OK, put it on the calendar: you can make your life more eco-friendly in just one week.
A lot of people think going green is expensive and difficult. But you don’t have to buy solar panels and install a grey water system just yet! Changing unsustainable habits and learning simple skills is a cheap and satisfying way to be more eco-friendly.
Everyday habits contribute to major environmental issues like landfill, plastic pollution, and deforestation. Here’s how to change some of these habits your own life.
Monday: Make your own cleaning products
Making your own cleaning products means no plastic bottles! These bottles are tricky to recycle and often just end up in landfill.
There’s no need for that when you can make dishwashing liquid, laundry powder, oven cleaner and more with simple ingredients.
Let’s look at laundry liquid. Choose a recipe without bar soap (to prevent “build-up” on your clothes). The simple recipe on this blog uses just four everyday ingredients and costs less than a dollar a load.
For surface cleaners, add water, white vinegar and some eucalyptus oil to a re-usable spray bottle. The vinegar is a great cleaner, while eucalyptus is a natural disinfectant and repels rats and spiders.
Tuesday: Enrol for eco-friendly toilet paper ($1.08/roll)
Millions of acres of boreal forest are cleared each year for virgin fibre for supermarket toilet paper brands.
After one wipe, these forests are flushed down the toilet.
That’s CO2-storing, precious habitat for wildlife being destroyed for 3-ply comfort.
In addition, supermarket toilet paper is wrapped in plastic.
There’s a miracle solution. Who Gives A Crap. This Certified B Corporation sells 100% recycled toilet paper with no dyes, inks or scents. Who Gives A Crap donates 50% of their profits to improve sanitation and build toilets for the developing world.
The best deal is 48 rolls for $52 (that’s $1.08 per roll). It will arrive in box, each roll wrapped in recycledcolourful paper complete with entertaining messages.
Wednesday: Buy bulk
Bulk food stores mean you can buy staples without plastic packaging.
Australian chains like The Source Bulk Foods and Naked Foods supply a wide range of staples like oats, nuts, and flours. It’s pay-by-weight, with paper bags supplied. Bring along jars for maple syrup, oils, and tahini.
They also have delicious treats like freeze-dried chocolate-covered strawberries…
But that’s beside the point.
Thursday: Use your own containers for takeaway
Are you brave? This one’s hit-and-miss. Some food venues will allow you to bring your own re-usable containers for takeaway. They may even encourage it.
If you’re not sure, it’s best to visit or call the venue.
Sure, the plastic containers from the Thai are useful for storing things. But how many do you need? Eventually you’ll need help storing them! Using your own takeaway containers saves you from a pantry full of plastic, which will eventually clutter the planet instead.
Friday: Swap the coffee pods
Coffee pods are the elephant in the room.
They go through an intensive manufacturing process. They’re shipped to the supermarket. After your coffee, they go to landfill.
Basically, it’s obnoxious.
It’s less wasteful to use bags of ground coffee or beans. There are also brands that make biodegradable or compostable coffee pods:
- The Ethical Coffee Company: Nespresso-compatible pods from plant-based fibres. It will biodegrade within 6 months in your council’s industrial compost service.
- Purpods: 100% compostable, Keurig-compatible pods. Put them in your garden waste bin and they’ll break down in five weeks in industrial compost.
- NEXE Pods: Again, put these 100% compostable pods in your green bin. They’re compatible with Keurig coffee machines.
There you have it! Your Monday to Friday eco-friendly makeover.
Of course, there are so many other sustainable changes you can make. Let us know how you found this transition in the comments section.
Alex is a journalist and freelance writer who loves bringing you inspiring stories. Have an idea for a story? Let her know at firstname.lastname@example.org