Should We Buy Or Create Eco Friendly Products?

People are fascinated by eco-friendly alternatives to products that they already use and love. Recently someone posted to our forum questioning whether there were any true, eco-friendly make-up they could purchase. 

Another was keen to find an eco-friendly solution to getting rid of cockroaches

There are countless reasons to choose eco-friendly products. On the most basic level, you’ll probably save money. Particularly, if you find a product that you can use again and again. 

A great example of this is a frying pan. If you purchase a non-stick frying pan, you’ll spend somewhere around $10. But you’ll need to replace it in just a couple years. 

However, if you choose a heavy-duty, eco-friendly frying plan, it will last longer. It can also be used in a variety of different conditions. While this item is more expensive, in the long run, it costs you less. 

Eco friendly products are also better for the environment. Products that last a longer amount of time mean less waste. This leads to a reduced build-up in landfills and keeps our environment healthy. 

Research even suggests that these products are beneficial for your health. Take laundry detergents as an example. Non-eco-friendly products are often packed full of harmful chemicals. These could damage your health. 

Eco-friendly products are made from natural materials that won’t cause this negative impact. 

Now you know the benefits, you probably have one question. Where can I get these eco-friendly products?

Buy Or Create?

There are two options to gain eco-friendly products for your home. You can either create them yourself or buy them from the store. Which is the right answer? 

Well, ideally, you should be taking both steps. This is due to the fact that there are certain eco-friendly items that are easy to create yourself and others that you are better off buying. 

Let’s explore some examples so you can make the right decisions here. 

Eco Friendly Products You Can Buy 


Straws are a great eco friendly product that are difficult to make but easy to buy. However, you do have to make sure that you’re buying the right kind. 

A major buzz was created when McDonald’s switched to paper straws to help save turtles. Unfortunately, it has been revealed these straws are not recyclable. 

Instead, you should invest in metal straws. These can be used multiple times and will last for years without needing replacement. You can take them with you when dining out too. 


Referring back to one of our forum topics, you can purchase organic makeup. You just need to ensure that you’re choosing the right brand. 

Think about both packaging and what’s included in the makeup too. Packaging should be made from recyclable materials like aluminum and paper. 

Eco-friendly makeup also won’t contain micro-beads. These are small parts of plastic that do end up in the ocean after the makeup is used. 

Juice Beauty and Elate Cosmetics are great examples of eco-friendly makeup brands you can buy from. 

Dishwasher Tablets

Dishwasher tablets can’t be created but eco-friendly options are available to purchase. This includes products from brands like Attitude and Ecover. 

By choosing these brands, you can avoid the chemicals typically found in dishwasher tablets that harm the environment. 

Drink Bottles 

You can buy reusable eco-friendly drink bottles as well. Ideally, you should opt for a drink bottle made from stainless steel. These have increased in popularity and many are 100% BPA-Free

As such, they can be considered a safe, sustainable option that is certainly worth considering. 


You can also find eco-friendly bedding on the market. This option is available from brands like Bhumi. They provide a wide range of bedding options. 

Crucially, these are sourced from farmed cotton that is sustainable and manufactured responsibly. 

This is a great time to point out that you should always consider the manufacturing process of any product you purchase. 

Recycled Toothbrush 

Toothbrushes are typically made out of plastic, particularly the handles. Plastic is a key material to avoid when looking for eco-friendly products. 

You can get toothbrushes made from recyclable materials. The actual material used here does tend to vary so be careful about the choice you make. 

According to RADIUS, it’s possible to reduce your waste by 93% with this decision alone! 

Eco Friendly Products You Can Create

You might think you need DIY expertise or innovative ideas to create your own eco-friendly products at home. 

Well, that’s not the case. There are plenty of examples that are easy to create, even for the typical individual. 

Shaving Cream 

Shaving cream is a product that you might use regularly throughout the week. The products you buy can contain a lot of harmful chemicals. 

So, why not create your own. With a mixture of shea butter, coconut oil and peppermint oil, you can achieve this in no time. It’s just a matter of mixing the ingredients into a paste and storing it in a container. 

Makeup Removers

Makeup removers are typically not biodegradable or made from recyclable materials. That’s why you should consider creating your own. 

You can do this with some paper towels that are dampened with coconut oil. Just make sure you add some tree oil to stop issues with mold. 

Hand Wash

It’s difficult to create a pump that provides a hand wash foam, but you don’t need to. Instead, once you have used all the soap, rinse out the container. You can then buy organic liquid soap or dishwashing soap and reuse the bottle. 

You’ll never need to get rid of the old bottle and you won’t have to purchase another one. 

Herbal Hairspray

This is another beauty product that causes havoc with the environment due to the chemicals often included as ingredients. 

You can create your own though. You just need sugar, some essential oils, and hot water. Mix them together within a spray bottle for an eco-friendly product that will hold your hair in place. 


As you can see from reading the list, whether you’re buying eco friendly products or creating your own, there are some great options for eco-friendly products that you may not have thought of. 

To continue the discussion, and to find new recipes and products, join our community and chat with others on how to live a more eco friendly lifestyle.

And, lastly, if you found this post useful – please do share it amongst your peers. ??

Steps To Create A Zero Waste Home

Are you keen to be more eco-friendly? If so, it’s crucial that you think about your levels of waste. Ideally, you should be aiming for a zero-waste home. 

