zero-waste-home

Let’s take a look into the waste we produce from our cleaning products and personal care products. Every month each person consumes copious amounts of products in the kitchen, the bathroom and general household, that all present themselves in some form of packaging.

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Whilst many of us are starting to make efforts in separating our waste at home and sending the ‘recyclables’ off to their respective plants, recycling does not propose a sustainable solution. 

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Let’s start with ‘wishful recycling’. Many of us, including me, segregate our waste of what we think could be recycled. In fact, most of it isn’t. Check out this report here from CBS here.

So we can also educate ourselves in what can be recycled and what cannot – But does it actually solve the problem?

Many correctly argue that it’s upon the manufacturers to find sustainable solutions for packaging their products, and rightly so. Yet big corporations only change when consumer habits change.

We, as consumers, are the driving force behind their actions. If we stop buying from them because of their unsustainable packaging or unethical production then they will find solutions to serve us well.

In the meantime, whilst we put pressure on corporations and authorities to take the right actions, we can empower ourselves to make better purchasing habits.

The quickest way I found to drastically reduce my household waste is to make my own cleaning products and personal care products.

Aside from reducing waste, it has helped me save money and has given me the best feeling of empowerment. By making your own products you know exactly what goes into them. You are confident to use them. Your mind is at ease that there are no harsh chemical ingredients that can be harmful to you or your family.

Yes, the thought of it does sound overwhelming. I feel you. I thought I could never do that but I was wrong. There are so many super simple recipes out there that will have you making natural DIY cleaning products and personal care (like soaps and scrubs) in no time.

Natural remedies that work.

By using natural and herbal ingredients, you ensure you keep the use of chemicals down to a minimum – or nothing at all – and you’re suddenly rid of all those pesky toiletries bottles! A major zero-waste hack!

Here are my top 15 Zero-waste hacks for the home:

ZERO-WASTE KITCHEN:

  1. Buy or save a collection of re-usable bottles, spray bottles, jars, Tupperware. They are essential when reducing waste. Buy and store bulk dried foods (pulses, grains, etc), preserve your cleaning products, soap nut concentrates etc. in these reusable jars. (I use tomato sauce glass jars and condiment jars)
  2. Make your own soap nut concentrate for an all-purpose cleaner, floor detergent and dishwashing liquid.
  3. Swap synthetic cleaning sponges with natural biodegradable dish cleaning sponges.
  4. Eliminate plastic food wrap and replace with beeswax food wraps. Make your own or buy them here.
  5. Avoid all plastic bags and single-use packaging. Take your own bags, containers, jars for grocery shopping. For take-away foods or to pack your lunch for the office check out this range of food packaging options.

ZERO-WASTE CLEANING

If there’s one thing I hate shopping for is detergents. These guys confuse the crap out of me and truth be told, they are so damn toxic containing chemicals and names we don’t understand (if they even list them!). For natural and green cleaning recipes visit DIY Cleaning Products. Say goodbye to the detergent isles and plastic bottles that take up so much cupboard space.

  1. Floor Detergent for tiles: In a bucket, mix soap nut concentrate, tea tree essential oil and lemon essential oil, top with water.
  2. Wooden Floor Detergent: In a bucket, mix soap nut concentrate, apple cider vinegar, Wild Orange Essential Oil, Cinnamon Essential Oil and top up with water.
  3. Multi-purpose Spray for surfaces: Add two tablespoons of doTERRA On Guard Cleaning Concentrate to 24oz (c. 700ml) of water in a spray bottle. One bottle of On Guard Cleaner Concentrate serves you 12 bottles of multi-purpose surface cleaner!
  4. Wood Polish: Mix quarter cup olive oil, quarter cup vinegar and 10 drops Wild Orange essential oil.
  5. Dishwashing: 2 cups liquid Castille soap or soap nut concentrate, 20 drops Lime Essential Oil, 10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil. Sometimes I also like to use lemon essential oil with peppermint essential oil or doTERRA’s Citrus Blend.

You can find all of these essential oils for cleaning.

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Join a zero-waste challenge

ZERO-WASTE PERSONAL CARE

  1. Clean your face with re-useable cotton pads.
  2. Eliminate shampoo and conditioner bottles. Make your own mix with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Add essential oils like lavender or clary sage, to stimulate hair growth and strength.
  3. Make your own scrubs using used coffee grounds.
  4. Swap disposable razors for lifetime-use razors or consider natural beeswax waxing (watch here – Warning – hairy armpits!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8VSQbimsu8
  5. Replace plastic toothbrush with bamboo toothbrushes that have natural bristles.

Get more ideas on swaps you can make today with these zero-waste bathroom picks

Using Essential Oils for Cleaning & Personal Care

Since I started exploring the multitude of benefits that essential oils offer, my life has changed. Whether it’s adding lemon and peppermint to a cleaning spray, or lavender to a fabric spray, or rose essential oil into a face mask, integrating essential oils into my daily routine has empowered me to take control over the products I consume.

Whilst the initial cost of essential oils seems exorbitant, their use has saved me hundreds of euro in cleaning products and personal care products. Furthermore by using essential oils into your daily products has indirect therapeutic effects on the body that are non-toxic and stimulating.

Learn the basics of essential oils here.

What do you do with empty essential oil bottles?
Re-use, Re-purpose and spread the love of essential oils. Check out these 15 ways to re-use essential oil bottles.

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