Without venturing into intense statistics about climate change, we can come to an understanding that sustainability is important. Throughout the last year, many of us have become even more aware of the impact that single-use plastics, packaging, and materials that cannot properly decompose already pose a significant threat to our ecosystem and quality of life. Here, on Amherst Island, Handy Fairies would like to show that we are committed to preserving our natural environment in the way that we operate as a business, and we would like to share some useful tips and tricks with you to help you to find sustainable habits, methods, and products that can help protect us all.
- Replace your air fresheners: Instead of aerosol, look for alternatives that use mainly essential oils. You can invest in an essential oil diffuser, or for a more economical method, fill a spray bottle with mostly water and add a healthy amount of drops (try fewer than 5 to start with, then adjust to your preference) of your favourite essential oils to spray around rooms that get a lot of traffic. You can even use different scents for different rooms to keep things interesting. Common favourites are mint, orange, lavender, and cinnamon.
- Invest in Bamboo or wooden cleaning products, especially in your kitchen: It may sound odd, but one of the main ways waste is created in our homes is through hard plastic that we use to clean. Bamboo Kitchen cleaning appliances are sturdy, long lasting, and most of all, biodegradable. Sponges made out of Coconut fibres are excellent for removing stubborn grease stains and can be easily composted or thrown away as it will decompose instead of contributing to microplastic waste in landfills or our oceans. They also tend to last longer because they need to be made sturdy.
- Research products that already use sustainable methods and ingredients: If you don’t have the time or immediate funds to transition into home-made products at once, start by looking into products that are already made sustainably. Reading ingredient lists and learning about how specific companies craft their packaging and modify their line of production to be more environmentally friendly is a great way to learn more about sustainability in general. Important words to the wise: stay away from aerosol as it is nearly impossible to recycle, and don’t believe everything you read!
- Conserve water: Grey water is a common term that defines still water that has been ‘gently used’. This means it has washed hands, fresh vegetables, run during the shower, or as part of the ending cycle of your washing machine. It does not contain any human, animal, or food waste product in it, meaning that it is still useful for another cycle before it can be considered dirty. You can collect water from your sink, tub, or shower to use in your mop bucket, even before you sanitize countertops and chairs.
- Improve the air quality indoors with houseplants!: It is no myth that plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. It may sound like a small change, but the addition of plants into the open spaces of your home can make significant improvements to your quality of life. Not only do they purify the air, but they can increase our happiness as well. If gardening seems intimidating, you can start with low-maintenance plants like succulents are beautiful options to add to your homes.
We are aware that not everyone has access to amenities to be able to efficiently compost, run their own garden, or produce renewable energy in their homes. Luckily, it really is the little things that count.