We know what you’re thinking. Is this even possible? People on our forum constantly question whether anyone has actually achieved a zero-waste lifestyle. 

You might be pleased to hear that there are some real examples of people achieving what is basically a zero-waste home. For instance, Kathryn Kellog has reduced her level of annual landfill waste down to an amount she can hold in her hand. 

But how can you achieve this and start taking real steps to obtain this goal? Well, read our guide below and learn the steps you can take to create a zero waste home.

Dodge The Junk 

One of the easiest ways to reduce your levels of waste is to start addressing the level of junk mail coming to your home. Junk mail is a waste of paper, electricity, and ink. It’s also a complete nuisance. 

If you contact the company, you can opt-out of receiving these letters in the post. That’s quickly going to help you reduce the level of waste that comes through your letterbox and ends up in the trash. 

Don’t Waste Electricity

You should also think about ways to reduce the amount of electricity that you’re wasting throughout the day. 

For instance, do make sure that you are switching off lights when they are not in use. You should also take the time to switch off tech equipment as well. When a tech item is charged, unplug it. 

A lot of people think that a tech item that is fully charged and plugged in isn’t using electricity. That’s not always the case. Even devices on standby can be using a lot of electricity. 

Go Renewable

Of course, if you are thinking about reducing your electricity wastage, consider exploring renewable energy options. Renewable energy will allow you to ensure that you immediately cut down the cost. Not only should cost encourage you to move to renewable energy, but it’s a crucial step towards building a zero waste home.

It will also help eliminate the high electricity levels being used in your home. Electricity consumption is one of the key ways we are damaging the planet. Experts also believe that the pressure on the national grid will cause power outages in the near future. 

You can reduce this issue and eliminate waste by investing in something like solar panels. You can also get a storage device. This ensures that any electricity generated and not used through the day can still be accessed at a later time. 

Don’t Waste Food

We’ll explore a key way that you can eliminate food waste a little further down. However, it’s true to say that most households put a lot of their food in the trash. Why is this? 

We tend to cook more food than we need. Instead of saving this, we just get rid of it. There are two ways to tackle this problem. Either you can control the amount of food you’re cooking. Or, you can save food that is left over.

This is a great way to save money too and you’ll be amazed by how long leftovers will last you. Particularly, if you start freezing them. 

Fix Leaking Taps

Water waste is an issue that is constantly overlooked. There are areas of your home where you need to use water. You can reduce the amount of water wasted with simple steps like not running the tap when brushing your teeth, but you can’t eliminate it completely. 

However, you should pay attention to large sources of water waste. An example of this is a leak. You’re not getting any benefit from leaking water in your home. Instead, it’s costing you a fortune. 

Call a plumber and make sure that they fix a potential leak in your property. You’ll immediately notice a change to your water bill. 

Target Key Offenders

There are various household products that are going to contribute a lot more to your waste levels than others. It’s important that you start eliminating these from your lifestyle. 

You can start slowly but eventually, they shouldn’t have a presence in your home at all. 

Water bottles are one of the most common issues here. You can start using a metal reusable water bottle instead. That way you’ll never have to put another plastic bottle in the trash. These are a major problem because a lot of plastic bottles are difficult to recycle. 

Straws are another problem too. There are plastic straws that you should reuse where possible and there are also metal straws. These are great and will last for years without needing to be disposed of. 

Paper towels are another problem that will stop you from achieving a zero waste home. You can address this issue by making sure that you start investing in reusable cloths instead. You’ll be able to wash these with the rest of your laundry. That’s going to help you save a lot of paper and keep this out of your waste. 

You might even want to think about using old clothes as rags to clean up messes too. Again, these can be used repeatedly and are easy to clean. This is going to save you from throwing out old clothes in the trash. 

You can also think about composting any paper towels and that brings us to the final step. 

Start Composting 

This isn’t easy but it is important. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly a quarter of the waste that ends up in landfills is food products. This makes up solid waste so we need to ensure we’re diverting this wherever possible. 

Composting provides a real option. All you need to get started is a countertop container for compost. There are advanced tech options on the market, but this could just be a bowl. Then, you can select an area in your garden where you will be able to start your compost pile. 

As you can see, there are steps you can take to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle. Some of these are easier than others and with the right determination, there’s nothing stopping you from making great strides here. 

Join The Discussion

If you enjoyed reading our post, please do sign up to our forum and continue the discussion alongside the rest of our community.

We have also written a great post on how to start working towards an eco-friendly home, which discusses a number of product changes you can make in order to become more environmentally friendly. Read it here, and let us know what you think!

All You Need To Know About Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable grocery bags, or reusable produce bags as the name suggests, are grocery bags that can be used more than once, and they come in all shapes and sizes. 

Some bags are more ‘chic totes’, whilst others are insulated to keep produce cool. Some are more practical and sturdy for your heavy groceries. 

Regardless of which type of produce bag you prefer, you should always have one in your car or handbag to avoid having to use a plastic bag when you purchase groceries.

Why Is It Important To Use Reusable Produce Bags?

For the last few decades, it has been common practice to pack produce in very thin single-use plastic bags. With time, we have realised just how bad single use plastic bags are to the environment. Plastic bags are especially difficult to handle because they are easily blown out of landfills, and into storm drains, rivers, and even treetops. These flimsy bags are also easily consumed by animals, which can be fatal to them. 

