Do you change your kitchen sponge every 3 weeks like you should? Oops… Maybe we’re a bit lax on that hygiene suggestion. But disposable items around the house do add up to a lot of landfill. Just think of all those used toothbrushes and disposable razors. *shudders*
Hang on a moment, I’ve just thought about all of the money spent on disposable razors and sponges. Oh my…
Sponges and paper towels
Even if you don’t change your sponge as often as you do each sponge you do discard is creating more waste in our environment. Along with sponges, paper towels cannot be recycled or reused so they end up as landfill too. In the long term you spend a lot of cash on these frequently used products in your kitchen and cleaning cupboard.
Switches to reduce waste:
- Use cleaning cloths that you throw in the wash with your towels and bath mats. These can be old rags or cotton cloths. Avoiding plastic items, even multiple use items, will reduce the impact of microplastics entering our environment.
- Dish scrubbers made from natural fibres such as hemp or nettle yarn can be washed many times. They last even longer if you dry them out in the sunshine!
Paper tissue fibres, as with paper towels, are too short to go into the recycling bin. Tissues will always be a contribution to landfill unless you consider other options. The cost of buying tissues also adds up over time.
Switches for tissues:
- Convert old clothes and rags into handkerchiefs. Hankies are useful to keep in your pocket or handbag for mopping up any little spills or dirty fingers. Just throw them in the washing machine with your regular laundry.
- Thrift stores sometimes have packs of hankies for a very good price. Think of how much use you get from a 50 cent handkerchief compared with a 50 cent box of tissues. Boom. All those extra coins you would have spent on tissue boxes, put them in a savings account. You’re winning already.
Toothbrushes and shower loofahs
Toothbrushes should always be replaced at the beginning of the new season, ie. Every 3 months. Changing my toothbrush when the season changes is the easiest memory trigger for me. You need to change your toothbrush to ensure it’s always effective. It’s kind of like an expiry date. Plastic shower loofahs and pouffes should be changed every 3 weeks like your kitchen sponge to avoid build up of mildew. Washable shower scrubbers are waiting out there for you to make the switch today. There are more waste reducing tips in the list below.
Now cast your mind to all of the plastic toothbrushes that have been made since they were first sold in the 1930s.
How to reduce your impact on the environment:
- Bamboo toothbrushes can be composted but their bristles cannot. Remove the bristles and add the bamboo to your compost. Items that can decompose naturally don’t actually properly decompose in landfill due to the lack of oxygen.
- Grow your own loofahs from gourds.
- Buy or crochet your own cotton body washers using help yarn for exfoliating or special scrubbie yarn like my exfoliating shower mitts.
As mentioned in the above dot point the food you throw into the bin doesn’t actually break down properly. The low oxygen environment in landfill is the perfect habitat for anaerobic bacteria. These are the little creatures who produce methane.
Reducing food waste:
- Compost: create a section of your yard with a compost heap. Add some worms! You can feed the rest of your garden with the nutrients produced from the composting process.
- Bokashi bucket: no yard? No problem. When I was living in an apartment I kept my small Urban Composter City bokashi bucket on the balcony. It has a handy tap to distribute the composted nutrients.
- Create an “Eat first” section of the fridge so that you’re eating up leftovers and soft fruit before they are ready to be thrown out.
- Write a shopping list and remember to actually take it to the shops. The list helps you remember that you still have a bag of cucumbers in the fridge and you don’t need to buy any more.
Makeup wipes and cotton rounds
Removing makeup every night and applying toner every morning adds up to a lot of single use cotton rounds if you’re into that kind of thing.
Switch single use cotton rounds for:
- Washable face rounds. These can be made of cotton or other natural fibres to reduce the addition of microplastics to the environment. Every time you wash synthetic fabrics 1000s of microplastics go down the drain and into our waterways.
Cheap plastic disposable razors are so convenient but they never last very long. So you’re buying more and more, spending more and throwing them all away sooner than you expected.
Cost effective switches for shaving with disposable razors:
- Reusable razors and additional collection tins for recycling the blades.
You might be surprised to know that the textile industry creates more carbon emissions than the airline industry. It certainly surprised me! When you stop and think about every purchase you make you can not only save yourself from unnecessary spending but it also reduces your impact on the Earth. 🌍 Our home.
Tips to reduce fast fashion in your life:
- Switch to the slow fashion life.
- Purchase quality garments that are made to last more than a couple of seasons. In the long run you save money especially when you repair buttons and small holes to extend the life of your garment.
- Rent clothing for special occasions.
As always, thanks so much for reading. Click the YouTube icon below to go to my channel and see a list of my latest videos. Like and subscribe to share some happiness.