- Have just one cleaning spray
The cleaning world is consumerism gone crazy. If you ask those who market the cleaning industry, you need a different spray for every surface, a different cloth or brush for every cleaning job, and all of these products need to smell like the strongest chemical in the world. If you don’t have these things, then your home simply won’t be clean – right? WRONG – the only cleaning spray you need is a water, vinegar mix (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) and some bi-carb soda on hand for the really tough stuff. Your house will sparkle with the same shine, but you won’t be breathing in harsh endocrine disrupting chemicals.
- Clean as you go
I can already hear my mother saying “I told you so” about this one, but I guess she was right. Cleaning things as you use them means food doesn’t cake onto dishes, dust doesn’t become grime and stains don’t become permanent. The quicker you clean something, the easier it makes the job. (Mum, if you read this, DON’T GLOAT!)
- Upcycle cloths from old clothes (that cant be donated)
Sometimes, you have clothes that have gone too far to be donated. They have holes, stains, or some other making that makes them unable to be resold. But the material is fine, and it shouldn’t go to waste – what do you do? According to WorldWildLife, it can take 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt (https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/the-impact-of-a-cotton-t-shirt) so we need to make sure we make the most of the resources we have. This old material can be cut up and used as cloths, face wipes, makeup removers, tote bags, cleaning rags, the options are endless! Be creative before you throw an item away!
- Switch out your old items as they break
The same as the above, we don’t want to waste items when it takes so many resources to create them. Don’t throw out your cleaning supplies until they run out or break. Even then, we should try to repair or upcycle these items and get the most out of them before we switch to the more Zero Waste option. I have estimated that it might take me between 2-5 years to completely get rid of all of the plastic that I have in use. And while I hate looking at it around my house, it would pain me more to throw out the item before its time.
- Buy local and sustainable
When you get to the point of buying new items, be a mindful consumer. Choose a business who has good ethical practices, or who tries to be zero waste or a small local business that aligns with your values and who deserves your support. It has never been truer that we have to vote with our dollar and spend our money somewhere that it is going to support our values.