It’s a slippery slope this lifestyle. You start by washing out and reusing a ziplock bag. Before you know it, you’re schlepping empty bottles to the co-op to refill them with shampoo and conditioner in the bulk section there. I just did that this weekend. Did you know the Greenlake PCC sells soap andÂ toiletries in bulk? They do! I’ve finally got it down to a science â€“ I have two bottles for each thing I need so that while one bottle of conditioner, for example, is in the shower, the other can be in my car for a refill. These days, I buy shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, lotion and dish soap in bulk. It’s great and the nerd in me loves knowing that I’m keeping a bit more plastic out of the recycle bin.
If you jump on this train though, don’t expect others to be as enthusiastic about it as you are. At least at first. Being green sometimes means going rogue.Â People get used to things and it throws them for a loop when they look around for the paper towels and discover I have none. And not because I ran out. It’s a choice. I recognized that reaching for a paper towel every time my hands were wet or the counter needed to be wiped was a habit, not a necessity. The last roll of paper towels I bought last summer, which I use exclusively for bacon grease blotting, is just now coming to an end. And despite all the crap I’ve gotten for my taking a stand against paper towels, I’m damn proud. And you know what, I don’t miss them! Buying a big pack of rags and cloth napkins was all I needed to fill the void.
Making your own cleaning supplies is probably the easiest way to ease into this way of life. I don’t know too many people who say, “But I love my toxic chemicals!” Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. One choice in the name of sustainability leads to another. Soon you’ll be dismantling your paper towel holder and will be met with raised eye brows too. But it’s worth it. I’m going rogue and I know I’m not alone. Are you going too?
DIY Citrus Cleaning Spray (for all your disinfecting and cleaning needs)
Adapted from Nontoxic Housecleaning by Amy Kolb Noyes
2/3 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon castile soap (I like the Dr.Bronner’s citrus variety)
1 cup warm water
empty spray bottle
Fill the spray bottle with warm water and add the soap. Swirl to combine.
Then, squeeze the lemon juice into the bottle, add the vinegar, give it another swirl, and clean.
For other DIY cleaning tips, check out Ashley’s recent post about it on Design Sponge.