One couple's valiant (and sometimes fruitless) attempts at minimalist living, financial independence, and raising two kids without traumatising them (or ourselves) along the way.
Cleaning and Household
September 2017: I made my own washing up liquid from vinegar, baking soda and lemons. Miss W helped me and was very proud of herself. The end result was good but impractical since you have to store it in the fridge. Of course I only read that part of the recipe after I’d made it. I’m currently looking for new recipes.
October 2017: On our trip to Germany I noticed our friend we were staying with had a really nice wooden scrubbing brush. So I went out and got a couple too. I’m not sure what the bristles are made of and I couldn’t find any information about it. It’s definitely better than using plastic washing up sponges though.
October 2017: Again in Germany (can you tell I was on a bit of a mission?) I found these mostly metal soap dispensers. They do have some plastic in them but even online I couldn’t find any that were completely plastic-free. We use one for washing up liquid and one for liquid hand soap in the kitchen.
January 2018: I made my own all-purpose cleaner using vinegar, water and eucalyptus oil. I put it in a glass spray bottle I ordered online. The spray attachment is plastic but I couldn’t find any that were completely plastic-free. We mainly use this in the kitchen but it does what it says on the tin. You can basically use it to clean anything.
January 2018: I cut up some muslin cloths we weren’t using any more and hemmed them (sloppily) to make napkins. Now we don’t use paper towels at meals and the kids love having their own napkins. Miss W informed me that it was essential she take one to nursery every day so she can wipe her hands after her snack.
January – February 2018: I indulged my inner geek by knitting dishcloths from cotton yarn to replace the plastic sponges we used to wash the dishes with. They’re fun to make and you can just keep on washing them and reusing them again and again until they fall apart and you can downgrade them to cleaning rags.
February 2018: A mini victory. We’ve realized we produce so little rubbish that can’t be composted or recycled that we can switch from a normal sized kitchen bin to a tiny little bucket. Also, our wheelie bin for non-recyclable rubbish gets collected once a week but it takes us about a month to fill it, so we only put it out when it’s full.
February 2018: A huge victory. After months of trying to persuade Little W he doesn’t need a plastic straw with every drink, he spilled his milk and decided it was the straw’s fault. So he gathered up all the straws he could find and put them in the bin. Now there are no straws in our house. And no more will be coming in.
May 2018: I made my first ever soap under the watchful eye of Mr W’s mother. We used the cooking oil she’d been saving for the last year, so the soap turned out with a slight red tinge from the paprika we use so much in cooking.
July 2018: I finally got round to making some beeswax food wraps. They work really well and we’ll never buy cling film again!