By now I’m sure you’ve seen the online videos of whales ending up with stomachs full of plastic and turtles with plastic straws up their noses. The amount we consume as a culture is deeply saddening and extremely problematic.
We have been warned for years about global warming, the importance of recycling and reducing our carbon footprint. But recycling and buying “eco-friendly” isn’t enough. My mom first introduced us to the idea of composting over 15 years ago. My mom was on to something back then. Ever since then I have despised the idea of having a rubbish bin in the kitchen as I also learned in my senior year Nature Nexus class that nothing truly goes away.
Over the past six months, I have been working towards making my home as waste-free as possible. One of the areas that needed to change the most was my kitchen. This is a never ending project as I am constantly finding ways to reduce the amount I throw away. This is particularly important as many of the items I purchase in grocery stores here in London are “not yet recyclable”.
Many of the guides I found online weren’t detailed enough, so I have included some tips of my own below. I hope you enjoy and make sure to lend your support to as many of these brands as possible. Our earth needs our help!
- Stop paper towel usage and opt for either microfibre cloths or preferably a non-plastic source
- Use plastic sponge alternatives
Suggestions: Vegetable sponges, scourers made out of coconut, coconut fibre dish scrubbing brush (compostable)
- Switch to Eco-Friendly Dish Soaps
- Refill your Cleaning Supplies:
- Use a Stainless steel dish soap container instead of a plastic one
- Use Sustainable Cleaning Supplies. Do some research on the ERG Website here.
- Make your own Cleaning Supplies and Buy Reusable Bottles. Hello Nest has a lot of great mixtures
- If you must throw stuff away, stop using plastic garbage bags. Opt for Paper Bin Bags, Biodegradable Bin Bags (Ecozone, D2w and more)or Washable Bin Bags (Bouballou, Planetwise)
- Use Eco friendly dishwasher tablets Recommended brand: Ecoleaf offer eco-friendly dishwasher tablets.
Plastic Free Product Sites
- Stop using Plastic Wrap
- Suggestions: Beeswax Covers or reusable/washable covers. Make your own here
- Silmat board instead of foil
- Glass snapware or stainless steel
- Glass or stainless steel straw
- Replace bottles of water with Edible Water Blobs or Reusable water bottles
- Consume more loose leaf teas or tea bags that don’t contain plastic. I recommend Adagio Teas
- Get Milk Delivery https://www.mylkman.co.uk/
- Use Reusable canvas shopping bags
- Instead of plastic bags use reusable vegetable bags
- Use a Vegetable and Fruit Delivery
- Buy Items in Bulk at a Farmers Market or at some of the stores below
- Find your local London Farmers market here: https://www.lfm.org.uk/
London Based Bulk Stores
- Blue House Yard, (Wood Green opening soon)
- Mother Earth
- Neals Yard Remedies (Covent Garden)
- Camden Market Stall – Read The Label (Camden)
- Bulk Market (Hackney)
- Naked Larder (Herne Hill)
- Harmless Store (Wood Green)
- Fare Shares (Walworth)
- Hetu (Clapham)
- Source Bulk Foods (Turnham Green)
- The Common Cafe (Clapham Common)
Unboxed Market (Toronto)
Eco Larder (Edinburgh)
The Refillery (Edinburgh)
Weigh To Go (Edinburgh)
Rainbow Grocery (San Francisco)
Other Avenues (San Francisco)
Blueland (Cleaning Tablet in Refillable Bottle)
Organic Delivery Company