When my granny moved from her house, we discovered packets and packets of disposable pot scourers under her kitchen sink. You know those little blocks of foam with a rough scrubby side? I have no idea why she stockpiled them but it made me wonder how many of these were lurking in kitchens across the country. If every household in the UK used only 6 of them a year, that would amount to 162 million in landfill.
But actually that’s what we sometimes do. We just keep buying things and using things out of habit. Kind of mindless automatic behaviour. So we took stock of our under-the-sink stash and began to change our own shopping habits.
We now refill our washing-up liquid at our local zero waste store. We still have a plastic bottle but keep reusing it. If you don’t have one of those shops near you, consider buying washing up liquid in bulk to refill your small bottle at home and save a bit of plastic waste.
The problem of tiny plastic fibres leaching into our water systems has been well publicised. So we are now using cotton dishcloths. Check out our Pinterest board for how to knit your own or even make them from old T-shirts. We have continued to use any microfibre ones we already had as they clean well without detergents. Since they can’t be recycled it seems better to hold on to them rather than send them to landfill.
One of my favourite new cleaning tools is this coconut dish scourer. It is satisfying to know it is plastic free but it also does the job really well. It looks good, it is antibacterial and lasts for ages. And food doesn’t get stuck between the bristles which can’t be said for those nasty little foam pads or their gungy friends the plastic dish brush which becomes matted and clogged over time.
Using this coconut scourer just makes me feel better about washing dishes. And remember they can be used all over the house- but you might want to keep a few to avoid cross contamination.
Another little gem I have discovered is a bamboo pot scraper. It is small and sits comfortably in the hand. It really deals with all the tricky corners in oven trays and Pyrex dishes. My mum actually admits to getting quite excited at the sight of burnt on food so she can get out her little magic scraper! (she needs to get out more).
Well, hopefully I have inspired you to rethink some of your cleaning habits. Every little change we make is one more step towards a healthier life and a healthier planet.