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A guide to shopping for sustainable household necessities

With the effects of global warming becoming ever more evident, many of us are looking at ways that we can make our own lifestyles more sustainable. You’re probably familiar with recycling, carrying a reusable grocery bag and driving less, but have you considered how the necessary items such as cleaning products can impact your carbon footprint?

In this post, we explore how you can reduce your impact on the environment when shopping for household items, sharing actionable tips that you can take into your own life.

Ditch the plastic

Have you ever stopped to think about the amount of plastic that is used in cleaning products? Plastic wrapping, bottles and even microplastics in cleaning cloths all contribute to waste, and can be avoided with some careful shopping.

Look out for products that come in concentrate or tablet form, allowing you to add water to make up the solution on your own bottle. Then, you can either reuse a bottle you already have, or purchase glass bottles that will be able to be used time and time again. If you want to go super sustainable, you could even look out for these in secondhand stores or on online resale sites, to further reduce your carbon footprint.

Choose natural cleaning tools

Once you’ve got your cleaning solutions, you can use cleaning tools made from bamboo or other natural materials. Bamboo is increasingly being used as a sustainable alternative to plastic for brush handles because it’s the fastest growing plant on the planet. This means that whilst it needs to be cut down to be used, it will grow back incredibly quickly, unlike other trees.

Bamboo kitchen brushes are a great example for natural cleaning tools.

Washable cloths also make a great alternative to flimsy, one-use paper towels or wipes. You can even cut up and use old t-shirts or towels that you already have at home where appropriate.

Create your own cleaning products

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking you need a different bottle of cleaning product for every different room in your house. But how about creating your own cleaning solutions from a few simple ingredients? Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, castile soap and borax are all easy to buy items that can be whipped up into a variety of different cleaning liquids and pastes.

If you want to have different scents, try adding essential oils to the mix to create the perfect atmosphere for your home. Lavender, for example, can help you feel relaxed, whilst others like tea tree or lemon have antibacterial properties.

Keep it local and independent

Once you’ve thought about the products that you’re going to buy, the bottles you’re going to store them in and the cloths and brushes you’re going to use, the next step is to consider where to buy them from. Shipping products across the world can create a lot of carbon, so either look to buy from local businesses or choose an online store that has some kind of carbon offset scheme, like planting trees. This way, you can reduce the impact of your purchase from start to finish.

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