Our homes are where we want to feel healthy, safe and supported, all while making sure it’s eco-friendly and ticks the sustainability boxes of approval. With life being ever so full it can be challenging to keep up – to be organised, have a clean kitchen, and keep plastic and nasty wastes out of the house.
Some of the simplest things you can do to make a more eco-friendly home are around cleaning, decluttering, growing your own and learning to DIY.
When you’re organising yourself and deciding what eco-changes to make, it’s ok to not have everything in perfectionist-approved order. Take simple, baby-steps to a more sustainable living.
We’ve got your back with some easy eco friendly home tips to get you started!
Clean out cluttered cupboards
What’s hiding in the back of your cupboards?
Starting with the kitchen, you likely already have some sustainable household items. Take Tupperware for example, or those reusable take-away containers you saved for ‘that time you swore would come up’.
Moving on to the bathroom and Laundry, you may be surprised to find out you already have a bunch of cleaning products you forgot about (hooray for not spending any more money!), and old rags you can use instead of single-use cleaning cloths. (more on eco-cleaning products here.)
Cleaning and decluttering are a very mindful and therapeutic activities. There is something about decluttering that makes you feel happier (ask Marie Kondo…)! Going through your cupboards gives you the chance to find things you completely forgot about-Sort things into use in the future items and donatable items.
Remember that its okay to not clean absolutely everything, even getting one cupboard in the bathroom organised is a brilliant achievement!
Join a ‘Good Karma Network’ on Facebook
What ‘trash’ do you have, which they may see a treasure? Neighbourhood networks exists to help you make your household more sustainable – and your neighbourhood, too!
It is easy to feel alone and isolated during this time, and let’s face it, how many of our neighbours do we really know?
A ‘Good Karma Network’ is a great way for people to give away and receive good quality services and items- all for free! Within the Facebook groups, you can swap left over food or reduce your curb-side waste by offering those left-over building materials to a neighbour. Our local network often includes everything from plants, schoolbooks, toys, furniture, food and even dogs that have escaped and need to be returned to their parents!
If your local area doesn’t have one yet, why not start one? Isn’t it a great opportunity to get to know the neighbours we don’t yet know…
Learn to DIY sustainably
Learning to make things yourself helps immensely with creating more eco-friendly homes and makes a fun family activity. Now we are all spending significantly more time at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to get crafty on those eco-friendly products you’ve been looking at on Instagram for months!
Our favourite DIY eco-friendly products are
- Abbey’s Everything Balm [LINK TO DAILY GREENS https://thedailygreens.co/blog/calendula-chamomile-everything-balm ]
- Victoria’s Dad’s homemade bread (yay! For saving plastic waste and filling up the house with delicious bread aromas). There are plenty of recipes out there, but here’s a super simple one for French bread, or our very own banana bread
- Another thing that is really fun and easy to make with kids are beeswax wraps! All you need is your own fabric and the SUSTOMi DIY kit. From experience which a group of 6 year old’s, it’s actually easier, quicker and a lot cleaner than you would think!
Remember just to have fun with it and that everyone’s first time at making things usually goes wrong!
Get ready for kids to go back to school waste free!
Did you know that the first plastic zip lock bag you have ever used is still on the planet today? Or that the average Australian will use over 160 plastic bags per person per year? Its time to wrap up school (and work) lunches in a more sustainable wrap – our stylish large beeswax wraps are the perfect size for sandwiches, or if you want something fast and easy to clean our dishwasher-safe 1L silicone pouches also get the job done!
Now is also great time to sort through old stationary with the kids or have them sort through it on their own (while you are trying to focus on your zoom work meetings). See what glue, pens and markers work, and what don’t, to save money on buying new unnecessary items when school swings back around. Officeworks has a brilliant pen recycling system in store!
Start an herb garden
Did you know herbs are one of the top foods wasted in Australia? It’s hard to find just 1 sprig of rosemary for your roast, or the perfect bunch of basil for your pesto, without having ridiculous levels of left overs.
If you have a gorgeous veggie garden and successfully grow your own delicious vegetables- we are so jealous of you! Starting a large vegetable garden can be time consuming, and the author found everything she grew died within a week, no matter how much love was put into it (oops – off to veggie garden School!).
Herb gardens take up virtually no space and are much easier to grow than larger vegetable patches. You can start small, with a bucket, or pot herb garden – we have successfully grown hers in pots, indoors and outdoors.
Choose the herbs you use the most in your cooking, and ones you find constantly reaching for at the supermarket.
Say good by to plastic and wasted herbs!
Tackle some common Toxins
Did you know that most regular brands of washing detergent contain compounds that are classes of organic micro-pollutants like sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, sodium silicate solution, synthetic fragrances, surfactants or brighteners (Mohamed, et. al, 2018; University of Washington, 2008)? In other words, the water that we end up using in our soil ends up being really bad quality, which means the food we eat it growing out of bad quality and chemically toxic soil (Mohamed et. al, 2018). Not to mention what happens when these products come into contact with our skin or get ingested…
But who has time to go through and read all those labels? And even if we did read those labels, what on earth is the meaning behind all these big chemical-ly words you can’t pronounce?
We know how overwhelming it is to google “eco friendly laundry detergent” and have hundreds of products turn up. So, we’ve chosen some of our favourite Australian made products and checked through ingredient lists so you don’t have to!
Green potions has a fabulous laundry detergent, and for your dishes, Australian Natural Soap Company has a super popular detergent soap – (LOVE! because it doesn’t leave that detergent chemical smell all over your dishes)
Remember, the first step to being more sustainable in your home is just to be conscious and aware of sustainability- which you are if you are reading this, so congratulations!
- S. Green, B. Boots, D. J. Blockley, C. Rocha & R. Thompson. Impacts of Discarded Plastic Bags on Marine Assemblages and Ecosystem Functioning. 2015. Environmental Science Technology.
- M. Mohamed, A. A. Al-Gheethi, J. Noramira, C. M. Chan, M. K. Amir Hashim & M. Sabariah. Effect of detergents from laundry greywater on soil properties: a preliminary study. 2018. Applied Water Science.
University of Washington. Toxic Chemicals Found In Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners. 2008. Science Daily.