I recently decided it was time to change our washing up to plastic free.
We previously used scourers and blue cloths, which firstly contain plastic which breaks down to microparticles with every use, but are also lovely breeding grounds for bacteria.
I opted for a combination of a Silisponge and a Joseph Joesph Clean-tech Scrubber.
These work perfect in combination. The Silisponge is flexible so it’s perfect for things like the edges of glasses, and those tight corners of your toddlers animal shaped plates and bowls. The Joesph Joesph however is tough and perfect for tough baked on food. We then also clean the sink using Koh, a multiple use antibacterial single-use plastic free cleaning solution. (I will review Koh in a future post).
The Joesph Joesph sponge also has two edges with different rigidity for tougher or lighter cleans, and also a tough end for scrapping extra tough bits.
Both are silicone, so hardwearing, dishwasher safe to sterilise and most importantly, plastic free.
I intended on purchasing some of these and then kindly received some as a Christmas present (yay!). Their activated charcoal soap is a perfect replacement for shower gel leaving your skin smooth and smelling like the spa. I’ve also got a lemon shampoo bar but i’ve yet to try it out. Ill let you know when I have. Kitenest also do bamboo care products, reusable face wipes, plastic free dry shampoo and more. Kitenest.co.uk
Replacing antibacterial wipes
Although this was forced to fall back to wipes due to the COVID madness, we had removed the use of antibacterial wipes for using an antibacterial spray and a cloth. This keeps the efficacy of the solution but with recyclable packaging (bottle traditionally recycled and spray nozzle with Terracycle).
Biodegradable baby wipes
Since having a little munchkin, we have been keen to reduce the potentially huge plastic impact of such a tiny human. Wipes were next on the list, and thanks to cheap home-band wipes on the high street at Boots this was easy as pie.
Recycling bread bags
Another bug bear of mine, I love bread and a lot of bread comes in bags. Luckily these are collected at supermarkets in the bag recycling bins. Along with bread bags are many other plastics including cereal liners, frozen food bags and bubble wrap. Read more here.
Recycling baby food pouches (Ella’s kitchen only)
We’ve recently also switched baby foods to allow for more recycling. Terracycle and Ella’s kitchen created Ellacycle. This programme takes Ella’s baby food pouches and snack wrappers. Read about Ellacycle here. Now thats one less thing to worry about when changing nappies, running after a toddler who’s a very fast crawler and hoping you can still get whole milk during self-isolation…
As i said in my first plastic post. It’s not about changing everything, and it’s not about doing it overnight. It’s about changing bit by bit overtime. It all adds up and makes a difference.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock it’s likely been unavoidable to know about the plastic problem on this planet.
To tackle our plastic footprint, reducing single use plastics are the swaps we started with and there have been some easy switches I’ve made. (Though there are plenty more to make too).
It didn’t happen overnight. It has been a slow process of reducing bits one by one for us.
We started in the kitchen. Cling film was a big bug bear of mine so that went first. Swiftly followed were food and freezer bags and both of these were easily swapped for reusable tubs.
We then looked to the next big pile up of plastic: shopping bags. We began recycle our shopping bags and replace them with more permanent tote style bags. Most supermarkets have collection bins and Ocado even pay you to take them (with an order). For fruit and veg we started to take it loose too. There are plenty of alternate plastic-free fruit and veg bags out there if you really need to use something.
I then made an extra effort to recycle more and correctly. It’s amazing when you look at it what you can and can’t. Checking with your local authority is the place for this one.
Terracycle recycling began this year. A colleague at work set up collection for our company.
The Terrecycle scheme takes near to everything you can’t traditionally recycle. For example: crisps packets (grr), toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, chocolate wrappers, sweet wrappers…….the list goes on. And on and on and on. You just need to find a collector which you can do on the website, deliver to them and they send then on to Terracycle. (I’ll write a detailed post about Terracycle soon!).
From those reductions I’d only be less than quarter-filling my bin destined for landfill, rather than the previous three quarters.
But then the Munchkin arrived and so did disposable nappies. You only had to look in the bin every fortnight to see the effect with the bin back up to half full.
We had to try something different! We changed to Mio miosolo nappies when Munchkin was around 5 and a half months and then just use disposables for the nights as this is where reusables seem to struggle. It’s another load of washing so a little extra effort but that is a small sacrifice for the 25 nappies not ending up in landfill each week. Especially given those 25 extra nappies would outlive our little Munchkin by 100 years or more.
Future swaps I’m looking at are trying reusable baby wipes and biogradable nappies for the nights. Though hopefully when Munchkin sleeps through the night the washable nappies may last 🤞.
It’s not about changing everything, and it’s not about doing it overnight. It’s about changing bit by bit overtime. It all adds up and makes a difference.