We often see posts on social media showing how a marine animal has mistook a plastic bag for food, which usually ends up in fatality. To start making a difference, ensure you use reusable produce bags, and you can prevent both the creation and consumption of single use plastic items.

Are Reusable Bags Really Eco-Friendly?

Just as with other products, the environmental impact of reusable produce bags should be assessed by looking at its production process, use and disposal. 

Reusable grocery bags made of cotton or sisal have a high carbon footprint due to the amount of water and pesticides utilised in their production, and therefore these bags have to be reused numerous times to be eco-friendly. 

Reusable product bags made from both recycled plastic and recycled fabrics are the most eco-friendly. There are other reusable bags which are made from cassava, seaweed and other vegetable offshoots like this True Natured bag, or Avani Eco.

The more times a produce bag is used, the more eco-friendly it becomes. So, when you are considering purchasing a reusable product bag, make sure it’s one that you like the look of, and can see yourself sticking with it for a lengthy period of times. Whilst these bags are more to do with being functional than fashion conscious – you should make sure you feel comfortable using it – or else you are unlikely to continue!

What Are The Benefits Of Switching?

There are so many reasons as to why switching to a reusable grocery bag is a wise idea, not just because of the fact it’s far more eco friendly, but also because of a number of other added benefits that you should consider:

  • Much Bigger Carrying Capacity

Reusable grocery bags are made of heavy-duty materials like canvas, cotton and sisal. This makes them stronger than regular plastic grocery bags. You can safely carry your entire produce shopping in one bag without any likelihood of tears. 

  • Cost Saving

Some stores charge extra for their shopping bags therefore by having your own you will avoid these additional costs.

  • Reduce Clutter

Having one grocery bag replaces tens of plastic produce bags which makes for a more organised household. You can even purchase some bags which are designed to fit perfectly into a shopping cart to help organise your groceries.

  • Aesthetically Pleasing

Some reusable grocery bags, like the totes, are so trendy that no-one will realise you are carrying produce. Others can also function as a little weekend bag for you to carry clothes, electronics, and other items you like to travel with!

Can You Make Your Own Reusable Produce Bags?

You most definitely can! For those that know their way around a sewing machine, making reusable grocery bags for your own use or as gifts is a great ‘DIY’ idea. Old garments or upholstery make great materials for DIY bags. 

Just cut the desired size and stitch. Buttons and bits of colourful lace can be used to decorate the bag, and old net curtains are good for making vegetable and bread bags.

DIY produce bags are great because they are affordable and make use of what you already have in the house.

Another great DIY idea for the really crafty and adventurous is to make a reed basket. If you live in an area close to a swamp, the grasses and reeds make great materials for weaving. Such bags are great for produce shopping.

What Impact Can I Have By Switching To Reusable Bags?

The benefits of reusable bags are numerous. 

To put this into perspective: If one household were to make 2 grocery shopping trips a week and on those trips they would typically use 4 plastic bags, if they were to shift from using plastic shopping bags to reusable bags, it would result in an annual reduction in plastic waste of 208 single use plastic bags. 

Examples Of Great Reusable Produce Bags

These reusable bags are designed to fit the standard shopping cart and are heavy-duty, with a capacity of 22kg. They also include an insulated bag and inserts for eggs and wine. 

The ‘Shopping Cart Organiser’ bag is multipurpose and can be used in the car trunk or as a beach bag. 

They are lightweight, transparent and breathable, and ideal for produce shopping.

A pack of two extra-large foldable insulated reusable grocery bags perfect for frozen goods. 

This collapsible stylish tote is made of heavy-duty canvas. It can be a great weekend bag or it can be folded and fit inside your bag. It is quite large though, at 18. 5″ L x 11. 75″W x 11. 5″H.


The disposable plastic shopping bag which was introduced in the 1970s, has in fact brought with it a pollution catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. Plastic production also utilises oil and natural gas, which puts further pressure on these finite resources. Additionally, the disposal of single-use grocery bags is also costly to the environment, with only 25% being recycled. The rest end up in landfills, or as a pollutant on land and in the sea, where it breaks down into toxic micro-particles.

Reusable grocery bags are gaining popularity. Why? because more people are becoming aware of the negative side effects of single use disposable bags. 

An important point to keep in mind is that a reusable bag can be used for a number of years, depending on its material, and therefore, one does not need to buy or make too many of them. 

The concept of zero waste living would dictate that you buy the number of bags you need, and use them until they are worn out. At that point, you could buy or make another.

Do you have additional questions on reusable grocery bags? Or do you want to learn how more about how to create a perfect eco friendly home? Then head on over to our forum to join the discussion. 

Keep Warm And Stay Eco-Friendly With Reusable Hand Warmers

As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, people are searching for ways to keep cozy and warm, even when outdoors. In this article, you’ll find reusable hand warmers that won’t hurt the planet. 

Reusable hand warmers are a popular choice here. If you invest in a product like this, you will have a way to keep your hands toasty when outdoors. 

These can be stored in your pocket, a backpack, they could be held in your hands or they could be kept in an item of your clothing. 

The products work in a variety of ways depending on the option you choose. Some products create a chemical reaction, while others are designed to ignite a particular material in order to generate heat.

You might be wondering whether these products are eco friendly. Well, that’s what we’re going to answer today.

In this article, you’ll find reusable hand warmers that won’t hurt the planet. 

