Eco Household Items

Household items like sponges, cloths, brushes and scouring pads are usually made from non-biodegradable plastics. So, you cannot recycle them and most of them end up in landfill sites. Keep a look out for eco household items.

Of course, you should keep using the items you already have at home until they are old and make any changes only when needed. If you have an old cotton towel or a bathrobe you can make your own dishcloths, washcloths or kitchen towels.

If you need to buy some of these items there are a number of options that are more sustainable and do the same job.

Eco household items - E-Cloth sponge

E-Cloth sponge

Instead of traditional synthetic sponges to clean dishes, sinks or worktops Ludo recently found a new product at the supermarket that works just with water, you don’t need any chemical. You can wash it regularly in the washing machine at up to 60c. It’s important not to use bleach with it as this can be very damaging if it makes its way to the sea. Unfortunately, the product is still synthetic so it releases microfibres. There are ways of collecting these microfibres and prevent them from going into the drainage system. One option is using a Guppy Friend washing bag when washing your clothes. Ludo uses this and the producer E-Cloth also recommends it and indeed for any garment or item made from man-made fibre.

Eco household items - loofah dishwashing sponge

Loofah dishwashing sponge

Other eco household items she also bought, but has not yet tried, a 100% biodegradable dishwashing sponges made from the loofah plant. So, you can throw it in the compost bin after use. It is thin and hard at first sight but once soaked in water it expands and softens. The brand, Goldrick, are also a supplier for the National Trust and it says it should last 4-6 weeks.

Replace your brush to wash dishes

Eco household items - Pot Brush

Pot Brush

Instead of using a dish-washing brush, you can choose one with a wooden handle. Make sure you check if the wood comes from sustainable resources though. Alternatively, you can get a bamboo one with replaceable heads. The bristles should be from plant-based material otherwise you need to remove them before throwing the brush away in the compost bin.

Are you still using paper towels to mop up food spillages? You should switch to bamboo paper towels. These are stronger, will soak up more, they can be washed and used up to eight times before going in the compost bin.

Natural homemade fertiliser from leftovers

Definition of fertiliser

Definition of fertiliser

Making natural homemade fertiliser from leftovers is quite simple and great for your plants. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can chop up banana peels and mix them in with soil or you can put them in a big jar with water and wait a couple of weeks. This will give you some liquid fertiliser. Bananas are rich in potassium.
Natural homemade fertiliser - Banana peels

Banana peel fertiliser

  • You can put coffee ground leftovers on top of soil or you can mix it into the soil. Coffee ground is rich in nitrogen, magnesium and potassium. It is suitable for acid-loving plants such as tomatoes, blueberries, roses and azaleas.
  • Crush up some eggshells after washing them and put the pieces in some soil. Eggshells and the water they were boiled in are rich in calcium. They are also good for keeping slugs at bay so a good idea is to leave some pieces on the surface of the soil around your plants.
  • Save the dirty water from your fish tank, then use it to water your plants. It is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients.
  • Save the water from steamed or boiled vegetables.
Natural homemade fertiliser - Water from boiled vegetables

Water from boiled vegetables

Some more natural homemade fertiliser from leftovers

  • You can start a compost bin by filling it with food and garden scraps, newspaper and a bit of water from time to time. Turn it upside down to speed up the composting process. When everything has broken down spread it on the soil around your garden
  • Jon makes his own natural fertiliser from his wormery, which is a lot of fun when you get into it!
Natural homemade fertiliser from Jon's wormery

Natural fertiliser from Jon’s wormery

Remember the golden rule when using fertilisers: “less is more.” Don’t use too much fertiliser or make it too concentrated. The fertiliser from Jon’s wormery, for example, needs to be diluted with water: one part fertiliser to nine parts water.

The 7-day Lockdown Leftover Challenge

Today, the Lockdown Leftover Challenge starts on Instagram!

Join the challenge to stop food waste – one of the leading causes of climate change! Share recipes, tips and nominate your friends with the hashtag #lockdownleftovers.

The campaign is organised by the Climate Venture Collective, a new collaborative community that meets once a month in London to find a solution to problems related to the climate.

Natural homemade fertiliser from leftovers