Environmentally friendly household swaps

Written by: Alcia Loach - Budding Eco-Momma and CEO of Pocket Angel CIC

My children have always had the power to nag me into submission. I think it’s an actual superpower of the young. They hone it on getting ice creams and sweets but thankfully as they get older and wiser, they use it for good! My two older teenage children were all fired up about climate change and the pollution caused by our over-use of plastics. Being a busy Mum, working a full-time job as well as trying to setup my own charitable initiative, I wondered if this was what they meant by ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. So, a couple of documentaries later I decided to go vegan-ish (that’s another story), look at my shopping cart more analytically and do what I can. For those of you interested to know which documentaries, here’s a list. Some were at the start of my journey and some added over the past few years: Cowspiracy, A Plastic Ocean, Our Planet, The True Cost & Seaspiracy.

My journey started back in 2016 before the ban on plastic bags, so my first ‘easy’ step was to stop using plastic bags, or so I thought. Several supermarket trips later as I returned home with a boot full of groceries still in plastic bags, I felt like I’d failed at the start line. You see, I’d take my reusable cloth bags to the supermarket in the boot of my car; forget them in said boot; and only remember them when I was at the till. I know you’re thinking ‘just go back to the car and get the bags’. Easier said than done my friend, the queue of other work weary people mounting up at the till as your groceries get scanned by a scanning ninja is not one to be reckoned with.

I’ve always responded well to a well placed Post-It, so decided to write a ‘Note-To-Self’. Fast forward five years and this is now a dictated note on my smartphone, but you get the gist. One of my first ‘Note-To-Self’ was, Put reusable shopping bags in your handbag. It worked!

Here are a few of my ‘Note-To-Self’ which I must say have resulted in me gaining the approval of my eco-warrior offspring and a bit of personal pride at me achieving my goal to ‘do what I can’. It hasn’t resulted in the totally empty black bin I’d hoped for. I’m still working on that with a committee of like-minded people in my village. We are setting up a Terracycle scheme to recycle the waste the council doesn’t collect.

Kitchen and general household swaps

A plant pot situated on a white window ceil.

Windowsill compost collector

Rather than throw your fruit and peelings in the bin, why not collect them? Composted fruit and veg can provide nutrients for your garden.

A light bees wax cloth, an alternative to clingfilm.

Bees wax cloth

Still using cling film to wrap your food to lock in freshness? Well why not swap it for bees wax cloth. Cling film is plastic and takes years to break down and contributes to micro-plastics.

Pots & pans hanging from a rack in a clean kitchen.

Loofah scourer

Instead of scouring your pots and pans using a sponge pad, why not use a loofah scourer? This swap reduces the amount of plastic going into landfill as plastic based sponges are not recycled by the council.

An image of someone washing their hands in the sink.

Compostable sponge cloth

There is even a swap to help when wiping down spills! Get rid of your traditional sponge cloths and get yourself a compostable one!

A reel of eco-friendly paper tape.

Paper tape

Simply swap your plastic sticky tape for the paper alternative. This quick and easy alternative reduces the amount of plastic going into landfill.

An indulgent chocolate cake situated on a glass stand

Silicone baking sheet and liner

Reduce the amount of waste by ditching your greaseproof paper when baking your cakes.

A selection of herbs laid out on a kitchen worktop

Save the herbs

Save your unused herbs and keep them fresher than by snipping them and freezing them in ice cube trays. An easy way to reduce the amount of packaged herbs you buy!

Plates on a drying rack in a kitchen

Refillable dishwashing liquid

Ditch your washing up liquid in a plastic bottle with refillable eco-friendly dishwashing liquid from a zero waste shop such as Harriet's of Hove!

Join the eco revolution

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Join the eco revolution