There are lots of ways that you can live more sustainably without having any adverse impact on your lifestyle. Try some of the tips below!
If you have any tips of your own that we can share here, please contact us.
In the run up to the festive season, why not check out these tips for having an eco-friendly Christmas?
Smelly trainers or walking boots? Bicarb of soda is a great natural deodoriser. Wrap a generous amount in newspaper and stuff inside your shoes, or sprinkle directly onto the soles. (Dry tea bags work equally well for this).
Stains or soap scum on your sink or countertops? Mix equal parts of water and vinegar (white or cider) in a spray bottle and spritz away. And don’t worry, the smell dissipates when dry!
Hardwood furniture need a polish? Mix 1 tbsp olive oil with ½ tbsp lemon juice and get shining.
Kitchen & food
Natural fabric coated with beeswax can replace cling-film, protecting food while letting it breathe. It’s flexible and slightly adhesive so it can easily be shaped around food and bowls or folded into packages to store food at room temperature, in the fridge or the freezer. See our instructions here for how to create and maintain your own beeswax wraps.
Rather than buying new bottles of washing-up liquid, shampoo etc, that then have to be recycled, why not re-use your existing ones and get them refilled? There are a couple of local places that will do this:
- Fegoo – based in the old Swaledale Outdoor Shop (Bagshaws Yard) in Reeth, this is a community household refill station stocking various sustainable household cleaning and personal hygiene products.
- Cross Lanes farm shop – on the A66, near Barnard Castle, Cross Lanes stock various sustainable products and do refills.
Clothing and fashion
Avoiding clothing waste
The ‘Love, not landfill‘ website (supported by London Waste and Recycling Board, part of GLA) has some great tips for finding second-hand clothing.
Buying pre-loved clothing (or anything else, for that matter) avoids the used item from ending up in landfill, and also avoids the emissions associated with manufacturing a new, replacement one – it’s a win-win!
If you don’t fancy second-hand clothing, the Good Shopping Guide has got some really good information about how ethical various well-known high-street fashion retailers are. This includes a measure of their sustainability, as well as issues like use of sweat-shops etc.
Pollution from manufacture of outdoor clothing
The manufacture of some outdoor clothing, particularly waterproofed products, is responsible for the production of PFCs (perfluorinated compounds). These are chemicals that are implicated in health risks to humans and animals. The detox-outdoor.org website has more information, including lists of those brands who are less polluting.
Countless non-biodegradable toothbrushes end up in landfill every year, but you can avoid these and use a sustainable bamboo one instead (I’ve been using one for a few months now, and it’s every bit as good). There are various brands available, see www.naturaler.co.uk for a comparison and links to sellers.
You can even take a sustainable approach to building! If you own a classic stone Dales property then consider using lime mortars, plasters or renders instead of the equivalent cement-based products. These traditional products are far more sustainable – the production of cement releases vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, whereas lime actually captures and stores CO2 as it cures. For more information contact https://edenhotlimemortar.co.uk, a local lime supplier who is based at Kirkby Stephen.
Lots of building products are available secondhand, and you may pick up some gems for a much lower price than buying new. Try local reclamation yards, or websites such as https://www.theusedkitchencompany.com. If you are renovating, then make the effort to sell, or give away, your old building materials on Ebay, Gumtree or Freecycle – there’s always someone who’ll take them off your hands.