do it (I can’t but personally I refuse to shave in the winter as I am a Northern European mammal and need to keep warm), and if not make sure you invest in a non-disposable razor! I just purchased a bamboo handled razor, I will update you with the progress.
- Switch your normal toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush. I got a pack of these for Christmas (but FYI they are pretty cheap on Amazon). Over 4 billion plastic toothbrushes are produced worldwide every year. The handle on my toothbrush is completely biodegradable and the bristles are plant-based BUT not biodegradable. At the moment the only biodegradable option is pig hair which was used prior to nylon, but for obvious reasons this is pretty controversial. You could even make your own toothpaste. I tried it, and I have to say that specific recipe wasn’t for me (made of coconut oil, peppermint oil and soda bicarb), but I would be very inclined to try another recipe.
- Throw out the kitchen paper towel! I know it is easy and convenient, but globally it totals 254 million tons of trash each year (source)
- Use a homemade anti-bacterial spray. I nicked the idea from my local yoga studio, and her place smells incredible. If it works on sweaty yoga mats it will work on my kitchen table. I use 1 shot of vodka + 7 drops of lavender oil + 7 drops of tea tree oil in a reused spray bottle with the rest filled up with water.
- Turn your old clothes into rags and use them as dusters. This is an old one that I hope everyone already does, but if your clothes are not worthy of the charity shop don’t let them end up on landfill!
- Turn old jars into containers/ glasses/ candle holders. They look beautiful with a tea light in, especially in summer outside!
This list started as 5 but once I started writing it quickly turned into eight. I found these things most affordable and easy changes.