Giving up plastic is something that we should all thrive for. After all, it is what is essentially destroying the planet, the extent that there is a small continent worth of it floating in the ocean. Sounds highly appealing, doesn’t it? This is why there is a small but growing movement to reduce plastic use, and it is working.
From being reused for clothing and homewares to reduced through cloth tote bags, the war on plastic has begun. And yet, one of the most challenging of issues comes from getting rid of plastic has to do with the world of cosmetics and home care. Because as much as easy as it is to make lifestyle choices involving food and material things, our appearance and our home is not something we are prepared to sacrifice for the sake of the environment. Until now.
Many companies are coming out with solutions that make a plastic-free beauty routine and house cleaning day a reality. For example, Lush was one of the first companies to have created a line of soaps that could be purchased in bulk. They were then wrapped in a small piece of paper and had the instructions printed on a sticker. Today, they take it a step farther with their “naked stores,” where literally nothing comes in a package. Instead, consumers purchase the items, which are then wrapped for them in a little compostable bag. This means that traditionally liquid things, like lotions and shampoos, now come in a solid block, like soap.
Other companies have taken inspiration from Lush to create their own lines of environmentally friendly beauty and household cleaners. For example, No Tox Life has created a range of solid dishwashing detergent. It works just as well as the liquid variety and doesn’t come in a plastic bottle. Simply place the block in a little box next to the sink and get scrubbing!
Rinse aid, used in dishwashers, is one way to waste a whole lot of plastic. Because these things usually come in individual capsules, they are hugely wasteful. But guess what? The only reason rinse aid is a thing is to avoid spotting on glasses, which we’re pretty sure we can live with. If you’re particular about such things, throw a halved lemon in the dishwasher before you start a load.
Vinegar and baking soda make for incredible natural cleaners, and they come in plastic-free packaging. Use vinegar in the same way as you would use a window cleaner for sparkling-clean windows, and sprinkle baking soda on smelly soft furniture. Vacuum the baking soda up with the vacuum nozzle and enjoy your fresh smelling sofa.
Similarly, a bowl of baking soda in the fridge will keep it smelling fresh, so you don’t have to worry about scrubbing out the funk. Just put it in the back where you can forget about it and enjoy. You can also use baking soda as a scouring paste. Mix one part soda and one part water and use the product as a sink, pot, or surface cleaner.
Finally, instead of opting for the incredibly convenient and horrible for the environment single-use wipes, choose cloths with natural fibers. Picking cloths that you can wash will save you a ton of money over time. For an even more wallet-friendly solution, grab clothes that you would otherwise throw away and use them for cleaning towels.
It’s not especially challenging to make the effort to become more eco-friendly in every part of your life, starting with the little things. The planet will thank you.