Cotton and Beeswax Food Wraps
Be gone with the clingfilm, these food wraps are awesome, last about a year (not got there yet but they are doing very well!) and are really versatile.
They are made using cotton fabric that as been dipped in beeswax to create a waterproof barrier, keeping food nice and fresh for longer. They say it is breathable in the same way an orange skin is, and as a bonus it is antibacterial too!
You use the warmth of your hands to help mold them around bowls of food, individual food items such as left over veg, and you can even use them to wrap up your lunch time sandwich. I often tie a bit of string around mine and it looks like a miniature present that I get to unwrap every lunch time. I always get comments on it and they’re always positive, plus I think it offers far better stability than clingfilm as it is a bit more sturdy.
There are lots of patterns to choose from too so you can pick one that suits you and feel happy when you open your fridge to an array of beautiful artwork.
The ones I have been using are by Abeego and I bought them through GreenTulip which is based in the UK. You can also shop around for similar items on sites such as Etsy.
Charles Viancin Silicone Lids
Keeping to the theme of food preservation, these are another great option for helping to keep leftovers fresh. They come in lots of lovely shapes that are inspired by nature, such as sunflowers and poppies, and you quite simply drop them onto whatever dish or container you have your leftover in, simple!
They form such a good seal that you can lift whatever container you have covered by using the small handle on the center of the lid and feel like a magician as you hover it across the room.
You can’t wrap individual food items with these and they will only work on containers such as bowls and cups, but the bonus is that you can microwave them, which would result in a melted waxy mess with the beeswax cloths.
I have found that with these and the cotton and beeswax food wraps, I have absolutely no need for clingfilm anymore…yay!
Charles Viancin is the brand I have used and I believe you can buy them in some high street departments stores as well as online from places like Amazon.
Bamboo Kitchen Roll
If you always have a stack of kitchen roll in your cupboard then this is for you. I was always using kitchen roll to clean up particularly messy spills and even to do the odd spot of cleaning around the house. It’s a very versatile kitchen item that I always had a stack of in the kitchen cupboard. The only issue is they’re always packaged in plastic and the pulp they are made from isn’t guaranteed to be from all that sustainable a source.
Enter ecoegg’s Bamboo Kitchen Roll.
Bamboo is incredibly fast growing and so you can get a much bigger yield from the same amount of space, so they’re a more sustainable option for a start. Even better though, one pack of just 20 bamboo kitchen wipes can last 1700 uses!!!!
The wipes are machine washable for when they a bit too dirty to reuse, and as a result it means each sheet can be used up to 85 times (I’m not sure how you would keep count though). Between machine washes, just rinse them in warm water! Oh and they’re biodegradable too.
I have used them for dusting, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen (different wipes of course) and I found them to be super absorbent (far better than the usual kitchen roll) and really tough too, having even used them to rub dried on sauce from the kitchen counter.
As of yet I have had just been washing and reusing about five of the wipes, and aside from holding onto a few stains after washing, they are absolutely fine to use again and again. The only downside, but I haven’t found to be all that annoying, is that you can’t put them back on the roll after use, so you need to have somewhere to keep them whilst you re-use them.
The ecoegg – for laundry
Another fantastic ecoegg product. This is the only product on here that I am yet to start using as I still have the contents of large cardboard box of washing powder to use. I have it on very good authority from my mum however, who has been using it for months now, that it does exactly the job you want it to do…to clean clothes.
The ecoegg is a complete replacement for your normal washing detergent, so no more plastic bottles or throwaway plastic scoops. The other plus side is that it is also completely natural, even the scented ones, so you won’t be sending any nasty chemicals down the drain and it should be great for sensitive skin.
The egg itself is made of plastic, but it is designed to be used over and over again, with the only replacement being the mineral pellets that are contained within it, and which do all the hard work.
The other amazing selling point for this is just how long each set of pellets lasts. You can buy an ecoegg that will last for 54, 210 or 720 washes, which might be up to 3 years of washing depending on how much you get through. That works out at just under 3 pence per wash, so not only are you helping the environment, you are being much kinder to your purse too!
The only thing my mum had to say about the ecoegg as a downside, was the fact that, at first, it made her washing machine stink (emphasis here on ‘at first’). It is a bit of an older machine and over time has begun to have a slight odour anyway, but this seemed to make it worse. ecoegg explain however that this is due to a build up of all the detergents you will have been using over the years, the smell of which is usually masked by more fresh detergent when you put on a new load.
So what about that bad smell? Well, exactly as ecoegg said it would, after just a few wash cycles it was gone. Now the machine has no smell at all, which is even better than before my mum started using the egg. You just have to get over the initial smell (which didn’t affect the clothes I should add).
Zero Plastic Sponges and Scrubbers
As it is, a lot of the sponges you buy, the popular yellow ones with the green scrubbers for instance, are made of plastic and as a result are not biodegradable and likely shed some micro-plastic and fibres into the water as you use them. If you use a scrubbing brush in stead, then the likely-hood is that you buy plastic ones which, although they last longer, will still end up in the bin at some point.
There are actually several alternatives to these, depending on what you prefer to use. We have ended up with a bit of a mix of sponges and scrubbers as I find I use them for different things.
These are super absorbent and great for wiping surfaces leaving barely a streak of water. They are biodegradable too providing they are 100% cellulose. I have been washing these in the washing machine when required but they are starting to fall apart now after a couple of months, so they aren’t the most long-lasting of solutions. They are also not great for scrubbing any suck on foods.
My mum has used a white cotton cloth for washing dishes for as long as I can remember. They can be washed for repeated use and at the end of their life they are degradable too. I find these last longer than the cellulose options and if you want, you could always use cotton rags from old clothing to save buying them.
In the spirit of helping to fund enterprises out there trying to curb our waste issues, I have also come across a shop called RowenStillWater on Etsy, which uses fabric destined for landfill to make nice little cotton sponges with all sorts of patterns. They have a hessian option too, to act as a scourer for the more stubborn bits of stuck on food. These are great for washing up, catch way more crumbs than most other sponges when wiping down surfaces and so far they haven’t held onto any stains. I have used them in the bathroom too for cleaning and if you use baking soda with the hessian scrub, you get extra power!
Wooden pan bushes
Strangely, the inspiration for looking or wooden scrubbers, came from a wooden nail brush that I bought. One day I used it to scrub a plate and since then it has been used more for scrubbing dishes than it has for scrubbing nails. It is a bit of an awkward shape though, being rectangular and all, so more recently I went looking for better options. This wooden one by Eddingtons fits nicely in your palm and has been very effective for cleaning extra tough stuck on food (like dried porridge!). They also make a wooden brush with stubby metal bristles for using on griddle pans and to clean the grill. It is amazing!!