DIY Solutions

Instead of buying reusable hand warmers, you could consider creating them yourself, and there are a few ways to do this. 

One option that you can consider is a rice pillow. To create these, you simply need to stitch a small pillow out of an eco friendly material, and then fill it with rice. 

Rice Hand Warmers
DIY Rice Hand Warmers (via Etsy)

Once you have done this, sew the pillow up to keep the rice inside. Since they are small, these little hand warmer pillows can be created in less than fifteen minutes. 

To use them, you’ll need to heat them in a microwave for less than a minute. You can then add your DIY hand warmer to your jacket for a temporary solution. 

This could be great for everyday use. You can choose a variety of materials to fill the material as well including flax seeds or sand. You can also add different materials including lavender to ensure they provide a delightful scent too. 

Bought Reusable Hand Warmers And Reusable Heat Pads

The first question you should ask when purchasing hand warmers is whether they contain harmful materials and substances. 

After all, it is worth questioning what chemicals create the reaction that triggers the heat. The answer is that most major brands use non-toxic materials. 

Examples include HeatMax, Grabber Heat Treat and Coleman. Typically, they work by a chemical reaction known as exothermic oxidation which will generate the heat we’re used to – this is also known as rust. 

To do this, powdered iron is exposed to oxygen. So, while not consumable, the natural materials used are also not harmful. 

However, that doesn’t mean they are always eco friendly.

Many hand warmers are disposable. As such, these individually wrapped products can lead to a lot of waste in the long term, which is why we like to encourage people to go the DIY route.

The Solution 

Some people prefer to avoid hand warmers altogether. Instead, many opt to carry a metal thermos with hot liquid inside. This isn’t a particularly practical solution and there is an alternative. 

You need to consider reusable hand warmers. Reusable heat pads and hand warmers work differently than the disposable variety. 

They generate heat through a supersaturated solution proceeding through an exothermic crystallization reaction, and these include a metal device that you can recharge in boiling water. 

You can also get hand warmers that use lighter fuel for the same results, and then you have battery operated hand warmers. For instance, for tech lovers, the Nu Warm is a fantastic choice. You can recharge this one with your mobile phone. 

As for the hand warmer modeled from a lighter, Zippo provides a high-quality product that is a well-reviewed product on the market. 

There are even hand warmers that use charcoal tubes to create the heat impact. However, these are a little more exposed and can cause issues. 

When choosing which hand warmer suits best – you should also think about what you are using your hand warmers for. 

Different Hand Warmers For Individual Requirements 

For everyday use, the sewn DIY hand warmers will work well. A few seconds in the microwave and you can slip them into your pocket. You’ll then be able to use these when defrosting the car or keeping your hands warm while walking the kids to school. 

If you’re heading into the great outdoors, you might want to consider another option that provides heat for longer. 

For instance, you might be skiing, and unfortunately, a lot of the hand warmers that are recommended for skiing are single-use. This means that they will not provide the eco-benefits that you want. 

However, there are reusable hand warmers for skiing on the market. This includes HotSnapZ products. As well as being reusable, a pack of these comes with a lifetime warranty. They will only provide around thirty to sixty minutes of warmth though which may not be enough for longer periods on the slopes. Particularly, when you need to expose them to hot water to get them to work. 

If you are hill walking, you’re definitely going to need a hand warmer that lasts longer than this. That’s why you might want to consider purchasing a rechargeable item. 

An example would be the EnergyFlux Ellipse Rechargeable Hand Warmer. This provides six hours of heat and you can choose between two different heat settings.

It’s also powerful enough to make it feel like you’re holding a warm cup of coffee. As an additional benefit, you can use the item to charge your phone or your camera! Whilst it is expensive, this hand warmer is made from metal and will last you years without needing a replacement. 

There are even reusable hand warmers that fit over your hands like gloves. This is ideal if you’re completing an activity like cycling where you need your hands free. The Heart 3 Special Force product is a great example of this. 

While not cheap, they will serve you well in snowy conditions and keep the chill off your fingers. 


As you can see, there are a variety of great options if you are looking for reusable hand warmers. You just need to make sure that you are not purchasing single-use products. The materials used inside hand warmers are perfectly safe and natural so they are not going to damage the environment. 

However, throwing away the items themselves will lead to a large waste build-up that you definitely want to avoid!

If you enjoyed our post on reusable hand warmers, then check out our other posts here, and join continue the discussion on our forum.

Creating The Perfect Eco Friendly Home

Protecting the environment starts at home – literally! The little decisions that we all make every day around the house can add up to a big difference overall.  Take a look at the steps and suggestions below to learn how you can create your own eco friendly home.

Several forum users recently asked the question of what they make their homes more eco-friendly. The answers aren’t always clear. 

It turns out that there’s a vast amount that the average person can do to make an eco-friendly home on multiple levels, from making changes to the house itself to using greener products. Take a look at the following ideas and transform your home today. 

Make Eco-Friendly Modifications To Your Home 

Making modifications to your home can dramatically reduce resource usage. It is, therefore, the hallmark of an eco-friendly home. Here are some of the ways that you might want to alter your home to cut down on water, energy, and gas usage. 

