This is inspired by a similar post by Taking on a World of Words. After listening to an episode of Stuff You Should Know about recycling, I was stunned to realise that I was a recycling more than I needed to. In other words, I was buying more and more plastic and assuring myself that it was OK because I was recycling. Recycle is actually the last word on the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle phrase. Ideally the first thing people should aim for is to reduce. After that try to reuse some stuff. Then and only then should you recycle.
Once this revelation hit me I decided to see what I could reduce. I’m still a long way from where I want to be in this regard but here is a list of stuff I’ve been experimenting with:
1. Carton packaged eggs
Sure you’ll get more in a box if you opt for plastic, but more isn’t always better and I’m now buying a box of twelve carton-packaged eggs a week.
2. Using mouthwash tablets
I haven’t yet received these and I’m a little nervous but I go through so many bottles of mouthwash it’s ridiculous. Georganics do cruelty-free mouthwash tablets in both a 3-month and 1-year supply glass jar. It’ll certainly be a relief not having to travel with a bottle of mouthwash that has the potential to spill.
3. Pit Putty
You heard me right! Irish-made, this natural deodorant comes in a decent sized aluminium tin and has four different scents. I’m currently using lemon and lavender and it smells gorgeous! For a while I was using the Greeeeench from Lush but it’s too messy and it comes in a plastic bottle. This I highly recommend because it works!
4. Shampoo bars
Now I’m struggling with this because my scalp is so sensitive and I can’t find a cruelty-free shampoo with no parabens or sulphates that doesn’t dry it out. I invested in a bottle of Aveda designed to help with this and it ticked all the boxes bar plastic and it’s not helping. Waste of €25! I’ve tried a few Lush shampoo bars but they’re not great either, plus they have sulphates and I want to avoid them now. I’ve ordered a shampoo bar from Little Green Shop and it’s supposed to help balance sebum levels (which I’m only assuming is what’s causing my scalp problems). Fingers crossed!
5. Homemade cat food
Sachets of cat food are so wasteful and there’s a poor selection of tinned cat food in my local supermarket. I looked up homemade cat food recipes and so far I’ve made two dishes: mackerel with chicken broth and rice – Oreo didn’t like it but Jessie did, though it did give her the runs. Then I tried boiled chicken with carrot, broccoli and chicken broth, which she loved. I’m going to try a beef recipe next to give her some variety and hopefully down the road I can stop buying Whiskas.
I currently use an electric toothbrush that I’ve had for 10 years and hasn’t let me down. It’s recommended using a bamboo toothbrush but I can’t bring myself to get rid of something so reliable. Plus I have a tonne of replacement heads. So this is still a maybe. I also want to use laundry nuts once our current detergent runs out. My sister-in-law uses them and recommends them. And of course, toothpaste tablets!
As I’ve mentioned I’ve tried a lot of shampoos which means I’m left with half full bottles of a few that didn’t work. I looked up ways to reuse them and it turns out there’s a tonne of them! Right now I’m using one of them as a hand soap, but they also clean dishes, laundry stains, etc. I’m delighted they won’t go to waste now.
That’s my list so far, here’s to being green!