The 5th June marks "Environment Day", a day introduced by the United Nations to raise awareness about how we can protect our planet. Never has it been more important to acknowledge a day dedicated to environmental issues, however I often think that these kinds of events sometimes raise awareness, which doesn’t always result in long-term action.
In order to successfully make a positive environmental difference, we need to pledge to change at least one habit and make it a permanent fixture. That doesn't mean that the odd slip isn't allowed, but it does call for a little bit of determination! When making permanent lifestyle changes, we need to start small and build up. Changing too much at once quickly becomes a chore. Decide on what changes to make in your household by making a mental list of what ends up in your bin. Most disposable household items can be easily traded for reusable, eco versions. The less waste you create, the better, and the more money you will save. Since the "plastic boom" we have been conditioned by giant corporations to believe that disposable items will make our lives more convenient, but this “clever“ marketing is simply untrue.
Here are my top 5 household items which can be easily swapped for cleaner, greener options. These swaps alone will save you so much money, and will eliminate a large chunk of daily waste from your home.
Buying a safety razor, made from metal and wood does not make shaving any more difficult than using a plastic-wrapped, plastic-made disposable razor. What it DOES do is save you a ton of money and waste. Spending £30 on an entire shave kit, including soap, blades and razor is all you need. Metal blade refills cost £10 for 100). How much do you spend on disposables in 4 months? It’s likely that this swap will pay itself off in at least that amount of time. It will also reduce some of the 2 billion disposable razors which are thrown away in the US alone. An absolute no brainer.
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2. Cotton Wool
Cotton wool is an environmental disaster! Think of all the water used to grow the cotton and the pesticides involved. Then there is the plastic packaging. By spending £10 on reusable make-up rounds, you will save a lot of cash and avoid lots of waste. Just use, wash and re-use. They work well with coconut oil or shea butter to remove eye make-up, just remember to pop them in a cheap washable mesh bag before washing them in the machine to avoid clogging it up. You can also use felt nail varnish remover pads to replace cotton wool, made from bamboo felt.
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3. Make-up wipes
Another eco-fail. Any kind of disposable wipe causes unnecessary waste, from the production, to the packaging. We have been led to believe that disposable wipes are quicker and easier for make-up removal. Wrong. Using a super-soft, hot bamboo flannel at the end of a hard day is far more quick, easy, soothing AND effective! One hot flannel will lift off the majority of your day’s make-up and grime. All you need to do afterwards is follow up with a tiny wipe over with a good quality cleanser, like this Lime and Coconut cleansing water by White Rabbit. A flannel will not coat your face in chemicals or create any waste. The humble flannel will also save you money. Why invest in a monthly disposable wipe supply at all?
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4. Wax wraps
Vegan or beeswax, wax wraps are a kitchen essential in the battle against waste. Why use cling film or tin foil when you can use a wrap? Wax wraps are great for wrapping and covering all sorts of foods, from fruit, nuts and cheese to sandwiches and vegetable sticks. Wax wraps typically last for up to a year if they are well cared for. When you need to give it a clean, just wipe down with tepid water, some washing up liquid and a soft cloth.
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5. Kitchen roll
Did you know there is such a thing as reusable kitchen roll? It’s typically made from bamboo, which is an incredibly fast-growing crop. Each sheet can be washed up to 80 times! This is one of my favourite swaps. We dip our sheets of reusable kitchen roll in a glass jar of water with a few drops of lemon, mint or orange essential oil, then squeeze out the excess and we have beautifully scented wet wipes on tap. We keep them in a glass jar, ready to go. You can use them for faces, spills, wiping surfaces or whatever you like! Just throw into your machine with the other washing when they need freshening up.
Reusable kitchen roll costs around £10 and can last for the best part of a year. Imagine how much money you will save on kitchen roll in one year.
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