Zero Waste Challenge for March: Zero Waste Spring Cleaning
It’s the time of year when we all start thinking about having a good spring clean. There’s nothing better than sparkling surfaces and a clean and fresh smelling home, but have you ever thought about the impact of the cleaning products you use on the environment, not to mention your health?
Conventional cleaning products are full of chemicals that can cause skin, lung, and eye irritation, as well as causing harm to aquatic life and fragile ecosystems if they end up in drains and waterways. They are also usually packaged in plastic, and let’s be honest, they’re not cheap either.
The good news is you can make your own non-toxic cleaning products from things that you probably already have in your cupboards.
Your March zero waste mission is to challenge yourself to do some zero waste spring cleaning. Here’s how.
The benefits of using natural cleaning products
There are some clear benefits that come with switching to more natural cleaning products, including:
- They’re safer for you and your family: Some chemicals can produce toxic fumes if they are mixed together and some ingredients in cleaning products can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
- They won’t pollute the environment: Look on the label of products like bleach and you’ll usually see a warning that says something like ‘harmful to aquatic life.’ If these products get into drains and waterways, they can harm wildlife and cause pollution.
- Saving money: Effective cleaning products can be made from things you probably already have in your cupboard. There’s no need to buy five different cleaning products when you can make one effective natural multi-use product.
How to make your own natural cleaning products
Some of the best natural cleaning products are items you probably already have in your cupboards, like lemon, baking soda, and vinegar.
Make your own multi-purpose cleaner
Who needs multiple cleaning products when one will do the job on most things around the home?
How to make it:
Simply mix one part warm water with 1 part white vinegar, and a few drops of an essential oil like lemon (if you don’t want your home stinking to high heaven of vinegar) in a bottle and spritz away.
Make your own bathroom cleaner
If you have stains or grime on your bathtub or grout that just won’t budge, try mixing up some of this natural cleaning solution.
How to make it:
3/4 Cup of Baking Soda
2-3 Tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide- admittedly this doesn’t sound very green but it’s a very effective disinfectant and safer to use round the home than pure bleach.
2-3 Tablespoons of Liquid Castile Soap
Mix together in a bowl until you get a paste and give your bathtub and grout a good scrub.
For more ideas on how to make your own natural cleaning products, check out this great post from Friends of the Earth.
Zero waste cleaning supplies and packaging
While making your own natural cleaning products is great, you won’t reduce your impact by as much as you could if you are wasteful in other ways. Here are some great ideas for zero waste cleaning supplies:
Cleaning spray bottles
Reuse old spray bottles or fit the trigger and spray top to a glass bottle. Sauce bottles can work well.
Instead of using paper towels and kitchen roll, cut up old t-shirts to use as dusters or even use old socks!
For the dishes