The best bar none
Tried solid shampoo or deodorant? Well, now you can go for it when you clean the house, too. Can also be used for washing up. Flash! Solid Laundry Bar & Stain Remover, £5, Ethique, ethique.co.uk
Spray on track
These plant-based cleaning products are Ecocert-approved, free from sulphates, parabens, mineral oils and synthetic fragrances and not tested on animals. Bench Press Surface Spray from Ashley & Co, £16, Amara, amara.com
You don’t have to spend the earth to save the earth. Wilko’s dishwasher tablets are made from plant-derived ingredients. Eco Dishwasher Tablets, £3.50 for 25, Wilko, wilko.com
Brush up table manners
Banish non-disposable wipes and use this little beauty to wipe down your table post-dinner party instead! Made from lacquered beechwood and horsehair. Andree Jardin Wooden Table Brush & Dustpan, £29.50, Sous Chef, souschef.co.uk
Seventh Generation’s plant-powered products have no synthetic fragrances or dyes and use natural essential oils and botanical extracts. They also come in 100 per cent PCR packaging — that’s paper and plastic that’s been used and recycled. Fresh Citrus & Ginger Washing Up Liquid, £2, Ocado, ocado.com
Oceansaver are eco-cleaning pods that go in their own bottle (or one you already have) eliminating plastic waste. Pop one in the bottle with water, shake, and you’re good to go. Perfect for stains on hard surfaces like the hob. Cleaning Drop Daily Kitchen pods, £1.50, Oceansaver, ocean-saver.com
Ditch the plastic-packaged laundry liquid for a Laundry Egg. BPA and chemical-free, the ecoegg uses non-biological mineral pellets instead of detergents and softeners — saving chemical-laden waste being discharged into the water supply. Laundry Egg Starter Kit, £11.99, ecoegg, ecoegg.com
Using orange oil as a degreasing agent, this surface sanitiser works on sinks, baths, cookers, floors, tiles, work surfaces and paintwork. Bio-D Multi-Surface Sanitiser, £2.80, Bio-D, biodegradable.biz and Oxfam stores.
You might know them as a rubber glove company, but Marigold now has a range of cloths that go in the washing machine, rather than the bin. Let It Shine cloths, £2.99 for a pack of four, Marigold, marigold.co.uk
Wash up wisely
Hoping to eliminate an annual 100kg of plastic waste from every customer’s home, Bower Collective has created a range of sustainable cleaning products in stylish refillable 500ml glass bottles.
Reusable Glass Dispenser, £5.95, Bower Collective, bowercollective.com
Bio-D Fragrance Free Washing Up Liquid Refill 1l, £2.93, Bower Collective, bowercollective.com
ARE YOU RUBBISH AT RECYCLING?
CONTAMINATION is one of the biggest problems affecting recycling in the UK, according to Joe Allen of recycling specialists First Mile, thefirstmile.co.uk
‘People place items in their recycling bins assuming, or hoping, that they can be recycled,’ says Joe. ‘But some mistakes can contaminate a whole lorry load. And in severe cases, an entire batch can be deemed too contaminated to be processed, meaning it ends up in landfill or being incinerated.’
Here are Joe’s top ten contamination offenders
1. Receipts from electronic tills or machines are usually printed on thermal, shiny paper that uses toxic chemicals in manufacturing. These need to be put into general waste. Paper handwritten receipts are fine.
2. Takeaway pizza boxes are among the most common offenders. Cardboard badly stained with grease needs to go into the rubbish bin. Always check, as one side of the box may be grease-free and can go in the recycling bin.
3. Black plastic food trays can’t be recycled as they’re made from a variety of different types of plastic — the black colour means the optical sensors often used in recycling facilities can’t identify them properly when sorting.
4. Excessively dirty items like glass jars, bottles and takeaway cartons are a no-no unless they have been rinsed out — they don’t need to be spotless.
5. Metallic wrapping paper: the only paper fit for recycling is that which passes the ‘scrunch test’ — if it stays in a ball, it’s fine (as long as it’s not glittery).
6. Flexible plastics like cling film, bags, bubble wrap and film lids are not commonly recycled and can wrap round and damage recycling machinery.
7. Broken glass is a danger to recycling collectors and the shards are too tiny for machines to pick out. They can also damage recycling machinery.
8. Brown plastic garden pots aren’t commonly recyclable due to their complex plastic composition.
9. Disposable coffee pods (unless the pure aluminium type) will contaminate recycling due to their complex makeup of many different materials.
10. Many disposable coffee cups contain a plastic film, which needs to be removed, so makes them tricky to recycle.