Fit Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs offer a host of benefits over traditional incandescent bulbs. They’re also superior to energy-saving halogen varieties too. Here’s why: 

  • Most LED lights use around 90 percent less power than equivalent-luminosity incandescent bulbs
  • They last for over 60,000 hours, while traditional bulbs struggle to make it past the 1,500-hour mark
  • LED lights are more robust, relying on semiconductor materials instead of filaments or neon gas
  • They are also safer than their high-energy-consuming cousins
  • LED’s are made of non-toxic materials, as opposed to neon lights that use mercury

Install Solar

Solar panels get cheaper with every passing year and will last around twenty years if looked after properly. While manufacturing them consumes CO2, they cut carbon emissions by more than they produce. What’s more, they’re a great way to save on your electricity and heating bills long term.

Install A Smart Meter

Before smart meters, many homes used energy inefficiently. The heating and hot water system ran like clockwork, consuming gas and electricity even if neither hot water nor heat was required. 

Smart meters are more intelligent than typical timers. Not only do they enable you to set specific timings for your heating, but some models also allow you to turn your system on and off remotely. Thus, if you accidentally leave your heating on, you can log onto an app on your phone and turn it off remotely. 

Install Low Water Usage Appliances

Low-water-usage-appliances are a central pillar of any eco-friendly home. 

There’s a good reason for this. It turns out that it takes a lot of energy to transport water to your property and then even more to process and dispose of it safely back into the environment. Eco-conscious people, therefore, need to focus on cutting water usage. 

Fortunately, there are a range of products on the market, including low-water toilets, showers, and dishwashers. You can also cut down on water waste by fixing any leaky pipes. 

Use Eco-Friendly Products

Many commercially available products (try to avoid silicone and plastics) that we use in our homes daily could potentially damage the environment. Today, however, we’re fortunate that there are so many alternative products on the market that can help us all build more eco-friendly homes. Check out the following: 

Buy Loose Leaf Tea

Commercially produced tea bags often contain plastics that don’t biodegrade once they hit the landfill. It’s always better, therefore, to brew tea with fresh leaves. 

Use Alternatives To Tampons

While tampons might be convenient, they contain a host of chemicals that could harm the environment, including microplastics. Try switching to alternatives, like menstrual cups or even cloth pads – things that you can reuse. 

Use More Products Made Of Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. Not only does it sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but it also grows incredibly fast, helping to reduce land usage. Furthermore, natural bamboo products break down harmlessly in the environment, so long as they do not contain any synthetic additives. You can buy lots of regular household items made of bamboo from toothbrushes to clothes. 

Buy Washable Cloths Instead Of Paper Towels

Paper towels are sometimes essential, but they should be your last resort if you want an eco-friendly home. Not only do they take a lot of energy to manufacture and transport, but they also clog up landfills and emit copious amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Switching to reusable cloths cuts down on the waste while preventing you from needing to throw anything out. 

Start Using Natural Beauty Products

Many people use SPF-containing beauty products, designed to protect their skin from harmful UV radiation. While protecting your skin from the sun is a good idea; doing so with commercial beauty products is not advised. Many foundations and skin creams contain titanium dioxide nano-particles that can get into the water supply and enter the food chain. 

Use alternative sun protection instead, such as covering up and wearing a large hat that keeps your head in the shade for the hottest part of the day. 

Change Your Behaviours 

The most significant thing you can do to create an eco-friendly home is to change your behaviors. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference simple changes can make. 

Eat Plant-Based Meals As Often As Possible

While the meat industry would like to convince you otherwise, eating plant-based is one of the best ways to save Earth from environmental catastrophe. Plants require dramatically less water and energy per calorie, making plant-based meals far more environmentally friendly. Load up your plate with greens, grains, and beans. 

Reuse All Your Old Shopping Bags

Most environmentally-conscious people now reuse shopping bags. If you’re not doing this yet, then now is your chance. Grab an old bag lying around in your pantry or a bag for life from your local store and make your shopping trips more sustainable.

Reduce Your Reliance On Data Centres

Home electronics, like your smartphone or tablet, don’t require a tremendous amount of energy to run. The data centers that provide them with cloud services, however, do. An eco-friendly home, therefore, requires all of the inhabitants to adopt greener digital practices.

What does this mean in practice? 

  • Avoiding siphoning off data-intensive tasks to the cloud
  • Reducing your consumption of online video
  • Cutting down on the number of software services that companies deliver to you via the web

Only Use Your Washing Machine And Dishwasher When Full

Saving on energy is a challenge. However, you can often cut down on your overall use by using your appliances in the most efficient way possible. Make sure that you don’t start your washing machine or dishwasher cycles until they’re full. (Don’t overfill, as this can force you to run a second cycle, negating the benefits). 

Rack Or Line Dry Your Clothes

Often building an eco-friendly home means reverting to the less energy-intensive methods of the past. Dryers consume a lot of energy. Where possible, therefore, try line or rack drying your clothing, especially in the summer. 

Stop Throwing Out So Much

Reusing items whenever and wherever you can is a hallmark of an eco-friendly home. Try to wear your clothes for as long as possible. If a piece of clothing gets a hole in it, try to repair it first before throwing it out. If some items no longer fit you, donate them to a friend or charity shop.

Start Composting

Scraps of food don’t have to go to waste. Start composting and create nutrient-rich soil from your garden, avoiding having to buy it from the garden center. 

Use Pressure Cooking

Pressure cooking meals uses much less energy than a typical fan-assisted oven, sometimes by as much as 70 percent. Thus, not only can you get your bills down, but make your home more eco-friendly too. 

