How to reduce, reuse & recycle as you clean

Buy any product on BigGreenSmile and you’ll be doing something good for the environment, but there are still plenty more things we can all do to lessen our carbon footprint.

For many, today’s eco-mantra is ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, a lesson that’s even being taught in some schools. These are important habits for us all to cultivate for a number of reasons:

  1. They save us money as we shop smarter and buy less (and we’re all for saving cash)
  2. They can help to reduce manufacturing, shipping and the use of our world’s resources (we salute that)
  3. They can help to reduce litter and long-term waste management (use less, throw away less, we love it!)

So how can we reduce, reuse and recycle more of our everyday products? With this in mind we’ve put together a short guide to buying cleaning products on BigGreenSmile, which may help when you’re making your buying choices.

REDUCE

Faith in Nature laundry liquid refillBuy concentrated. Try buying concentrated cleaners including toilet cleaners, kitchen cleaners, washing up liquid, laundry liquid and fabric conditioners. In many cases these work out cheaper than buying your average cleaner, and they also save on plastic waste and transport miles. For example, buy Ecover Concentrated Non Bio Laundry Liquid (750ml) instead of a non-concentrated version and you’ll use 54% less packaging per wash and 68% less transport miles.

Buy refills. Buying refills can save you money - look out for our regular refill offers for additional savings. It also saves on packaging and transport miles as buying in bulk means you’ll need to buy less often. Many brands offer larger 5L and 15L refill sizes of their cleaning products, and if you struggle for storage, don’t despair, there are many smaller refill options available.

Try laundry balls. Reusable, many laundry balls last up to 1,000 times (that’s a whole lot of washing). These can also cut the need for detergents (even fabric conditioners) and since you don’t use soap, you can even cut out the rinse cycle to save energy!

 



Try dryer balls. Eco Egg Dryer balls reduce drying time by up to 28%, while Ecozone Dryer balls use 25% less electricity (now that’s a lot) helping to reduce your impact on the environment and saving you money.


Eco lighting: Ecozone bio-bulbs last a whole lot longer than ordinary light bulbs (meaning you’ll buy less over time) PLUS they cost less to run. For instance the Ecozone Daylight Biobulb 25W (100W Equivalent) lasts for up to 10,000 days (that’s seven years). Not only that, it uses 75% less energy than a standard light bulb but doesn’t stint on brightness - while it only uses 25w of electricity, it’s actually brighter than a 100w bulb!

Try buying all-purpose household cleaners where you can – they can be used on all kinds of surfaces including worktops, tiles, stone, wood and glass! Reducing the need for multiple products (which will also save you money and time!)

REUSE

Buy 5L & 15L refills – again, try to reuse your cleaning bottles as many times as you can by refilling rather than replacing. One of our stand-out products is from Ecoegg – they’ve bought out a Concentrated Anti-bacterial Multi-Purpose Cleaner that can be reused up to 80 times (now that’s a lot of reuses) just add water!

Buy cloths you can reuse. Try to buy cloths you can wash and reuse rather than ones you use and throw away. E-cloths general purpose cloth can be washed up to 300 times and reduces the need for other cleaning products by up to 90%.

If you don’t like the idea of throwing out your paper towels (even if they are recycled) try Eco Egg’s reusable bamboo towels. These can be washed and used again and again (one roll can be used up to 17,000 times).

Finally, find other uses for old products when you’re done with them. Reuse your toothbrush - it makes an excellent bathroom (or grout cleaner) - or if your old clothes aren’t good enough to give to charity, cut them up to use as cloths.

RECYCLE

Once you’ve reduced and reused, the final step is to recycle where you can.

Try to buy products made from recycled materials where possible. According to a paper by Recycle Works in the US, one ton of 100% recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 4100 kwh of energy (that’s enough to power the average home for six months), 60 pounds of air pollution and 2.5 cubic yards of landfill space. You can find products made from recycled materials, including 100% recycled paper here.

Recycle your packaging where you can and if you fancy having a go at composting, check out our article on home composting here.

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