Much of the degradation of our planet is related to our consumption habits. Everything we throw away is left somewhere on the planet and sometimes takes centuries to be degraded by nature. Reducing waste is fundamental to overcome the environmental crisis we live in.
Change must begin within our own homes through our actions and choices.
Bea Johnson the founder of the international movement “Zero Waste Home” in her book “Zero Waste: Simplify your life by reducing waste”, shares 5 easy steps to eliminate waste:
refuse what we don’t need
reduce what we really need
reuse what we consume
recycle what we can’t refuse
reduce or reuse and compose everything else
So there are many things we can do to make our home greener and contribute to a more sustainable world. We leave you some tips:
Kitchen & Pantry
The moment of shopping is perfect to start your ecological practice: opt for organic products (grown without the use of synthetic chemicals); visit the organic markets* where you can buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, flours, etc. in bulk, directly from the producer and remember to bring your reusable bags
Whenever possible replace plastic with ecological materials: use glass instead of disposable glasses, even at work (take your home glass and inspire your colleagues to do the same); If you usually take your lunch or snack from home, choose to pack it in glass containers, stainless steel marmitas or bio-cotton bags; abeego wrappers are also perfect for packing food;
If plastic packaging is unavoidable try to reuse it, for example, as a material for children to play with – stimulate your children’s environmental awareness by giving a new life to objects that would otherwise be considered waste;
Opt for ecological cleaning products, with the least possible environmental impact and/or make your own products with ingredients from your pantry (vinegar, salt, lemon, bicarbonate…see some recipes here); opt for reusable and biodegradable cleaning utensils (washable cloths, wood brushes with natural fibre bristles, etc.);
Soak the dishes before washing them and use the water to wash the vegetables to water the plants;
Avoid the use of adherent film, opt for more environmentally (and health) friendly solutions such as beeswax casings; these are reusable and made only with natural ingredients;
Try soapy nuts to wash clothes and vinegar to soften and help fix colors;
Reusable discs, natural sponges (konjac or luffa) or natural bristle brushes are a more ecological alternative to synthetic sponges or disposable discs;
Take advantage of leftover fabrics or reuse old clothes, to make handkerchiefs to blow your nose, reusable wipes (know how here), washable cloths for cleaning…
Wellness: gather natural ingredients in your home remedy kit (essential oils – know which 5 essential oils are indispensable for the natural kit – vegetable oils, clay, epsom salts … see these home remedy recipes to relieve pain and cough and cold, or look for natural alternatives in your pantry: for example: fennel seeds or mint leaves to help improve digestion (more suggestions here); ginger for nausea; cloves for toothache; chamomile infusion to help relax, thyme infusion for cough and cold, etc.
Avoid synthetic fibers. Prefer sheets and sleeping clothes made of organic cotton;
Have a plant that purifies the air;
In the wardrobe/closet, choose lavender and cloves bags instead of naphthalene to protect the clothes;
To scare off mosquitoes, spread citronella essential oil (or other oils with repellent properties – more suggestions here);
Garden & Backyard
Do not use synthetic chemicals; prefer natural solutions;
Opt for low maintenance: select plants that do not need to be pruned frequently, spread humus or leaves of trees on the ground once a year, spray the weeds with vinegar…etc (1).
(1) Bea Johnson, 2016, zero waste: simplify your life by reducing waste at home. Editorial Presence
(2) Luci Ayala, green home: start preserving nature within your own home. Health Magazine, December 1992