Category: Zero-Waste Alternatives

How to Make Zero Waste Liquid Dish Soap With Non-Toxic Ingredients in Just Minutes

Dish soap made with solid olive oil soap

You might be surprised by how easy and fast making your own cleaning products can be! Hubby and I are lazy people, so we are all about simple solutions, or else there is no way we would incorporate that into our daily lives. This dish soap can be made in only one minute if you use liquid castile soap. If you use bar soap, you will have to add 5-10 minutes of grating. Or you can always chop it into chunks and have your food processor take care of the rest.

Environmental Effects of Conventional Dish Soap

Dish soap, even the eco-friendly brands, is always sold in plastic bottles. And plastic bottles will eventually become plastic waste. Besides, conventional store-bought dish soap is based on surfactants. Surfactants are usually made from fossil fuels, and even “eco-friendly surfactants” are based on palm oil (read more on the problem with palm oil).

Surfactants lower the water’s surface tension. Some are not biodegradable, and even the ones that are biodegradable can take up to four weeks or longer to break down. In this time they can still be toxic to animals and entire ecosystems!

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Homemade antibacterial mouthwash

I am a bit paranoid when it comes to oral hygiene! I have had gum problems for years and suffered through two painful treatments that is usually reserved for persons over 40. Just so you know: I got my first periodontitis treatment when I was 21 and my second one just last year at the age of 31. Outch!

As my dentist keep telling me: Using a mouthwash is essential when you have gum problems, since it reaches areas between your teeth and your gum that you cannot reach using a toothbrush and toothpaste.

However, I have always found store-bought mouthwash quite harsh. Years later, when playing around with an app that tells you if a product contains potentially harmful substances, I was shocked to find out that it was almost impossible to find a mouth wash (or makeup) that didn’t contain any alarming ingredients!

Today I really don’t know why I still continued using store-bought mouthwash, despite knowing that! Now that we strive to live zero waste, I have found a safe mouthwash that works for me. And did I mention it is also a LOT cheaper than its store-bought counterparts? Read More

Use Handkerchiefs instead of Tissues #SimpleSwap #ChooseReuse

Ah, handkerchiefs. Most people think they are a thing of the past, but they are in fact still very common in Asia! I remember when I was in elementary school in Taiwan (I only went for six months there though) every morning the teacher would check if we had clean nails, all of our books, our notebooks, a pen, an eraser – and a handkerchief!

Back in Germany I forgot all about handkerchiefs. It wasn’t until I spent a year in Tokyo (and two months in Taiwan) during grad school when I realized that handkerchiefs are still very much in use. Not as snot rags, but for other odd jobs like drying your hands or wiping off smudged mascara. But why not use them for the occasional sniffles? Read More