In Summary

So there you have it: creating a more environmentally-friendly household. Which of these strategies will you adopt in yours? 

You can start with some of the easier steps to begin with, like using a line to dry your clothes – or only using your dishwasher when it truly is full. Once you feel like you are making progress, you can then start to consider the more impactful/dramatic changes.

Just remember, change starts with lots of people making small changes, not a few people with huge shifts – so it’s never too late to start making an impact.

We hope you have found this post useful, and if you enjoyed this read – please feel free to check out our other blog posts here. And lastly, don’t forget to sign up and join the zero waste movement happening over on our forum.

What Are The Best Eco Friendly Cleaning Products I Can Buy?

Recently somebody posted the below question on our forum:

“I am trying to find a good resource for some of the best eco friendly cleaning products. Does anyone have any recommendations or good resources for me to read?”

The poster probably isn’t the only person out there who would like to know where they can go to find cleaning products that don’t harm the environment. Many eco-conscious homeowners want to know too!

In this post, we thought we’d put together a full response to the question, detailing both the eco-friendly commercial cleaning products you can buy as well as some sustainable home remedies.

Here are some of the ideas rehashed from the post, as well as some new ones. 

Buy Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Tabs

Some commercially available dishwasher tabs contain a variety of chemicals that might damage the environment. Fortunately, however, a range of companies, including Ecover and Attitude, have begun making products that help to rectify the situation. 

Ecover dish tabs have some strong environmental credentials in their favor, including the fact that they primarily comprise plant-based and natural mineral ingredients. What’s more, they use all-natural fragrances, avoiding some of the potentially harmful “proprietary” compounds found in most mainstream products. 

Attitude dishwasher tabs are unique. The company is currently the only manufacturer on the market to offer a phosphate-free detergent. Its also vegan and doesn’t contain any of the usual nasties, like dyes and artificial fragrances. 

Choose Wood Natural Wood Polish

Cleaning wooden surfaces in your home with regular products could be an environmental disaster, not just for the world at large, but for the people who live in your home too. 

Wood cleaning products contain a variety of potentially harmful chemicals and volatile compounds. Many wood polishes, for instance, contain petroleum distillates, flammable chemicals associated with cancer. Others include nitrobenzene, which can cause reproductive disorders in both humans and animals. 

Fortunately, some companies offer viable eco-friendly cleaning products for wood. Green Scents, for instance, makes a wood polish product that shirks petrochemicals, and uses natural oils, like jojoba and olive oil, instead. 

Use Non-toxic Lavatory Cleaner

Cleaning the toilet is a necessity of modern life – something that has to be done to keep our homes smelling fresh and free from harmful bacteria. 

Regular bleaches, however, might be damaging to the environment. While you’ll often read that bleach breaks down rapidly once it gets into the wastewater system, there are still ethical concerns around organochlorine manufacturing, which is why many people choose not to use mainstream toilet cleaning products. 

There are, fortunately, safe, green, and ethical alternatives, although they require a slightly different approach. People shouldn’t stick with their regular schedule and thoroughly scrub out their thrones once per week, as they might with Domestos. When you use eco-friendly cleaning products, the principle of “little and often” comes to the fore. Thus, daily cleaning is vital for keeping your lavatory smelling clean and fresh. Failing to stick with protocol could lead to disappointment and the conclusion that there’s no alternative to traditional bleach. 

So what options are out there? Daylesford Rosemary Loo Cleaner is currently one of the most popular on the market. It uses a combination of rosemary and citrus to fight smells and germs and comes packaged in a fully recyclable container. 

Make Your Own Surface Cleaner

Surface cleaners are full of potential toxins, many of which regulatory agencies have not yet tested thoroughly. These ingredients include parabens, chlorine, phthalates, perchloroethylene, and quaternary ammonium compounds. 

The good news, though, is that you don’t have to rely on these potentially dangerous commercially-available cleaners: just make your own. 

  • All-purpose cleaner. To make an all-purpose cleaner, grab some plain spirit vinegar and baking soda. Put about half a cup of vinegar into a spray bottle and then add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. Then fill the bottle with lukewarm water. If you want to add a fragrance, try adding a couple of drops of your favorite essential oils. 
  • Soft scrub cleaner. This is another popular type of homemade cleaner. Start with one and a half cups of baking soda and add it to a mixing bowl. Then add half a cup of environmentally-friendly liquid soap. Add the soap to the mixing bowl and stir it until you get a paste. Then, when you need to use it, add some water and stir. Again, you can choose to add essential oils if you want to give it a fragrance. 

Cleaning with natural ingredients can take a bit of getting used to at first. They don’t lather up like traditional products, and they smell when you apply them. The smell disappears, however, once they evaporate, removing dirt and germs in the process. 

Use Green Washing Up Liquid

There’s no doubt that we need more eco-friendly cleaning products in the kitchen. Fortunately, a small British company called Tincture Iona has us all covered. 

The company makes eco-friendly washing up liquid that is safer for both people and animals. The product shirks some of the potentially harmful substances found in mainstream brands, like C9-11 pareth 8, a potential carcinogen. It also comes in a range of beautiful-smelling flavors such as thyme, cinnamon, and eucalyptus. And, of course, the packaging is fully recyclable. 

Try Eco-Friendly Mops

Traditional mops aren’t the most eco-friendly cleaning products in the world. The reason for this has to do with the disposable pads you fix to the end. In many cases, users discard these pads in the bin, where they inevitably find their way to a landfill. 

