Zero Waste Products For The Home - Replacing Single Use Plastics
The journey of becoming a more Mindful Parent has also included learning more about mindful living. As part of that we have been trying as a family to reduce our single use plastics. Almost 18 months on and the list is continuing to grow.
As parents we are in a unique position in the way in which we can teach our children. Environmental education is something that I have been trying to bring into our daily lives, especially now we are home schooling full time.
Although I do still get the inevitable eye rolling (the joy of teenagers!), they have adopted and embraced this whole heartedly. I think for many of us it is just knowing where we can start.
Start Replacing Your Single Use Plastics
This is something that we can all do, even in the small swops, we can make a difference. We started with straws, when the last of the plastic straws (let's face it, somehow after all the birthday parties, we still seem to have some) were gone, we all choose a shiny new metal one! These are now kept in with the cutlery and used instead. In fact it is much nicer drinking out of one of those than the plastic ones.
Start With Small Changes
If you can get the kids involved you can start with just looking at small changes. Try all taking a piece of paper and pen and start a family brain storming session - what items around YOUR home could you swop or change for something that is sustainable, eco friendly and also zero waste?
If you make it a fun game, rather than something that appears to be forced on them, they will be more likely to embrace the changes. For the younger kids, they can draw a picture instead. Make it a little competition - who can find 5 things we could change? You get the idea - if all of the family come together you get to see the bigger picture.
Replace & Re-Use
Only replace items that you can afford to change. Once you start down this rabbit hole, you can feel defeated quickly. The amount of plastic in so many of our every day items is shocking and it is easy to say 'what difference will this make'. BUT, if we all start to make even small swops here and there we WILL have a global impact!
I also re-use lots of my bottles. The glass ones I keep for storing herbs or spices. The pretty ones I use for making candles or re-filling for presents. The plastic bottles I either recycle or if possible re-use.
Re-Filling Cleaning Products
There is a great local company that is a mobile re-fill station (if you are in Kent, then please do check them out). They supply eco friendly cleaning products which I love and I take my empty bottles and they re-fill them with the cleaning products. I then am saving on plastics, saving money and also purchasing an eco friendly, chemical free option too! Check out your local suppliers and see, they are often to be found at Farmer's Markets and they are popping up as shops everywhere.
I have compiled a list of small eco friendly zero waste products that I think make a great replacement for single use plastics and we use these in our home.
I would also add that I try to buy local if I can. All the items below are via Amazon, as with all the best ideas sometimes we also need to be practical to.
Eco-Friendly Sustainable Products
Reusable Coffee Cups
How about a hot drinks cup, this is a great one from rice husks.
Or this is my current one
Re-Useable Water Bottles
I think most households now have at least 1-2 of these. I know that I have been through so many plastic ones (BPA Free, of course) with my kids. They get broken, or start to leak and can be really hard to keep clean. Last year we all moved over to Chilly Bottles. Each of us picked the design we loved, so no more arguments about whose bottle is who's! They come in some gorgeous designs and can be used for hot and cold drinks - perfect for those Winter Walks when you fancy a hot chocolate half way.
Eco Friendly Bathroom Products
For the bathroom, there is now a huge range of eco friendly haircare products. I moved to shampoo bars and conditioner bars, they work just as well as the liquid variety BUT no plastics! They also last much longer than the bottles. With 3 girls in the house they have saved me a fortune. My partner uses it too, as it smells delicious.
Eco Friendly Shampoo Bar
Eco Friendly Hair Conditioner Bar
The conditioner bar takes getting used to, you have to stroke it through the hair but it works really well. As you can see from my pic below I have very long hair. Once again it is reducing plastics and moving us all towards a zero waste household.
Eco Friendly Cotton Buds
We go through lots of these as with teenagers, makeup is a fine art! At least now with these I know they are 100% Biodegradable - no plastic in sight.
Eco Friendly Kitchen Cleaning Scourer
This next one might not seem the fanciest of eco friendly product, but trust me, these have made all the cleaning in my home so much easier. I have one in the shower, one by the sink. They are not only made from coconut husks but clean pretty much everything! A scourer that really works. Not only is it completely plastic free but it is also bio-degradable.
Sustainable Toilet Rolls
I know, not glamorous at all but still one of life's essentials! I have tried various brands but my favourite by far are these lovely soft ones from The Cheeky Panda Company. They also come in a big cardboard box, as an option which elimates that horrid packing plastic too.
Reusable Drinking Straws
Another great plastic swop is simply the good old straw. I know that several countries have now banned the plastic ones (yeah) but for both adults and kids it can be hard to replace those. These metal ones also have their own bag and cleaning brushes. The kit is big enough for all the family and you can keep one in your bag for when you are out and about. Saving you using one of those horrid paper straws that seem to just go to mush before you have even finished your drink!
Sustainable Bamboo Toothbrush
Another firm favourite is the Bamboo toothbrush, I love that these are also stamped with letters, so everybody knows which toothbrush is theirs. A fun Christmas tree present that helps all the family work towards a zero waste Christmas.
Eco Friendly Food Wraps
I have long been a lover of beeswax wraps (in fact I shall be giving you full instructions on how to make your own soon). I made my own last year, but previously we used these ones. They are so handy and stops the use of the dreaded cling film! From kids packed lunches to storing food in the fridge, they last for years and reduce our plastic waste, with fun designs to choose from you can get the kids to pick the ones that they would like to use and keep them engaged in being part of a zero waste home.
Now in the Winter I have to resort to a mix of air drying and tumble dryer. I know, I hate having to use it but I wash so many towels and large items my house just cannot dry them quick enough. I have managed to cut down on drying time in the machine though, by using these fab dryer balls. A quick tip: add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and the clothes then smell amazaballs!
If you paired these eco-friendly gifts alongside a lovely bottle of essential oils, then you would have an amazing Eco Friendly Gift Set. My girls love to pick the the oils that I use, so it also gets the kids learning about oils, household chores and maybe for the older ones you can even pass this job over to them? I find that these are more the skills that are becoming part of our home schooling curriculum.
Natural Eco Friendly Dryer Balls
As always these are just the tip of the iceberg for eco-friendly products for you home and family. They are a great place to start, without breaking the bank. These eco-friendly sustainable products can really help you work towards being not only plastic free but also zero waste, which I think many of us are trying to incorporate into our daily mindful parenting lives.
I shall be sharing more eco tips with you a So please do subscribe to the newsletter and you can even download your FREE AFFIRMATIONS which are great to use at any time of year.
DIY Home Science Experiment
Why not learn how to ditch the toilet cleaner and make your own toilet bombs! The kids love doing this, and they are also a fab science experiment for us home schooling mums. The reaction of the bicarb, citric acid and water is great to watch!
Come And Join Our Parenting Tribe
Come and connect in our lovely Facebook Group, full of other mindful parents who share tips and ideas that help them live a more mindful life.
Do come and say hi, it is a very supportive collective that shares some very inspirational ideas.
As always, I wish you well on this amazing journey of parenting!
Please note that all ideas are my own, I am an amazon affiliate so I will make a few pennies if you happen to buy any of my recommendations.