The first time I mentioned sustainability at home, there were already a few changes we had made and I am glad to say we kept up with it and even added more items to the list.
Just like I mentioned in that previous post, I am not here to give you a lesson on what you should or shouldn't do for the planet. The following are small efforts, I know I am not perfect when it comes to zero waste.
I do believe that rather than berating people on what they are not doing, applauding the small efforts each of us are making is much more useful. Even little steps are helpful.
So, rather than going into a long speech about zero waste, here are the few changes we made since my first post about sustainability at home:
- For home cleaning, we also got a few durable washable cloths that we use for different parts of the house: furniture surfaces, bathroom, kitchen counters. We still have our reusable bamboo towels and have stopped buying kitchen paper altogether. We keep making our own cleaning product for the kitchen and bathroom (see my first post about sustainability at home) and have switched to eco-friendly products for washing up liquid and toilet bowl cleaner.
- My best friend (hi R.) gifted me a selection of very useful fabric produce bags last year. They have been quite handy when buying loose fruit and vegetables. I am trying to avoid buying produce with packaging whenever I can but where I live, finding shops that sell fruit, vegetables and other dried goods with no plastic wrapping is still quite rare (and frustrating let's be honest). This is still a work in progress but I noticed a couple of no waste shops have recently opened in Belfast and I plan to go check them out soon so we can start reducing the amount of non recyclable plastic we throw out every month.
- Since moving to Belfast, we have been able to recycle and compost much more than before. Our building has an area where all recyclable items go into sorting recycling bins: aluminium cans, aluminium foil and batteries, paper, cardboard, paper, recyclable plastics. We also compost every bit of food waste and I am glad to see the compost bin in our building being used by a lot of our neighbours too.
- We switched to buying toilet paper made from recycled paper. We order it from Who Gives a Crap. Rolls are wrapped in colourful patterned paper (which you can either recycle or use as gift wrapping). The toilet paper itself is either made from environmentally friendly material or from recycled books and office paper.
- When it comes to toiletry products, I am still on the lookout for plastic free items such as face cleansers and moisturisers but one big change has been to buy solid shampoos and soap bars instead of their liquid versions in plastic bottles. I use cold press Clémence et Vivien soaps from France which are perfect for my sensitive skin (I always struggle to find a product that doesn't leave my skin itching like crazy but those are perfect, just like a soft hug in the shower). I also tried their solid deodorant but it did not work for my skin (if you have a great brand of no waste solid deodorant to recommend, leave a note in the comments below).
I found a solid shampoo from Lush that works for me but I still want to try different ones. I also used one of their solid conditioners but the texture has not been very practical and I do not see much difference to my hair whether I use it or not (again, if you have tried a great one, let me know).
What I really appreciate about solid shampoo is not just the fact it is plastic free but it also lasts much longer than shampoo in a bottle.
Do you use any of the products I mentioned? What changes have you made lately to use more sustainable products and items at home? And remember, it's the little steps that count.