I feel like cleaning is something that gets overlooked when it comes to eco-friendly living. There’s a big focus on the likes of sustainable fashion and beauty, which don’t get me wrong are incredibly important, but cleaning is another everyday activity involving a lot of single-use products and harsh chemicals that harm the environment. In actual fact, it’s very easy to make those household chores more sustainable. Here are 6 simple eco-friendly cleaning ideas to get you started on your sustainable journey.
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An easy way to be more eco-friendly (and save money) is reusing or repurposing what you already have. Don’t immediately throw something away because it can no longer fulfill its original purpose. Towels are a good thing to start with. Yes, the towel that’s been sitting in the cupboard for ages may not be accepted into one of Monica’s 11 categories (Friends’ fans will know), but it will make a great dust cloth or prove useful for soaking up drink spillages.
Hopefully, you have switched to a bamboo toothbrush by now, but if you’re still finishing up that multipack of plastic toothbrushes, don’t throw them away when they are getting a bit tired. Increase their longevity by using them for cleaning, for example, the bathroom. You know those smaller spots that are hard to get to such as around taps or plugholes, toothbrushes are a life-saver!
Rewashable Cleaning Cloths
I’ve recently started to wonder why we even have kitchen roll. There are so many more reusable alternatives out there. Rewashable cleaning clothes are easy to find and can be used for wiping surfaces, washing up and, well, just general cleaning. I recently found these If You Care Compostable Sponges that you can rewash about 300 times and they are then compostable. I’ve used them for washing up and cleaning the kitchen counters and they work really well.
Compostable Washing Up Brushes
While cloths are great for washing up most things, when you have a pan etc. that requires something a bit more hardcore, bamboo washing up brushes are a good alternative. They are compostable and while a bit more expensive, some come with replaceable heads so you don’t have to repurchase a whole brush.
The sun is shining…hang your clothes out to dry!
I know we get used to tumble dryers throughout the colder months, but especially during spring and summer when the weather improves, make the most of the sunshine. Save energy by hanging your clothes out to dry and use the sun as a natural tumble dryer. It’s harder to do this if you live in a flat, but if you have some outdoor space, all you need is a small washing line and you’re good to go.
The Cleaning Products Themselves
Ok, we’ve covered some eco-friendly cleaning ‘accessories’ as I’m calling them, but what about the actual products? You know, washing up liquid, anti-bacterial spray etc. I currently haven’t tried any (switching to a more sustainable life is still new at the minute), but there’s some brands which I have my eye on including Ecover, Method and Waitrose Ecological. I really want to try the National Trust’s cleaning products as they are made in the UK, vegan and cruelty-free. You could also experiment with homemade cleaners. The Guardian has this guide on recipes (sounds weird when it’s not food) to use for different parts of the house, mostly using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.
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Do you have any other eco-friendly cleaning tips? Have you discovered a sustainable cleaning secret?
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