Simple living and a greener lifestyle means different things to all of us. It can mean switching from long-term shop-bought favourites to more ethical brands with simple ingredients. Or it might mean stocking up on basic ingredients and making your own products. While zero waste is a noble aim, it's important to start where you are and use the resources you have. Every single consumer change made with the earth in mind is a positive shift towards us all treading more lightly on the planet. None of us can do everything but we can all do something. Our Eco collection has the goods for wherever you are in your journey, from sustainable, ready-made skincare and cleaning products, to glass containers for DIY products. And we've called in Susan of Fresh Green Clean for a little inspiration on the why and hows of making greener living work for you. Over to you, Susan...
We’ve all been in our home a lot more than ever before and we all want to make our spaces as comfortable as possible. For me, knowing it’s clean and healthy is important. To be honest it seems to be an inbuilt desire that is hardwired into us for fresh beginnings and clean slates.
I’m all about spreading the word about the benefits of green cleaning, especially just now! It’s important for your own and your family's health and for the environment we all live in.
Here are my top 5 reasons of WHY to Go Green in your home...
1 / It will simplify your routine. No need for a huge array of different types of products that all supposedly do a different job! And because they mostly come in plastic bottles, you will really cut down on your plastic consumption.
2 / It will help create a cleaner environment. The products you spray into the air and put down the sink all have an impact on your immediate environment and the wider world. Just look at the labels!
3 / You will have less exposure to harmful chemicals. The chemicals from synthetic cleaning products can have a really detrimental effect on your health including causing or exacerbating allergies and breathing issues like asthma.
4. Your wallet will thank you! If you make your own, it definitely works out cheaper.
5. Safer for kids and pets! Obviously I still say take sensible precautions with any cleaning products when you have children and pets.
Here are my top five tips on HOW to go Green in your home...
1 / Buy in some basic green cleaning ingredients. White distilled Vinegar, Bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda), Soda Crystals, citric acid and finally at least one essential oil. If you’re going to just buy one, get an oil blend from Neals Yard called Organic Defense, not only does it smell amazing, it’s also been proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria!
2 / look up some recipes or follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily tips on how to green clean your home and products to use. If you want to make your own, book a place on an online tutorial on my website. If you want to buy ready made, look at the company’s ethics as well as their ingredients. Remember both Ecover and Method have been bought over by Johnson & Johnson!
3. Look at the ingredients on your products. Here is a list of some of the ones to avoid!
Parabens,Chlorine, Trisclosan, Ammonia, Phalates,Sodium Hydroxide, PERC, QUATS, Parfume or fragrance, Benzisothaiazolinone, CMIT and MIT.
4 / *MYTH BUSTER ALERT*
Vinegar and Baking Soda water is NOT a great cleaning solution. You see, baking soda is alkaline and vinegar is acidic. When mixed together, they neutralise each other to leave nothing more than slightly salty water. The fun fizzing reaction is useful for moving particles about and loosening dirt (that’s why it works in a plug hole) but once the reaction is over the solution you are left with is not much good in the cleaning stakes....”but”, I hear you cry, “my uncle’s wife’s best friend, loves using this and swears it works!” Well maybe it does because maybe the amount of soda has been too little to neutralise all of the acid so there is still enough acidic power to help clean, or maybe she’s just happy using salty water which of course does help a bit if you don’t mind scrubbing more. However I think the best advice is although both of these things are fantastic cleaners in their own right, mixing them together is pretty useless unless it’s for the initial reaction like down a plug hole. And the next time you see that recipe feel free to give a little smug and knowing shake of the head!
5 / EASY SWAP! Instead of those handy cleaning wipes for the kitchen, bathroom etc (yes they are plastic!) why not make these Reusable wet wipes.
Take some old tea towels and cut them into four. Take a jar and fill half way with a mix of half white vinegar half water. Add 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice....I suggest the Organic Defence blend by Neal’s Yard as it is proven to kill just as much bacteria as any bleach! Add in your squares of cloth one at a time and allow the cloths to soak up the liquid. Use as needed and wash in the laundry to use again!
And if that’s not enough to convince you, well the smell of organic essential oils around your home is just too good to miss!
And to show you how easy it is here is a wee recipe to get you started. These toilet cleaning bombs are fab. You just drop a couple of these babies into your toilet and let them do the work for you! They smell amazing and are of course free from harmful chemicals. Here is how to make your own toilet cleaning bombs!
You will need:
1/2 Cup of Citric Acid
1 1/2 Cups of Baking Soda
15 Drops of Lavender Essential Oils
15 Drops of Lemon Essential Oils
15 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oils (I like to use organic oils)
Add the citric acid and baking soda to a large bowl, then add your essential oils, being sure you keep stirring while adding the oils. Then add your water very slowly, like a teaspoon at a time. If you put your ear down to the bowl, you will be able to hear the mixture fizzing! You want to continue to add water slowly until you can squeeze it a bit and it can be formed...kind of like playdough, but less dense.
Now, press down into an ice cube tray. These will start to rise, and you will be able to hear them fizzing up. Wait an hour, then scrape the excess off the top and fill another ice cube tray with the excess. This mixture is actually enough to fill 3-4 ice cube trays depending on their size.
Let them sit overnight, then pop them out of the tray and store them in an airtight container.
Simply drop them into the toilet and watch them fizz away. Close the lid and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes so they can do their job. If you like, you can use a toilet brush and scrub the mixture around the toilet, or just flush and move on!
Your bathroom and toilet will smell clean and amazing!
// Thank you so much Susan, for sharing all your insider tips with us! If you're ready to get started after reading that, or are already well on your way but want to try some new products, check out our range of Fresh Green Clean cleaning products in our Eco collection. We've Laundry Powder, Room Defence Mist, and wood Balm. All smell amazing and are kind to the planet.