From your dishes to your laundry and everything in between - try these swaps to make your home a little more Earth-friendly.
1. Swap Dishwashing Tablets for Bulk Liquid or Powder
Is it just us, or is it becoming increasingly difficult to find plastic-free dishwashing options? Cardboard packaged dishwashing powder is a rare sight among a sea of (plastic lined) tablets. Aside from the lining, most dishwashing tablets contain nasty chemicals – from toxic surfactants to hormone-adding fragrances1, to microplastics polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP)2. These chemicals are all bad news for our health, waterways and the creatures that live there.
The Swap: Shop in a bulk store (like Naked Foods) for dishwashing powder or liquid – bring your own jar or container to skip the packaging altogether. Our favourites:
- Lemon Myrtle Dishwashing Liquid: This dishwashing liquid is made from natural ingredients. The lemon myrtle is locally grown and produced in NSW, Australia. It’s 100% free of SLS, PEG, parabens, mineral oils and CDE. It is phosphate-free, toxin and sensitiser free, greywater and septic safe, NOT tested on animals and palm oil free! Fill your own container and receive 5% off.
- Lemon Myrtle Dishwashing Powder: This lemon myrtle dishwashing powder has been created with built-in rinse aid. It is highly concentrated (up to 66 doses per kg). This powder degreases, is earth safe and biodegradable, greywater and septic safe, not tested on animals and contains no palm oil.
2. Swap Liquid Hand Soap to Bar Soap (Or Bulk Liquid)
Unlike solid soaps, liquid soaps are petroleum-based and require emulsifying agents and stabilizers in order to maintain their consistency. These agents have been tested and approved by the appropriate governing agencies but few if any actual studies exist showing the long-term effects of repeated use of these chemicals3.
A 2009 study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich concluded that bar soap requires one-fifth of the energy to produce compared to liquid soap4. On top of that, handwashing liquid uses around 20 times more packaging than bar soap and contains significantly more water – making it heavier and more energy-intensive to transport4.
Generally, washing your hands with bar soap costs around a third of using liquid hand soap. Still skeptical? Contrary to popular belief, several scientific studies (including this and this) have concluded that bar soap doesn’t carry bacteria from one set of hands to another, and is just as effective at removing viruses as liquid soap.
The Swap: When it comes to its environmental impact, bar soap is hands down the winner. Find a soap that you love (there are so many options out there now!) or if you’re not ready to make the switch, try shopping bulk liquid soap instead to reduce your packaging impact. Here are some of our favourites:
- Australian Dreamtime Bar Soap: This little bar of goodness contains an invigorating blend of oils from the Australian bush. It contains coconut, sweet almond & vegetable oils, assorted natural clay colours, purified water & 100% essential oils.
- Activated Charcoal Soap: Charcoal is known for it’s cleansing, purifying and toning properties. It’s great for treating skin impurities and helps heal acne. This bar is suitable for both face and body!
- Rosemary & Lavender Soap: this blend of lavender and rosemary oils enhance positive energy and clarity of thought. This soap is excellent for sensitive and dry skin.
- Lemon Myrtle Liquid Soap: If you’re a liquid soap lover, skip the packaging and by this beautifully fragranced liquid soap in bulk with your own containers. It has an Earth safe and human friendly, toxin free and sensitiser free formula to help protect your family’s skin. With a pH 5.5 for perfect skin compatibility, it’s also biodegradable, grey water safe and septic safe, not tested on animals, contains no animal products, and palm oil free.
- Castile Soap In Bulk: Castile soap is made with Sunflower oil and Coconut oil and contains no harsh foaming ingredients. Castile Soaps are the mildest and most moisturising of all soap bases, they are mild and gentle enough to use on a baby's skin.
3. Swap Pre-Packaged for Bulk Laundry Powder and Liquid
We’ve shared our favourite laundry tips over here – but to quickly recap:
- Soap Berries: (also known as soap nuts) can be composted or buried in your garden once they’ve been used. They’re free of toxic chemicals, odourless, Certified Organic, vegan and great for sensitive skin!
- Laundry Powder or Liquid In Bulk: come in store to fill your own jar with our Organic Lemon Myrtle Laundry powder or liquid. This Australian natural cleaner is perfect for top and front loaders and is toxin free and eco-friendly.
- Forever Pegs: As your brittle plastic pegs die naturally (and they will), swap them out for some stainless steel goodness to last you a lifetime.
4. Swap Disposable Bottles for Reusable, Refillable Bottles
We’re very excited to announce the launch of our new glass spray and pump bottles in store! Having said that – we’re huge advocates for using what you already have. If that’s an old, upcycled plastic bottle of surface cleaner, so be it. Give them a good wash, top them up with bulk dishwashing, laundry and cleaning goodies – and say goodbye to single-use plastic bottles!
Do you have any environmentally friendly or plastic-free laundry hacks? Share them in the comments below or by tagging @nakedfoods on Instagram or Facebook!
Resources and Further Reading
- Koehler, A. and C. Wildbolz. Environmental Science & Technology. Published 2009 doi:10.1021/es901236f (online at : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20028065)
Words by Amy Fraser.