Thoughts sometimes become very heavy when we think about all the mess and harm we have caused to our environment, planet, and the next generations. But it is good to notice that we have options, and many of us have the privilege to choose between the products we buy. Here is what kind of changes my family has made to diminish the usage of plastic in our everyday life. I also want to share our struggles – and suggestions and ideas are welcome!
I am not a person of DIY projects, so lately, I have trusted a brand called Blueland. I use their glass and mirror, toilet clean up, and the multi-surface cleaning spray. Their main idea is to deliver ONE forever lasting plastic bottle which you fill with tap water and add in a tablet that will melt and generate the detergent. The tablets arrive in plastic-free, compostable packages. After purchasing the starter set or kit, you order refills or get them delivered to you as you subscribed. My first order was the Clean Suite -kit last summer and I have been happy with the products.
For the Dishes
For the dishwasher, we use Blueland’s tablets, which arrive in compostable packages and are best stored in the metal container that arrives with the kit or starter pack. We will also be testing their “mix it yourself”dish soap because it might be the easiest option when washing bottles etc. Otherwise, we use dish soap bars for anything that cannot be placed into the dishwasher.
The brushes we use are made of bamboo and coconut and are fully biodegradable. The brands are many, and everyone has to find their favorites, but for example, Package Free has nice options. Of course, we still have the almost historical plastic dish brush, but its job nowadays is to clean the sink. We wash it regularly in the dishwasher, so it does not get yucky. Maybe it will last a few more years before I have to let it go and hope that the recycling system does its job as promised.
(If you order anything from Package Free via the link above, you should get 10 USD off towards your first 40 USD spent!)
The Lovely Laundry
Laundry is my favorite because it is so easy to make an impact with it; I use laundry tablets, which are not wrapped in plastic film, and laundry strips/sheets. The detergent is “squeezed” into a sheet that dissolves in the laundry – no matter the temperature of the water. The tablets and sheets have been packed in, and arrive in, recyclable and/or compostable packages, and they are lightweight, which makes the transport more sustainable. The brands I have been testing and am still using are Blueland (tablets,) Tru Earth, Earth Breeze (delivers also to Finland) and Sheets Laundry Club. I noticed that SLC’s product did not clean blood stains very well – but this is my personal experience. So if you have nose bleeders in your family – winter and the dryer air are coming – this one is not necessary for you, but otherwise an excellent product. For people who like to add scents into their laundry, Sheets Laundry Club has an environmentally friendly product for that. I try to avoid scents so I have not given those a try.
If you like to use dryer and dryer sheets, Sheets Laundry Club has compostable ones, and they do their job well. I use them when I wash my scrubs. For any other type of laundry, I use lamb wool dryer balls. Whenever the weather is accurate, I like to dry our laundry outdoors.
(If you wish to order from Sheets Laundry Club, use the code REF6GHUPNNQ9H, to get -20% from your first order!)
You can find my previous posts about the laundry strips and sheets from here.
Where we struggle
Clorox and sanitizing. There are situations when I want to bleach. The nurse in me is stubborn with this. When I had COVID, our home smelled like alcohol and Clorox all the time, but we successfully prevented the rest of the family from getting the bug. Of course, I did not smell a thing myself- thanks to the virus – but the others were in the fumes. I guess the tablets are a better solution than the liquid or wipes – less plastic, less weight. I use them to sanitize the washing machine after washing my scrubs, for example.
During the worst COVID times, when the shelves of the stores were empty from cleaning supplies, or they were ridiculously pricy, we ordered over 96% spirits from the liquor stores in glass bottles. Then we used that as a spray to sanitize. I just noticed we still keep on doing that.
There are plenty of non-plastic and sustainable cleaning supplies available – here were just a few ideas and brands. People have different preferences and needs, and the more we ask for, the more we get. It sure does not mean we have to give up quality to protect the planet, so let’s make better choices whenever possible!
Disclaimer: I do not have an affiliate relationship with any of these brands and I don’t get paid for writing these referrals. These are my own experiences only and I simply want to share whatever brands I have found to be worth (or not) to try. For Package Free and Sheets Laundry Club, the personal discount codes and links are available for anyone who orders sets up an account, orders, or subscribes.