7 Ways to Be More Eco-friendly

Happy Earth Day!

Here are 7 ways I’ve tried to be more eco-friendly in my life:

1. Laundry – Washing Clothes
Use mineral pellets (EcoEgg) or baking soda or eco-friendly washing powder (I’ve tried soap nuts but I found that the nuts got all over the clothes so it was quite messy) for washing clothes. The EcoEgg comes with pellets that are good for 54 washes (6 months), 210 washes (1 year), or 720 washes (3 years). I’ve noticed that it manages to remove stains quite well. It’s also compact and perfect for travel!

A yellow fragrance-free Ecoegg

2. Laundry – Drying Clothes
Hang dry clothes as much as possible, especially during summer. Otherwise, add woollen balls (I use 6) to the dryer. The latter will not only speed up the drying process by 15-30% but keep clothes soft and eliminate static. For natural fragrance, just add essential oils. No more fabric softener needed!

3. Shower
Use soap bars and shampoo bars rather than liquid shampoos and shower gels. The bars will last longer and use less packaging. I love Lush’s shampoo bars which usually last for around 6 months. Even better, find a bar that’s for your hair and body (and even face)!

4. Healthy scalp & hair
Say goodbye to plastic combs and hairbrushes and start using wooden hairbrushes and combs. Brushing with wooden bristles is good for stimulating blood flow and drawing natural oils from the scalp to the roots.

5. Drying hands / Cleaning
I avoid using paper towels and disposable wipes if I can use hand towels, tea towels, sponges, and reusable multipurpose cloths instead.

6. Water
I’ve loved using my Brita water jug and I try to remember to bring my bottle and fill it with the filtered water from the jug.

7. Dealing with Aunt Flow
I’ve tried to find eco solutions that would work for girls and women of various ages and stages in life, wherever they are in the world. I’ve tried reusable cloths (Lunapads) but found it consumes a lot of water (and time) just to rinse out the blood. (I certainly wouldn’t toss it into the washer with the rest of my clothes!) I use it for the last few days so there’s less rinsing to do. There are also ‘period panties‘ but again, it requires a lot of rinsing. Menstrual cups (e.g. Diva cup) are a smart solution but it can be messy and needs a lot of practise. Although cups need not be changed as frequently (up to 12 hours), the changing and rinsing part would require the user to be somewhere clean (with clean hands too) – i.e. home, hotel, disabled toilet in an office. The easiest at the moment (especially when one doesn’t have too much time), is to use all natural cotton tampons and pads (e.g. Natracare) that are biodegradable (but don’t flush them)! You can get biodegradable disposable bags too.

Any other ideas? Please share!