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Eco tips for cleaning

Eco tips for cleaning

Eco tips for cleaning - top 10 tips

Here are some top tips that include home made cleaning mixes to eco friendly cleaning brands.

1. Use Lemons

Lemons are nature's cleaning wunderkind. They have powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties and are a natural deodorizer due to their high acidic content. Here are some suggestions for how to use lemons in your home: Have your copper pans lost their shine? Dip half a lemon in salt or baking powder to scour your pans to their former glory. Combine lemon peel and white vinegar in a jar, allow to marinate for a few days, then strain out the peel to use the vinegar as a cleaner. A small dish containing vinegar and lemon juice will absorb odors. Rub a slice of lemon across your chopping board to disinfect the surface

2. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda, like lemon, is another one of nature's cleaners. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, this mildly alkaline substance functions as a gentle abrasive, deodorant and more.

3. Use White Vinegar

White vinegar is a weak acetic acid that can be used in almost all aspects of home cleaning, as it has strong antibacterial properties.

Vinegar is your friend again here to descale your kettle, although you can use lemon juice, too. Pour a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water into your kettle, allow it to boil, then rinse the kettle out once it cools down a little but is still warm.

4 Use natural cotton dishcloths

Ditch those microfibre plastic dishcloths for completely natural options. We have a number of stylish cellulous cotton Munch dishcloths that can be composted.

5 Use plants

Like us, there are some smells insects and small animals can’t stand and a strategic placing of plants can help you get rid of them, without having to turn to chemicals as you're green cleaning your home.

Spiders don’t like citronella oil, so add a few drops to any essential oil burners where you have a spider issue or burn some citronella scented candles like these ones.

Mice on the other hand, really don’t like peppermint or spearmint. Install a few herb pots with mint where you’ve got a mice problem or add some drops of peppermint essential oil (20-30) to cotton wool balls and insert them into the holes and cracks where they’re getting in.

6 Get rid of kitchen paper towels

Did you know kitchen towel can’t be recycled? It’s often made of valuable virgin wood pulp, uses masses of toxic chemicals to be bleached and processed and it comes in plastic packaging. So what can you do?

For green cleaning, swap to a reusable kitchen towel (yes it exists), that are made from bamboo or other ‘unpaper’ materials, that can be washed and reused many many times. Try our Munch unpaper towels here.

7 Refillery cleaning options

There are many branded cleaning options on the market and our favourites are Ecostore, Green Goddess and Little foot. All can be refilled at our refillery online or at our store. The refillery has everything from dog shampoo to dishwasher tabs

8 Get the kids involved

Don't let the kids watch you clean. Get them involved so they learn how to look after things and see you care for both your family and the environment.

9 Open the windows and let the sun in

Sometimes, the air quality inside your home can be more toxic than the air quality outdoors. Everything from pet dander to pollen to mold to chemicals can flare up a person’s allergies or asthma, thus making the air unhealthy. 

To keep things fresh, open your windows every so often to let in the outside. Also let the sun in as again it freshens your house and helps to clean.  

A new study in 2020 found that UV light can help kill bacteria. New research shows that sunlight kills potentially harmful bacteria and improves air quality in indoor environments.

10 create some joy in cleaning

Make shopping for cleaning products fun for you and the kids! They love refilling containers with conditioner, body wash ect. It's an opportunity for (clean) sensory play while educating about the environment and creating minimal waste. 

Put the music on and use the time while cleaning to clear your head from the busy day. Try to bring some joy to cleaning as it has to be done, it is not going away and maybe you can create joy in it!

 

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Eco tips for your bathroom

Eco tips for your bathroom

Eco tips for your bathroom - top 10 tips

So how much unnecessary waste do you think you create in your bathroom? We do know there will be some that is necessary but there is a lot you can do to create very little waste in your bathroom.

1 Toilet paper

Yes a necessity of course. But for hard core greenies there are wash towels available with sprays that you can use. Keep a bucket in your toilet for the used wash towels and then wash them. To be honest this seems a little too hard for us.

So for us, toilet paper is a must. Toilet paper goes into our water ways and disintegrates so not bad. But it really is about the source of the toilet paper.  There are a number of great brands such as Greencane who source their paper from sustainable forests. Their paper is made from bamboo and recycled sugarcane.

2 Toilet brush

An easy eco swap here is to replace that plastic toilet brush with a wooden one.

3 Soap

We live in a world that seeks convenience in all parts of our life. The pump bottle of liquid soap is one of those. Usually they come in a plastic bottles. If you already have one, keep it and just refill it at your local refillery or online through us. We have Hand soap as well as Shampoo and Conditioner. You can also replace that plastic bottle with a glass bottle.

Or you can use a traditional hand soap and a bamboo dish to stand it on.

Then we get to types of soaps. SAY NO to PALM OIL unless it is from a SUSTAINABLE FOREST. A soap does not need a hundred and one ingredients, simple ingredients are best. Remember everything that goes into our water ways effects our fish etc. If you have sensitive skin look for oatmeal soaps as they are gentle on the skin.

4 Toothbrush

Get rid of that plastic brush and replace it with a Bamboo toothbrush. We have ethically sourced Adult and Child toothbrushes. Try buying different coloured ones so you don't get them all mixed up.

