Plastic Free Home Tips
Since going plastic free, we have had a lot of people ask us what the easiest swaps are for reducing our single use plastics in our home. The main thing to remember is it doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be a whole load of faff. Here are our top 5 tips for going plastic free at home;
We started using Soap Nuts last year, initially quite sceptical that they would actually work, it’s over 11 months now and we swear by them. They are from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree which is part of the lychee family. They sound weird but they work just as well as any other laundry detergent plus they are a lot cheaper, they are organic and you can compost them after use. You put 4-5 soap nuts in a cloth bag and pop them in the drum of the washing machine, you can use them for up to 4 washes before you need to replace them. You can buy a bag of Soap Nuts for £8.99 that will do 240 washes! We add 15 drops of lavender oil on the cloth bag before we put them in to give our clothes a nice smell. We buy ours from Living Naturally.
House Cleaning Spray
This is probably the cheapest plastic free swap we use, using soap nuts we boil up approximately 20 soap nuts in a pint of water for 10 minutes, let it cool and sieve through muslin or a paper coffee filter, then mix with the same quantity of white vinegar and then add 60 - 70 drops of a combination of these essential oils which all have antibacterial properties – Eucalyptus, Lemon, Pine, Tea Tree, Rosemary. We have a brown glass bottle with a spray top as the brown stops the light from breaking down the essential oils. It is a great natural spray for cleaning work surfaces, sinks, stove tops plus it smells lovely.
Washing Up Liquid
This is a very easy swap, we go to our local refill shop in the village and refill our ecover washing up liquid every few weeks. To find your nearest refill shop check out our plastic free shopping map. As you can see from our very tired looking bottle we have refilled it quite a few times!
I dread to think how many of the green and yellow scouring pads I have used in my life time, we swapped last year to scouring pads made of bamboo, they are just as tough but rather than ending up in landfill you just put them in the compost to biodegrade. We use Safix Scrub Pads which we buy from our local refill shop but if you search these online you will easily find lots of stores selling them.
Toilet Roll – Most of us can remember when loo roll came packaged in paper, but it is impossible now to buy it without a plastic outer. There is a great company that we order our toilet roll online from called Greencane. We buy their Box of Naked Toilet Paper which is £25.20 for 48. The toilet paper comes in a cardboard box and the rolls are unpackaged so no unnecessary packaging. The paper is made mainly from fast growing bamboo and recycled sugar cane. They also sell paper towels and tissues.
We hope these zero waste tips have been useful, don’t feel the pressure to go out and buy loads of new stuff though, the key to really effective plastic free living is to actually just cut down on what you buy in general. So definitely get the bits you think will be easy to swap and then introduce more plastic free household products when you have the time and head space.