I am wrapping the week up with just a few more bits and bobs that can help you reduce your wasteline (and probably save a few bob in the long run!):
- Cleaning supplies: I hate the process of cleaning (does anyone actually like it?), but I do like the results of it. I have always been fond of bicarb and vinegar as cleaning products, but cleaning wipes were so convenient that has taken me a lot longer to wean myself from them than I care to admit. However, I have recently switched to eCloths: just add water and a bit of elbow grease, and things sparkle. I have been impressed with them so far, and their 300-wash guarantee is encouraging. They’re not cheap but the money saved not buying disposables, spray bottles, and other chemicals should add up quickly. There are also cheaper brands that are likely just as good (consider joining the Reduce Your Wasteline Facebook group to share your thoughts). Regarding bicarb and vinegar, Wilko’s does bicarbonate of soda in a cardboard box (it can be found with their cleaning supplies so I wouldn’t use it for baking) and Zero Green (and probably other refill shops) do white vinegar.
- Laundry (1): We switched from capsules to laundry powder a while ago and have recently purchased concentrated laundry liquid from Zero Green in a refillable bottle. We’re still using up the last of the powder, but this is a potential way to completely eliminate packaging waste.
- Laundry (2): I mentioned the problem of microplastics in the wash a few days ago, and this is something I am only just starting to look into at home. I know that some products, like the Guppyfriend and Cora Ball, promise to trap microfibres, but this isn’t something I’ve invested in yet.
- In the garden: Food scraps and garden waste get added to the composter and, since it’s been going 5+ years now, I get high-quality compost for free. It’s been enough for the amount of gardening I do (i.e. not very much), and if you have the space in your garden, a composting area is a really beneficial addition.
- For the birds: I’ve always tried to support my local wildlife, and the birds have been particularly entertaining this year. However, I tend to provide fatballs rather than seed as there’s less mess, but many brands produce them in plastic buckets. I discovered a place on Amazon a few years ago that provides them in cardboard boxes without any packaging; it’s just a matter of decanting them from the boxes to the existing tubs. You can get 300 for less than the equivalent of buying 50 at a time but you do need the storage space (or hungry birds). PLEASE NOTE: The most recent shipment came with the food in plastic bags and it looks like a different recipe was used as well; I am investigating whether suppliers have changed.
While that is a look at all of the changes we’ve instituted over the past few years, there are a few more blog posts to go this weekend, so please pop back then.
Check out all of the Reduce Your Wasteline posts:
- Reduce Your Wasteline: The Bathroom
- Reduce Your Wasteline: The Wardrobe
- Reduce Your Wasteline: Out and About
- Reduce Your Wasteline: The Kitchen
- Reduce Your Wasteline: Everything Else
- Reduce Your Wasteline: Get Social
- Reduce Your Wasteline: Gift Giving
- Greenwashing and Unintended Consequences
- Festival Fundamentals
- Reflecting on my Wasteline
- Tip of the Iceberg
If you’re using Plastic Free July as a springboard to reduce your waste year round, consider reading related posts: