If you are feeling that 2019 is the year that you #gocleanandgreenin2019 and start working towards #zerowaste then there are lots of little things that you can change around your home that will make a big difference to the planet. This is especially true of anyone raising children, as our own attitudes and positivity towards sustainability will sow the seeds of this lifestyle for the next generation.
Here's some of our top tips for becoming more sustainable at home:
1. Bags For Life
You probably already have plenty of bags for life to carry your weekly shop home in. Many of these are made from recycled or recyclable plastic, but wouldn't it be even more amazing to bring your shopping home in cotton mesh or jute bags that are even more sustainable, as they are biodegradable, and easier to pop into your handbag or even a coat pocket. This means that you are less likely to forget them and have to buy more plastic bags for life at the checkout. Of course, there are many arguments that cotton bags take a lot of energy to create, often by means that are not sustainable so Jute might be the best option, or seek out Fair Trade Organic Cotton bags.
Whatever you do, don't ditch your plastic bags for life in the general waste bin. Most supermarkets offer a service whereby you can give them your old bags, for recycling, and they will replace it with a new bag for life free of charge.
2. Food Storage & Transport
There are so many gorgeous options now when it comes to cleaning out your kitchen cupboards and ridding them of plastic containers.
- Use stretchy Silicone Lids to cover bowls, plates and more, rather than tin foil or cling film. These are easy to obtain and care for, and can be used over and over again.
- Use Beeswax Wraps to wrap up food and sandwiches, for at home and on the go. These cotton and beeswax wraps need to be wiped clean with cool water and gently soaped. Caring for them like this they should last a year. They come in so many beautiful patterns and colours too.
3. Stainless Steel Containers
These can be used as lunchboxes for both adults and children. There is a huge variety available. Look for containers without plastic lids. They are usually air tight... and your food tastes so much better!
4. Reusable Stainless Steel Water bottles
This one is a no-brainer. Ditch the plastic water bottles and keep stainless steel ones everywhere you go (at home, in the car, at work, in your gym bag) so that you can always fill one up. It saves our oceans and our planets from more plastic, and you also reap the health reward by not consuming your water from endocrine-disrupting plastics. Spend your money on a gorgeous bottle that you will be excited to take with you, and say no to plastic drinks bottles.
5. Paper Straws
Another no-brainer. Unless you are being served an eco-friendly straw (paper, bamboo, stainless steel) please refuse it. Reportedly there are approximately 8 billion plastic straws littering beaches around the World. At home, paper straws or stainless steel straws are a more sustainable alternative and readily available online. Most stainless steel straws come with a brush for easy cleaning.
It is recommended that we replace manual plastic toothbrushes every 3 months, and many of them are not recyclable! There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives here too. In fact, we sell them here on The Clean Beauty Edit.
7. Cleaning Products
Traditional cleaning products are not only horrible for your own health, and that of your family, they are also harmful to the environment and to animal life. Look for toxin-free brands that have natural ingredients. There is a wealth of choice out there. You don't need to buy everything at the supermarket. Shop online and have your eco-friendly cleaning products delivered if you cannot find them locally. It's an added bonus that the packaging tends to be much more chic than their brash supermarket counterparts.
8. Beauty Products
But of course, you can't read a blog post by TCBE and not have us mention the plethora of incredible toxin-free, natural and sustainable beauty products that we offer. Again these are much better for the personal health of you and your family, but all the brands that we offer take sustainability as seriously as we do and strive to create packaging and products that are as eco-friendly as possible. Shop our entire collection here and see what products you are going to swap out this month.
9. Conserve Energy
Turn off lights when not needed. Make sure leaky taps are fixed. Keep your heat at a sensible 19 degrees. Wash your clothes at 30 degrees. Make sure the dishwasher... and the washing machine and dryer... are full before turning them on. Use LED bulbs. Refuse junk Mail.
10. Grow Your Own
Not only is it fun, especially for little ones, but it tastes so much better and you know it's 100% organic. Get in the habit of growing even one thing at home. Herbs are easy to grow and can be grown indoors or outdoors. Leave them on the windowsill in the kitchen, to be watered after you have washed the dishes. Carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, berries... all easy to grow and delicious to eat.
11. Compost & Recycle
Take your left over fruit and vegetable peels and put them in a compost bin. It will save you room in your general waste for things are really need to go in there. Make sure you familiarise yourself with what can and cannot go in your recycle bin, and rinse out containers that have food scraps in before recycling.
If you are shopping and browsing on TCBE you are probably already doing some, if not all, of the above. It never hurts to remind ourselves what to aim for though, and to start, or restart, a conversation on sustainability. Together we can create change.