Ways to include earth-friendly
cleaning practices at home
4 minute read
Over the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing Sustainable Stars – inspiring businesses leading the charge against climate change one product at a time in the worlds of food, fashion, beauty, and home. As we all look to small ways to do our part, these gamechangers give us a leg up on the small steps we can take to live more sustainably.
Our homes bring with them perhaps one of the largest carbon footprints in our lives, so tidying them up to be more sustainable can turn small steps into leaps and bounds toward a more sustainable lifestyle. This is especially true when homes have come to serve as an even more important space than usual for us at the moment. It might seem like an overwhelming task to get a whole household in sustainable order, but we’ve got easy tips to tackle it.
If cleanliness is godliness, it’s also environmental friendliness. Cleaning products, sponges, plastic bags, cling film – all of these items provide convenience, but put our planet under stress and are one of the first places in need of a major renovation. With up to 80% of the plastic in the world used only once, there’s a huge chore ahead of us. But thankfully, there are plenty of people and businesses that can help us reach our green goals.
Our homes bring with them perhaps one of the largest carbon footprints in our lives, so tidying them up to be more sustainable can turn small steps into leaps and bounds toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
Matthew Aubrey, the co-founder of a new sustainable cleaning brand, Homethings, is just one of them. “The idea for Homethings came about when we saw the ingredients list of a standard household cleaning spray stating that it consisted of 90% water, 10% the stuff that cleans, packaged in a single-use plastic bottle. To us that didn't make any sense,” Aubrey tells us. “So we set about creating household cleaning products that do make sense. Our first products are household cleaning sprays in effervescent tablet format. This allows customers to refill their bottles again and again with just a tablet and tap water at home.”
Along with swapping our cleaning products for more eco-friendly, plastic-free alternatives, Aubrey had plenty more wisdom to share to help us all make more sustainable choices at home:
Swap your sponges
“Did you know that your cleaning sponge is probably made from plastic? This means that hundreds (if not thousands, we don't have the patience to count) of microplastics are washed down your sink and into the ocean. As an alternative, why not look for a cleaner option such as cleaning sponges that are 100% natural, free from plastic, and also 100% compostable.”
Consider you toilet paper
“This isn’t always the first thing you think of when trying to be more sustainable. Humans cut down 270,000 trees a day for toilet paper, but it’s a really easy switch to sort this out: there are now a number of companies doing 100% recycled toilet paper or 100% bamboo paper (which grows so quickly that it’s much more sustainable).”
The idea for Homethings came about when we saw that your standard household cleaning spray was 90% water, 10% the stuff that cleans, packaged in a single-use plastic bottles.
Reduce food waste
“Food is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions from all household waste. Make sure to buy just what food you need and look to food sharing platforms whenever you have excess.”
Refill your everyday household products
“Either use products made for refilling, like ours at Homethings, or if you are lucky enough to have a refill station close by, just take your empty bottles to be topped back up. Household sprays, shampoos, shower gels: most everyday household products can now be refilled.”
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Switch energy provider
“Move to a provider that just offers 100% renewable electricity and cleaner gas. There are a number of providers now, and you don’t have to pay through the nose for it. But also don’t waste energy at home pointlessly – make sure the home is properly insulated if you can and don’t forget to turn off the lights and appliances at the mains.”
The most sustainable thing to get is the thing you already have
“Look at what’s in your home and see what can be fixed, upcycled or reused, before purchasing a new item. And if you have no luck there then look to purchase second hand.”
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