Green washing up liquid and the eco-switch challenge

Green washing up liquid and the eco-switch challenge

Last week, I promised more on soap nuts but as I type this, I’ve only made the laundry liquid and haven’t actually used it yet. So that thrilling instalment will follow next week.

I’m so thrilled to be trying yet another switch, this time refillable, environmentally friendly washing up liquid. With these 2 changes in quick succession, I realise I don’t need to hold myself back with analysis paralysis but am instead setting myself an eco-switch challenge for the rest of 2019.

Cutting plastic with refillables

Plastic is an amazing substance. It has so many uses and I don’t see a time when we’re without it. However, it is too good to be single use and simultaneously too bad, because it sits in land fills unable to break down for hundreds of years.

When looking into how refillable household cleaning products work via mail, I discovered that a local health food store has started to offer refills of all sorts of things in store. Bingo!

I have a week or so’s worth of washing up liquid left, so I thought I’d pop into town and pick a bottle up to try. The great news is that you don’t have to use one of their bottles, you can take a bottle you already own. Unfortunately, I don’t have a spare bottle and wanted to replenish before running out. However, when I’ve finished my standard stuff, I’m planning to keep hold of the bottle and take it in to refill.

Paying for the privilege

With lots of greener options comes a higher price tag, and this is certainly the case with washing up liquid.

My bio-d cost £1.99 for 750ml (plus a 20p surcharge for the bottle), equating to £2.65 per litre.

Conversely I’d usually pay £1 for 500ml of fairy, which is 65p cheaper per litre than bio-d. Of course, there are loads of options that are way cheaper than this too, but none that I’ve tried are very good.

I’m trying to focus on the other benefits of the eco friendly liquid, the ingredients themselves being better for the environment and for our skin, plus I love that I can buy from an independent shop on my high street.

I’ve never kept track of how frequently I buy washing up liquid but it can’t be more than 6 times per year (normally 500ml bottles). So assuming I do use 3 litres of washing up liquid per year, the additional cost is £1.95 per year. A cost we can most definitely absorb.

The eco switch challenge

I don’t want to lose momentum or allow myself to suffer analysis paralysis again. My impact may be small, but collectively, we can have a much larger impact. The sooner that more of us are voting with our wallets, the greater incentive for those big brands to change and get back a slice of the green pound (is that a saying? I feel like green pound should be a thing).

For the remainder of 2019, I’m setting myself the challenge to swap a further 12 things to a more environmentally friendly option. On the one hand, this feels like an ambitious number. On the other, I would rather stretch myself and fall short than to be unambitious.

What’s the next switch?

I don’t know! I need to have a look at what we use, what we’re due to run out of, what is available and what is financially sustainable. And then I need to make a decision and take action.

What eco-switches have you made, what would you recommend and what do you still want to try?

2 thoughts on “Green washing up liquid and the eco-switch challenge

  1. Love this! It\’s definitely a must to be proactive against analysis paralysis (I\’m assuming it\’s the same as green guilt or eco anxiety?). Everything we\’re doing is definitely making a difference, no matter how small we may feel it is.

    We\’ve recently gotten a refillable option opened up near us and my other half gave me the hairy eyeball when I had to send him to do it after he saw the price.

    1. Thank you! I use analysis paralysis for any decision where I can’t make it because I’m so busy working out the pros and cons that it stops me making a decision, but green choices is definitely one area that I’m guilty from suffering from it.

      I have days when I feel hyped about the difference I can make, and others where it feels attempts are futile. Trying to keep my momentum distracts me from the feelings of futility and hopefully industry will follow consumers’ lead, if enough of us lead.

      It’s a tricky one, deciding to spend more for a benefit you don’t immediately see or feel. We’re so used to so much stuff being cheaper than maybe it should be though

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