I’ve been examining my own plastic footprint and am now looking at what I can do to reduce my future intake. I’m going to start by looking at possibilities of plastic free cleaning in the kitchen and the bathroom. Looking at the selection of plastic containers and spray bottles our small household has gone through this past year is astonishing. Bleach bottles, washing up liquid bottles, bathroom cleaners, window cleaners, kitchen cleaners, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste…. the pile is positively mountainous! Also, knowing that compared to a lot of households I actually don’t buy that much (not much of a cleaning fan) it just makes me realise how much plastic waste just from kitchen and bathroom cleaning stuff must be produced annually by one small town the size of Ennis.
Bring your own bottle
I had heard before of a woman in Galway market selling eco-friendly cleaning products where you bring your own bottle or container to fill, but Galway is an hours drive from me and I don’t get there as often as I’d like to. But on a trip to a new shop here in Ennis called Meanwell Bio market, (they also own Meanwell Wholefoods and Peckish Vegan Cafe) I spotted the same thing, you can fill your own bottle of washing up liquid and clothes detergent.. brilliant. And not just cleaning products; you can bulk buy filling paper bags or your own containers with a massive range of basic food staples like rice, pasta, lentils, nuts and dried fruit. I had no shortage of plastic bottles at home to bring in to get filled so I brought one in and got a litre of washing up liquid, I will give the clothes detergent a try when I run out again; I had gone back to using the boxes of washing powder instead of the plastic containers of liquid.
Basic DIY cleaning recipes
Next, I thought I’d have a look online for homemade cleaning products… duh… why didn’t I think of this before!
So simple, clean, nontoxic, and environmentally friendly. Of course, when I googled it the internet is full of DIY cleaning recipes using stuff you probably have in the cupboard at home. Basic ingredients for most of these are:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- lemon juice
- Essential Oils
It all makes sense now, remembering making a volcano as a child, it was baking soda and vinegar that created that explosive eruption! It just eats away at grease and dirt and grime! To be honest I’m no great housekeeper but I’ve taken sheer pleasure in cleaning the kitchen and bathroom today with my new cleaning stuff. I mixed a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in a jar with about 100 ml of white vinegar, added some water and the juice of a lemon, put in into one of the many plastic spray bottles I have piling up around me and topped up with water. It really is quite impressive. A link to the website I found this recipe on can be found here.
Although both my vinegar and baking soda came in plastic I’m sure if I look I can find these products in more sustainable packaging. Maybe Meanwell sell them in bulk?
I’m going to take a closer look at the plastic from my bathroom next, I’ll be back in a day or two with my results.