E-cloth bathroom and tile mop, however, offers a solution. Its mops pair with washable, reusable, high-quality fabric pads that you don’t need to discard after use. What’s more, the mop pole is extendable, allowing you to reach all those tricky areas, like the tiles around the coving. 


In summary, there are now a whole host of eco-friendly cleaning products on the market for people who seek them out. You can also make a variety of cleaning products yourself from harmless ingredients, like baking soda and vinegar. Why not give it a go yourself? 

If you have any further products that you think would be worthwhile contributing to this post, then please do let us know, and lastly, please do head on over to our forum to further the discussion.

What Does Being Eco Friendly Mean?

When this question was asked on our forum, Ross wasn’t looking for the actual definition of the word eco friendly, he was after more – and that’s what Pauline provided in her response.

In the following post, Pauline describes what it takes to be eco friendly, and how more and more people across the world can become proactive in supporting products that are fully renewable, eco friendly and non toxic.

So, if you have ever been curious on how you can become a more environmentally conscious individual, take a look below for some ideas:

Eco Friendly by definition means something that is not harmful to the environment. An eco-friendly product or process is one that is designed to have the least possible damage to the environment.

There has been a great movement to try and stop environmental degradation and reverse some of the effects of pollution. Phrases like ‘going green’, ‘environmentally friendly’, and being ‘eco-friendly’ have gained popularity by marketers of products as they realize that consumers are more conscious of their impact on the planet.

This has given rise to an overuse of green labels, also known as green washing.

Why Is It Important To Be Eco Friendly?

It is imperative for our generation to take every measure to ensure we have the least negative impact on the environment. We are stewards of the resources within our planet and it is our duty to ensure future generations have a safe home.

1. To Prevent Natural Disasters

Disasters like floods, drought and fires are a result of human actions on the environment. Deforestation is directly linked to drought and floods. When forests are cleared, we lose crucial water catchment areas. Places where large forests have been cleared usually experience adverse changes in weather patterns which ultimately lead to climate change. Clearing of forests also leaves the top soil bare and it is subsequently washed away leaving the sub-soil which cannot absorb rain water which leads to flooding.

2. To Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastics make a great percentage of pollutants with most of it finding its way into the oceans. There, it causes harm to marine life where fish either ingest it or are hurt by it like for example plastic bags could wind around fins and injure the fish.When plastics are disposed by burning, toxic chemicals are released to the atmosphere that could cause various respiratory illnesses.

3. To Prevent Depletion Of The Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is made up of natural gas that surrounds the earth’s atmosphere protecting us from the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. These rays can cause a number of diseases for example skin cancer and cataracts. This layer has been eaten away by chemicals called chloroflorocarbons (CFCs) which are found in aerosols. Aerosols are used by industries and when converted to chlorine, they cause depletion of the ozone.

4. To Avert Water Crises

Industrialization caused an increased demand for water. In recent years, there have been such severe water shortages in some cities that local authorities had to ration supply to citizens.

Benefits Of Being Eco-Friendly

As we go about our day to day lives, our choice of products may not be influenced by their impact on the environment. Mostly we value convenience and ease of use. This can be seen in popularity of paper towels over cloth napkins, bottled water, drinking straws. All these choices add up and have a negative impact on the environment. There are many benefits derived from being eco-friendly especially on the long run.

1. Lower Cost Of Environmentally Friendly Products.

Eco-friendly products can help cut costs in the long-term. For example the use of solar power though has high installation costs, has been proven to be cost effective as the sun’s energy is free of charge. Likewise houses built with eco-friendly designs make use of natural light thus reducing energy costs for the household.

2. Being Eco-Friendly Saves Energy

Eco-friendly buildings make use of natural lighting, are well ventilated and properly insulated therefore reducing energy requirements for lighting, cooling and heating. Use of solar energy also reduces the use of thermal sources of energy.

3. It Reduces The Problem OF Solid Waste Management

As people adopt eco-friendly habits like reusing and recycling, there will be less solid waste being disposed. Such solid waste is usually disposed in landfills where decomposition is anaerobic and it releases methane, a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

4. It Promotes The Health and Wellness of the Population.

Cleaner air resulting from reduced industrial emissions leads to reduced respiratory, eye and skin ailments. Where forests are reclaimed, the air becomes fresh and this has a positive impact on the wellness of both humans and animals.Products made of eco-friendly materials for example green cleaning products reduce the amount of chemicals in the air as they use natural ingredients.

5. Reverses or reduces climate change.

When greenhouse gas emissions are brought to a minimum, the harmful effects of pollution are gradually reversed.

How can one be Eco-Friendly?

Each one of us has a part to play in ensuring the environment is protected. Our individual eco-friendly practices will add up to have a positive impact on the environment.

1. Insulate Your Home

A great amount of energy in your home is spent through heating or cooling. 30% of heating energy is lost through the windows and 76% of sun light getting into the house becomes heat. Windows are therefore a good place to start. You can have a wide variety of methods of insulating windows depending on the season, operability and convenience. Widow films, blinds, roman shades, curtains and drapes, window quilts and insulated cellular shades.

2. Ensure Your Home is Well Ventilated

Open up windows to all natural flow of air to cool your house. Strategically placed windows will ensure your cooling energy consumption is kept at a minimum.

