Green Book Fairies #27: Let’s Talk About… Doing the Dishes!

It’s day 27 and the #GreenBookfairies believe that dealing with the dishes should be as pain-free as possible, for you as well as the Earth. 

The problem:

Modern scourers and scrubbers used for washing dishes leak micro plastics into the water system – and the vast majority of washing up soap is in liquid form, in a plastic bottle. Not only that, but the ingredients in washing up liquids can be harmful to the environment.

The solutions:

Use and reuse! Save water and detergent by using the same mug or glass all day. You only have to rinse it briefly if needed in between drinks. Less washing up to do, more time for reading!

Go solid! When you wash the dishes, use a solid dish soap bar to save yourself and the Earth a plastic bottle. They last SO MUCH LONGER than a bottle and the cleaning power is incredible. Try turning the tap off between rinses for extra green points.

Go eco with scrubbers! The #BookFairyBox has featured two amazing compostable scrubbing pads for washing up – made from hessian and scrap material. Check out Etsy for handmade items or YouTube to make some yourself!

Make your own! Homemade dishwasher detergent is great because you save on plastic, water and money. Alternatively, look for dishwasher detergent with plastic-free packaging and earth-friendly ingredients. For extra green points, only run when there is a full load. Find a detergent recipe below!

Pare down! Only keep the dishes, glasses, and cutlery you need in your day to day and enough for entertaining (so that you are not tempted to use disposable, non-compostable dishes). 

Go secondhand! If you find that you have to purchase or replace dishes, look for sustainable options. Used dishes are always a good choice. And there are so many bamboo, coconut and wood options, as well.

This soap is the off-cuts from the main soap block – going from eco-friendly to OMG ZERO WASTE HAPPINESS ECO-FRIENDLY!

Dish washing powder recipe: 

If you also like using a rinse aid, vinegar is a good substitute

  • 300 g or 1 1/2 cups citric acid
  • 330 g or 1 1/2 cups washing soda
  • 110 g or a cup of baking soda
  • 160 g or half cup of sea salt

Mix the ingredients in a bowl by hand, being careful to use gloves when handling the washing soda. Transfer to a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load.

It’s important to note that washing soda and citric acid can work against one another if the balance is not correct. If you need to alter the recipe for any reason, the general rule is one cup washing soda to a quarter cup citric acid.

Credit to Waste Not: Make A Big Difference By Throwing Away Less by Erin Rhodes

Book fairy verdict:

“Living alone I find it’s hard to go through enough dishes to load up the dishwasher so I like having a plastic free alternative, which is why I switched to solid dish soap. I use Marseille soap and it works better than any of the traditional bottled dish soaps I’ve tried!”

– Kaitlynn, Toronto

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