A GUIDE TO ZERO WASTE CLEANING FOR A SUSTAINABLE HOME
Our cleaning routines have a lot to do with the overall sustainability of our home – including the amount of waste our household produces. While we may not necessarily think of cleaning as an activity that generates a lot of waste, it is a significant contributor to plastic pollution.
Thankfully, with a few small swaps to zero waste cleaning, you can make a world of a difference in the long run.
Skip synthetic fibre cloths
First, consider the fabrics from which any cleaning cloths, sponges and other textiles are made from. If they are synthetic (such as polyester) rather than natural (e.g. cotton), swap them for natural textiles the next time you’re swapping them – or just cut up an old cotton t-shirt you no longer wear.
Synthetic fibres don’t belong to a sustainable home – they’re made from plastic! Not only does this mean that they linger in the environment for long years after they’re discarded, but they also release microscopic plastic particles into wastewater whenever they’re washed!
If you already have synthetic cleaning cloths or sponges in your home and are working to switch to zero waste cleaning, make sure to use them for as long as possible to make the best of them – and next time, choose a natural fibre instead.
Baking soda & vinegar
The two best cleaning supplies for a zero waste cleaning kit are baking soda and vinegar – they’re cheap, can often be bought plastic-free and they can take care of just about any cleaning need you may have.
A solution of vinegar and water (perhaps along with a few drops of essential oils) functions as a multi-purpose cleaner, without any of the plastic or chemicals. Baking soda tackles tougher stains and grime, such as cleaning the oven.
Refillable cleaning products
If baking soda and vinegar are not your favourites – perhaps you dislike the smell of vinegar or can’t find these in plastic-free packaging in your area – refillable cleaning products are also an excellent option.
You’ll be able to refill your containers at most zero waste stores and bulk stores, but many brands increasingly offer concentrated refills shipped directly to your home, in compostable pouches.
Either way, switching to refillable products is perfect for those who strive for a zero waste cleaning routine and a sustainable home, but don’t want their routines to change too much.