We all want to do our bit to protect our environment from harmful chemicals and plastics. But with so many eco-friendly products available, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. Making small changes to our shopping habits can have a massive difference on the environment. We all know about reusable bags, but changing the household products we use to something that still gives us the cleaning power we want, but in an environmentally friendly way, felt like a tall order to me.
However, during the first lockdown I really felt that we needed to change the way we bought things like washing-up liquid and multi-purpose cleaners. So, I spent some time looking online for sustainable alternatives to our usual supermarket products.
I wanted products made from natural ingredients with minimal plastic waste. But I was also looking for sustainable products that could be delivered to my door. Whilst a lot of the products available in supermarkets are starting to be better for the environment, they’re still being sold in plastic bottles. I wanted something that was an alternative to that and found three brilliant companies we’ve been using ever since.
The first company we switched to using is Bower Collective. One of the Instagram accounts I follow had done a video about the products which piqued my interest straight away. Firstly, the products were delivered and could be ordered on a subscription basis. That meant we could have products delivered regularly, without having to worry about going into a busy shop if we ran out. But secondly, they come in plastic pouches which you return to Bower for free once they’re empty. You can buy reusable bottles from them, or use ones you already have at home, and decant the products into those to use.
At the moment, Bower clean the pouches once they receive them back, and then reuse them again. But they’re currently developing a new kind of packaging which doesn’t need to be cleaned before it’s reused. That will make them even more environmentally friendly.
The natural cleaning products are made from locally sourced ingredients and produced in the UK. There’s over 400 products from multi-purpose cleaners, to liquid hand soap and loo roll. When we first started buying from Bower, people were panic buying loo roll from supermarkets. Being able to buy toilet paper that was delivered with our cleaning essentials was brilliant.
Subscribe and save
Products can be ordered as a one off, or at regular intervals set by you. We get our products every two months. You can delay your normal delivery date by a week, add to your order, or take things away, up to the day before your order goes through. If you subscribe to their best selling refills, such as hand sanitiser and washing-up liquid, you get 10% off. I think this makes them great value for money.
We love Bower and I’d recommend them as a great way of buying eco-friendly, natural products, whilst reducing the amount of plastic your household uses. Click here to find out more about Bower and to see their full range of products.
Iron & Velvet
The second company is Iron & Velvet. They are pioneers in the world of sustainable cleaning and the fight against plastic pollution. Their cleaning products are made from natural ingredients, but the genius part is that the packaging is water soluble. You simply put a sachet of cleaning product into an existing bottle, fill it with warm water, shake and off you go.
So, you’ve got amazing smelling, natural cleaning products with zero plastic waste. The sachets are delivered in cardboard packaging which can then be recycled.
We love Iron & Velvet products. The fragrances are gorgeous and change depending on the season and they work really well on dirt.
They sell bathroom, kitchen and household products which are tough on dirt and contain no harmful ingredients. Water soluble packaging is such a great alternative, and makes creating a more sustainable lifestyle that bit easier.
Their starter kit gives you a range of products to try. You can then buy the products as a subscription so you get a regular delivery, or as and when you need them. If you buy five products, you get free delivery. And because of the brilliant packaging, they’re small enough to fit through your letterbox.
The third company is Smol. Washing and dishwasher tablets are traditionally packaged in a plastic container to keep them safe from children. The materials used often can’t be recycled and so create a lot of plastic waste. Smol have changed this. The packaging the tablets arrive in is made from cardboard produced from responsibly managed forests. They also print onto the packaging using vegetable-based inks. The laundry packaging has a child-lock mechanism which means little fingers can’t get to them.
There fabric conditioner bottles are made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic, and you can return the bottles to them to be reused. They’re also fully recyclable. We’ve found the washing and dishwasher tablets to be effective against dirt and the washing products have a lovely fragrance. But for me, the best thing about Smol is the fact that the packaging is cardboard (and fits through your letterbox) which is fairly unique for washing liquid. This helps us reduce our plastic consumption which in the long run, will make a huge difference to the environment.
Eco-friendly products that don’t cost the earth
So, I hope you’ve found this useful. We love these three companies. They’re all British which means their carbon footprint is smaller than global companies who produce their products abroad. They’ve created eco-friendly product packaging, which either dissolves, can be reused or recycled. I’m sure we’ve all got a vast supply of plastic containers we can use, so switching to refillable cleaning products feels like the best way to do our bit in the fight against climate change.
So, I hope next time you need to buy household cleaning products, you’ll think of using some of these companies. Their products may not be as cheap as some you can buy from supermarkets, but they don’t cost the earth.
If you’d like to read more articles about making small changes to help the environment, click here.