a little less plastic

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We all love a little practical don’t we? This week, I shared a post on Facebook challenging us to use less plastic and showing the devastating affects of plastic on the natural world. I don’t know if I share too many of these kind of things, I only share what really touches and challenges me, but there’s a lot of that stuff out there isn’t there? One FB friend’s response was to ask everyone to contribute ideas on how we can use less (or no) plastic, and I’ve enjoyed reading the other comments (I’m now on the lookout for wooden earbuds). And that is my kind of practical. I enjoy reading for inspiration but I also want to skip on to the last few chapters of the book which just tell me what to do.

So here’s my little contribution today…

I’ve been making our own cleaning products for about half a year now. They are kinder to the environment, cheaper and effective! OK, I think they are cheaper although I haven’t actually measured this. But kinder to the environment is enough for me. I think they smell nicer because they are natural, especially if you drip a little of your favourite essential oil in there. And we all need more motivation to get cleaning (well, I do).

The recipes I’ve used have come from this book that I found at the Bristol Harbourside market..

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(I’m not sure what the deal is with copyright and all that. I will try and be vague and hopefully no one will arrest me.)

One of my favourite and very simple recipes for a creamy all purpose cleaner is to mix about 90g baking soda with 115-ish-ml of liquid castile soap (that wasn’t very vague was it?).You can buy both these ingredients in large quantities from Amazon. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil, if you like, although this is optional. I like using lemon or tea tree; something that smells clean. Give it all a good stir and pour it into your re-useable plastic bottle (mine are from Ikea). It will need a good shake every time you use it and will be too thick to squirt out, so just pour it onto your cloth. It smells lovely, is really effective (Bi-carb is amazing!) and is using less plastic, by reusing your bottle over and over again. You could of course use no plastic by storing it in a glass jar or similar.

I would really recommend the book. It has lots of recipes using a small repertoire of ingredients, so once you’ve stocked up, there’s no stopping you. It’s so quick to make up and I really love the whole potions thing. Remember making potions as a kid, looking around the house for ingredients to add? Yeah, I think we’ve all done that. The kids enjoy joining in too and I’m not complaining about that…. it’s science, people!

The book is also available on Amazon – there’s some used copies available, which are so much cheaper. Or check out your library. Now, go and order those two ingredients and get started. Go!

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