There’s a beneficial and eco-friendly substitute for plastic vases and jars in which we store plants. At your nearby garden center you can get recyclable paper vases and jars that do the same job as the plastic ones or you can try and make one yourself by folding paper in container-like shape. The cool thing is that if you decide to plant them in the ground you don’t have to get the plants out of their recyclable paper containers, you can plant them directly with them. An easy and fun way to save the environment.
For this task I found how you can make a DIY glass cleaner. All you need is 2 cups of water, ½ cup white or cider vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 70% concentration and 1 to 2 drops oforange essential oil for smell, which is optional. All you have to do is to pour all these ingredients in a spray bottle. And the only advice would be not to clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks. If you want to clean your mirrors, first, before wiping, spray the solution on a paper towel or soft cloth.
We use laundry detergent to wash our clothes, but it is often stored in plastic bottles, which are hard to recycle and harmful to nature because of all the chemicals. To stop making waste and polluting water and plants we can make natural laundry detergent and store it in transparent bottles, which are recyclable and made from 100% PCR (postconsumer recycled) materials. The recipe for detergent is: Mix 2 parts Borax, 2 parts washing soda, and 1 part grated natural laundry soap to create your own laundry detergent.
You can make as much or as little as you like; just adjust the proportions as appropriate. Use up to three level tablespoons per wash load.
Shampoo is an essential product for maintaining our hygiene. However, it is a big contributor to animal testing and cruelty because most companies find it easier and much cheaper to test their products on animals. Most shampoos also contain chemical substances that, if disposed in rivers or lakes, can be dangerous for their ecosystems.
One way to combat this is making your own shampoo, out of eco-friendly ingredients. Use ¼ cup of liquid Castile Soap, made from pure organic ingredients, not tested on animals, that comes in (I think) biodegradable bottles.
Then add ¼ cup of water and ½ teaspoon of jojoba.
Place it in a bottle and you’re done. You can also add scents, but that’s a bonus.
Normal hairspray is full of chemicals, you can probably tell just by the smell. There is an ecofriendly version that helps reduce waste and works just as well. To make it you will need: 1 cup of hot water, 5 and a half tbs sugar, 10-15 drops of essential oils(orange, lemon, mint or rosemary works great, but you can use any essential oil you like) and a fine mist spray bottle to put it in. First dissolve the sugar in hot water, let the mixture cool completely and mix in the essential oil. Fill the spray bottle and it’s ready to use.
If you need something a bit more abrasive for cleaning, but would rather avoid chemicals, you need to look no further than at good old salt. You can sprinkle it on an oven spill before it hardens, into the bottom of a cast iron pan with a bit of water (so it forms a paste) or into the bottom of your coffee maker, where it helps to gently remove any residue. You can also mix it in with some baking soda and borax for an all-purpose cleaner for something like a tough bathtub or toilet rings. Simply smear on, scrub and rinse.
Why it’s better to use homemade shampoo: By making shampoo at home, we can avoid buying disposable packings (plastic shampoo bottles in this case) every time we run out of shampoo, and rather use only one bottle and refill it when needed. Also, the ingredients of a homemade shampoo are much more natural and organic than the ingredients of a factorymade shampoo.
Basic shampoo recipe:
– 1/4 cup distilled water
– 1/4 liquid Castile soap
– 1/2 teaspoon jojoba, grape seed, or other light vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use.
Cleaning products we are using every day in our lives could actually create more harm than we think. They maybe smell nice, but homemade cleaning products are a lot better.
Homemade products are also much cheaper. In fact, they cost less than 1 euro and are very easy to make. It takes about 2 minutes to make your own cleaner and it will last for months.
They are much safer than products we buy because there are dozens of toxic ingredients in store-bought products.
All-purpose cleaner recipe:
• 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
• 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon unscented liquid Castile soap
• 10 drops tea tree oil
• 20 drops lavender essential oil
• 2 cups water
Deodorants and antiperspirants have become staples in many hygiene routines. And just like shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, toothpaste, and lipstick, many deodorants are made with chemicals that can harm us. Here is a recipe for some homemade deodorant: 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil, 2 tbsp shea butter, 3 tbsp baking soda, 2 tbsp cornstarch 5 drops essential oil (lavender, orange, etc.). Make a double boiler by placing a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Bring water to a simmer. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the jar and let melt.
Turn off the heat, add baking soda and cornstarch, and stir until completely smooth. Mix in the essential oil of your choice. Let cool.
For this task I chose to write about an all-purpose cleaner.
This is what you’ll need: one part white vinegar, one part water, lemon rind, rosemary sprigs.
Combine the above ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and then let infuse for a week before using. Once done, you can use the natural solution to remove hard water stains, clean trash cans, wipe away wall smudges, and much more.
Besides a fresh scent, the lemon rind may help boost cleaning power.
Do not use acidic cleaners on granite, as they will etch the stone. 🙂
No one likes bugs and most of us have some type of bug spray, but they are not just lethal for bugs. They are also really bad for the environment. Thankfully, there is an eco-friendly version of a bug spray and you can make it at home. Just add distilled water, witch hazel (plant name) and citronella oil (essential oil obtained from lemongrass) to a spray bottle and it should be done! It is much better for the environment because it uses natural substances and it is certainly not toxic unlike the bug spray we buy at local markets which contains a lot of toxic elements for the environment.