5 Toothpaste

We are still waiting for one of the large toothpaste companies to produce toothpaste in either reusable tubes or biodegradable ones. We would love to see refilleries offering toothpaste in bulk so people can put them in glass jars etc. We offer the toothpaste tabs which you chew in your mouth and use them like toothpaste which are a really good option. They are great for travelling and camping too.

6 Hairbrush

Replace that plastic brush with a sustainably sourced wood brush. There are many options and styles on the market.

7 Face cleanses and other face products

There are many brands on the market that offer a green alternative to caring for your face. Try brands like Tailor, Welda, Antipodes, Aelph to name a few.

8 Face wipes and cloths

Replace those throw away face wipes with NZ wool reusable face wipes by nil products. These are eco friendly from the source and from a waste free point of view as they last years.

9 Shaving

Get rid of that plastic razor and replace with a good quality stainless steel razer. Make sure you find a brand like nil who not only sells the razors but will collect back the blades.

10 Cleaning the bathroom

Head to your local refillery or buy on line through us an eco friendly toilet cleaner, floor cleaner and multi purpose spray. We carry brands like LittleFoot, Green Goddess and Ecostore, these brands do not have any harmful chemicals for our water ways or for your skin.

So that is about it for now. Make sure you check out our 10 tips for an eco friendly kitchen.

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Eco tips for your kitchen

Eco tips for your kitchen

Eco tips for your kitchen - 10 top tips

'In a study published in Science Advances, researchers found that residents of the U.S. and the U.K. produce more plastic waste per person than any other nation, with Americans generating an average of 105kg (231lbs) of plastic per year. The British are close behind, throwing away almost 99kg (218lbs) annually.  The report, which focuses mainly on U.S. waste, shows that people in richer nations generate more plastic waste than people in less developed countries: South Korea and Germany take the respective third and fourth spots in the top 10 countries ranked by plastic trash per capita.' (Forbes 2021)

France generates just under 44kg (97lbs) of plastic waste per person—less than half that produced by Brits. But France has taken a proactive stance against single-use plastic, including the introduction of a penalty system that increases the cost of non-recyclable plastics. We have a post due in a couple of months that will discuss what system changes could be made here.

On the other hand, China came out as the top producer of plastic for the global market, even though Chinese people on average use relatively little of the stuff—just 15kg per person.

In New Zealand we discard 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year. That is 3,200kg for every kiwi! Right now we only recycle 28% of this waste. Then Australia generates 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic. Only 9% has been recycled, 12% incinerated and 5 billion in landfills

NZ is way behind the rest of the western world in waste management even though there are other countries who produce more waste. It costs 18 times more to send waste to landfills in the UK compared to NZ which is another deterrent (again more on these ideas in a later post).

So after all these recent facts....let's see what we can do to swap out those nasty unwanted plastic items from your kitchen and become a sustainability champion with Munch.

1 Dish brushes

This is an easy and obvious one to deal with first. Get rid of that plastic dish brush as it will with us on the planet for 100's of years! Your great grandchildren will be digging it up from the ground - yuck. Replace them with a wooden ethically sourced dish brush. There are also wooden bottle brushes, cup brushes and vege brushes available.

2 Dish cloth

90% of dish cloths contain microfibre which makes a complete mess of our waterways and prevents any form of breakdown in the landfill. So replace your common dishcloth with a swedish style one made from cellullose cotton. We have a number of very cool ones that are designed by local designers.

3 Pot scourers

Get rid of those pot scourers made from microfibre or even steel (unless you have a recycling option for the steel) and say hello to natural pot scourers.  These are often made from cellulous cotton and sisal.

4 Dish soap and liquids

Our grannies used to use dish soaps for their sinks but they have almost all disappeared from the market. We have recently released a dish soap that is 100% natural and made in NZ. The benefit of a dish soap is that you are saving over 6 plastic bottles.

If you are already using a Liquid dish soap and do not wish to change to a soap at least use a refillery to refill your bottle. There are plenty of eco cleaning brands on the market to refill with. Remember dish soap or liquid can not be used in a dishwashing machine. However there are plenty of brands that offer eco friendly tablets.

5 Bench top cleaners

Again there are plenty of brands on the market that offer eco multi purpose bench cleaners. Our favourite is the Ecostore Multi purpose cleaner that you can find at our refillery online or in store.

6 Beeswax wraps, cotton food covers and silicone food covers

We have not had plastic wrap/glad wrap in our kitchen for over 6 years as all the food covers options has completely enabled us to replace the need for plastic wrap.  Silicone covers are great for meat, cotton food covers for salads and beeswax wraps for everything except meat.

7 Compost bins

Grab a stylish compost bin to sit on your kitchen bench so you can easily put your left over vege scraps into, to then later put in your large compost bin outside.

8 Food pegs/clips

Don't buy those plastic seal clips for sealing packets. If you need to keep food in packets then use a stainless steel pegs or a wooden food clips to keep it closed.

9 Food containers

Glass containers are the best option to store food in for long periods of time in the pantry. There are many stylish ones on the market and keep an eye out on our site in the next few months.

10 Reusable produce bags, bread bags and shopping bags

We have a number of GOTS certified organic produce bags, bread bags and shopping bags in our unique fabrics that make a fantastic alternative to the plastic bag. Look or buy 100% cotton for all these types of bags other options such as plastic coated fabrics will not be able to be broken down etc.

And a bonus number...

11 Shopping lists on your mobile

Use technology to help you and the environment. Use your mobile phone to keep shopping lists or  use Alexa or Siri.

 

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