3. Use Solar Energy

Solar energy is a great way to reduce over-dependence on the grid for your power needs. Solar energy can be used for water heating, lighting.

4. Turn of Power To Conserve Energy

When an appliance is not in use you should turn it off and not leave it on standby. You’ll see a great difference in the power bill.

5. Buying Locally Grown Produce

The shorter the distance food is transported the better since it reduces the amount of carbon emissions by trucks. It would be even better if you grew your own food.


Mother earth is under siege. Human activities are taking a toll on our once green planet and the effects can be seen in the melting of glaciers, and spread of deserts. Every person has the responsibility to reverse this by adopting eco-friendly habits. Reuse and recycle, do not buy bottled water, cut out the use of plastic shopping bags and instead use canvas bags, use energy saving equipment and lamps, use natural cleaning products.

Did you enjoy reading Pauline’s response? Then feel free to head over to our forum and join the discussion. You’ll find people just like you are learning and discussing new ways to live a more eco friendly lifestyle.


Is Silicone Eco Friendly?

Silicone has become a very popular material for ‘plastic alternative’ type products, but is silicone really as eco friendly as various brands are making out?

The question, ‘is silicone eco friendly’ was asked by Ross on our forum, and it’s a question many people have been wanting to find the answer to. Whilst there are many popular products like ‘Stasher Bags’ and Stretchy Lids’ who sell themselves as environmentally friendly silicone alternatives to plastic, there aren’t many people who have written resources online to explain the differences between the two.

The answer below, written by Xavi, clearly shows the positives and negatives of using silicone as an alternative to plastic.

Starting with silicone, what exactly is it?

Almost every kind of sand (yes, the type of sand you find on a beach) contains silica. Silica is a form of silicon, which is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.

The form of silicon I think you are talking about is silicone (with an “e”), and it’s important to note that this is a man-made polymer which is derived from silicon, oxygen, and other elements (usually carbon and hydrogen).

This material ‘silicone’, has a hugely wide variety of uses and properties. It can be a liquid, a gel or even rubber/plastic like.

Unlike plastics, silicone has a high resistance to temperature, low reactivity with chemicals, doesn’t support microbiological growth, repels water, and is resistant to ultraviolet (UV light). All of this makes silicone easy to clean, perfect for cooking (microwaves too!), great for hospitals, and a strong overall alternative to plastics.

How is silicone and plastic made?

Quite simply, plastics are made from oil.

Oil is a carbon-rich raw material, and plastics are large carbon-containing compounds. Most plastic is chemically inert and will not react chemically with other substances – you can store alcohol, soap, water, acid or gasoline in a plastic container without dissolving the container itself. Plastic can be moulded into an almost infinite variety of shapes, so you can find it in toys, cups, bottles, utensils, wiring, cars, even in bubble gum. Plastics have revolutionized the world.

Because plastic doesn’t react chemically with most other substances, it doesn’t decay. Therefore, plastic disposal poses a difficult and significant environmental problem. Plastic hangs around in the environment for centuries, so recycling is the best method of disposal. However, new technologies are being developed to make plastic from biological substances like corn oil. These types of plastics would be biodegradable and better for the environment.

On the other hand, silicon, as we mentioned earlier, is found in sand – which is everywhere (although not “unlimited”).

However, to turn this silica into silicone, the silicon must be extracted and processed.

The extract the silicon, the silica is heated with carbon in an industrial furnace, which is then passed through hydrocarbons to create a new polymer with an inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone and carbon-based side groups.

Simply put: While the silicon in silicone comes from a plentiful resource like sand, the hydrocarbons in silicone come from non-renewable resources like oil and natural gas.

This makes silicone a hybrid material, meaning that it’s better than plastic in terms of resource extraction, but still not as naturally renewable, and is not biodegradable.

Can Silicone Be Recycled?

Silicone, just like plastic, can be recycled.

However, silicone (again, like plastic) has to be sent to a specialized recycling company to be properly recycled. Due to this, many individuals will just dispose of Silicone inside general waste – which means it will likely end up in landfill, and it will exist for many centuries.

When properly recycled, silicone can be down-cycled into an oil that can be used as industrial lubricant, playground mulch, or another lesser product.

A benefit of Silicone

Plastics break down into what we know are dangerous microplastics that are being ingested by wildlife and ocean animals. On the other hand, silicone does not break down. Silicone does not release harmful Microplastics, or any other chemicals that have the potential to disrupt and damage the food-chain.

This is likely why silicone has been touted as an ‘eco friendly alternative to plastic’. The reality is though, it’s not the best alternative.

The Summary

Silicone is a fantastic material that is able to withstand extreme temperatures, from hot too cold. Silicone can be used to seal food and it can be used in medical environments. But, and there is always a but – it’s not an infinite or renewable resource.

People who purchase silicone products rarely recycle them properly. And these products will likely end up in landfill where it will not biodegrade. It’s important to remember that Silicone is not infinitely recyclable, and will need to be down-cycled. ??

So, if you can, avoid Silicone. If you really need a plastic alternative and can’t find anything other than Silicone, then by all means use it. But, do not spread false information about the fact it’s a true eco friendly alternative to plastic – it’s really not. 

As a takeaway, here’s a good image listing the benefits vs plastic:

Plastic vs Silicone

Do you want to join the discussion? Then sign up to our forum and learn how to live a more eco friendly lifestyle.??