Many people are afraid of spiders, especially when it comes to killing them. Most people use sprays or just kill them with something, but the most efficient way of getting rid of spiders for good is getting a pet lizard. Lizards are naturally eating spiders which means that after a short period you will no longer see any spiders in your house. Lizards are not difficult pets, and since you already have a food supply, for the first few weeks you should only consider giving him a nature-like environment for his everyday life.
During this crisis, some of the most common items in stores like toilet paper or shaving cream are going to be in a low supply, and we won’t be able to shave our already overgrown faces and bodies. However, there are many recipes that can teach you how to make an ecofriendly shaving cream out of common household items.
The ingredients for the recipe are:
1/3 cup shea butter (72.67 grams)
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil (72.05 grams)
1/4 cup jojoba or sweet almond oil (54.88 grams)
10 drops rosemary essential oil
3-5 drops peppermint essential oil
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the shea butter and coconut oil, stirring until just melted. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Add in the jojoba oil and the essential oils. Stir to mix.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until solid. Remove from the refrigerator and whip using a hand beater or a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into a jar. Lid and keep in a cool, dry place.
If you use the dryer after you wash your clothes, you are probably familiar with dryer sheets. Did you know that you can make dryer balls at home with probably less effort than the effort you put in while rebuying dryer sheets, and by the way, you save money and produce less trash because you can keep reusing dryer balls for years. Dryer balls are a great, sustainable, eco-friendly substitute for dryer sheets. To make them, you need to create around 3 tennis-ball-sized balls from wool yarn. The second step is to put them in tights and separate them from each other by tying knots. Once the dryer balls are secured, wash them in hot water in the washing machine 2-3 times with a load of towels or sheets.
After the last wash, run through the dryer on low heat. After all these steps, dryer balls are ready for long time use.
Plastic straws are cheap and frequently used thus creating a lot of waste. Switching plastic straws with washable metal straws can reduce plastic waste. Especially in high density tourist parts of the world where “exotic” drinks with plastic straws are common. Metal straws do require water for washing but in exchange for using water the number of straws in the oceans will reduce. Another alternative to plastic straws are bamboo straws, they are reusable and biodegradable. Bamboo doesn’t endanger marine life or pollute the environment. Straw straws are another alternative. They are made from wheat straw, the natural structure of the plant stem keeps it strong and solid for days in liquid. Straw straws are stronger than paper straws, softer than plastic straws and unlike PLA and sugar cane straws, they don’t require industrial installations to biodegrade, only nature.
Also, to add to Dorian’s text about straws: Glass straws have seen increased popularity in recent times due to the problems caused by plastic ones. These glass straws are usually made from recycled glass, and are actually more hygienic than plastic straws, due to glass being better at killing bacteria and viruses than plastic, and, unlike plastic, they don’t release plastic micro particles into the fluid you are drinking. Also, not all plastic is the same – straws made from PET or ABS plastic are the toxic ones, and are also the most produced ones because of the cheap nature of the materials. However, other types of plastic are much safer for the environment. Dorian mentioned PLA, and that is a plastic made from corn starch, which has gained popularity in the 3D printing industry due to its versatility and nontoxicity, and it can, given enough time, decompose in nature, with the industrial installations only being used to speed up the decomposition. And most importantly, PLA doesn’t leave any toxic residue in nature, due to its organic origins.
Store-bought chemical mouthwash is filled with potentially harmful ingredients such as thymol, which is known to be dangerous to the environment as well as to aquatic organisms, and hexetidine, considered to be carcinogenic. However, there is a simple way to make your own eco-friendly mouthwash and even see better results.
1 cup of filtered water
4 teaspoons of baking soda
4 drops of tea tree essential oil
4 drops of peppermint essential oil
Add all ingredients to a mason jar with a lid and shake very well. Use about 2 tablespoons of this mixture everyday to keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh. Also remember to shake well before each use. As with any mouthwash, be sure not to swallow during use.
There are numerous ways to reduce waste in a household like my colleagues have already said and they have solid points and recipes but I want to focus on something way simpler.
One of the most popular and obvious ways to reduce waste in a household is by composting. Every day a large amount of what you throw away could be composted and returned to the earth and it is surprisingly easy to do and requires minimal effort. If you have a garden and some extra space, all you need is an empty bin without the bottom where you throw your leftovers and that way provide nutrients for your garden and don’t feel so guilty for throwing away food.
Not only are the chemical products involved so hazardous. Electric tools such as hairdryers, electric brushes, hair irons, air circulators, heaters, boilers and the like all require large amounts of power to operate and are thus among the biggest power-hogs in a home. Although not all electric (or automotive) power comes from fossil fuels, atmospheric damage caused by their inevitable waste gases combined with all those harmful chemicals (themselves requiring a ton of power to produce) is the prime environmental danger of them all – it affects the whole planet. Continuous efforts to reduce this kind of damage at the production side are of course underway, but nothing is stopping us from helping on our side as well. In fact, we very well should – investing in solar panels, solar heaters, small solar boilers or even doing the work manually may help the planet even more than your electricity bill.
When temperatures dip down below freezing, icy windshields and locks can become a real problem. Sometimes you may be in a hurry and need a quick solution for getting your windshield clean quickly without having to scrape the ice away. Locks can also freeze and be a real pain to thaw quickly. My parents have found out about this simple car de-icer and have been using it since then. They keep a bottle in the car during the winter months. It melts ice on contact and works within seconds of spraying it. The ingredients needed are a cup of water, a cup of isopropyl alcohol, and a spray bottle.
Just pour the ingredients into the spray bottle and shake it and you’re ready to melt some ice.