Since meeting and chatting to Jackie from Green and Natural Living at BritMums Live! in June I have been putting a huge amount more thought into just how green I'm managing to be at the moment. In some areas I'm sure I actually score quite highly, but there are others where I know I could, and should, pull my socks up.
The amount of waste that I'm putting into my "black" bin for landfill each fortnight is creeping up and I'm determined to do something about it. I'm currently running a little exercise where I'm trying to keep track of everything that goes into my black bin so that I can then go back and look through the list to work out what I could recycle instead, what could just not be used in future, and what I could replace with reusable alternatives. I'm pretty sure there's a whole series of future blog posts right there.
I think I instantly recognised as being a big waste generator was tissues. We were getting through boxes of them, especially with little noses to constantly wipe. I'm currently trying to use handkerchiefs instead, with some success and at some point I hope to (surprise, surprise) blog about how I'm getting on.
Sometimes review opportunities come along at just the right point and that's exactly what happened when Laura from Love The Planet asked for bloggers to review some of her products. The thing which jumped straight out at me were the washable cleansing pads which they sell as I saw it as a perfect opportunity to help remove one thing that I throw away every single day – cotton wool cleansing pads.
These washable cleansing pads are exactly as the name suggests, cleansing pads that you can throw in the washing machine when you've used them and then reuse them again and again. They come in a pack of five and also come with a little drawstring mesh bag for you to wash them in so they don't get lost in the machine.
When I opened my packet of these I was actually surprised at just how thick and fluffy they are. Now this might be because I was using cheap cotton wool pads which are very thing, but these were much more luxurious and fluffy. I was expecting something much thinner, maybe more like a washable breast pad in thickness.
My first attempt at using them didn't go very well at all. I went to put some eye make up remover on one of them and it just seemed to pour straight off and on to the bathroom floor. Hmmmm. I checked the packaging and there was nothing about washing them before use, but I decided to do just that and threw all five of them in with my next load of washing. I'm pleased to say that the wash did the trick and from then on I've had no problem at all with them.
It's actually been a very easy switch to make and I'm kicking myself for not making it sooner. The used pads just go straight in my laundry basket with the rest of the washing and then I dry them either on the washing line or on the drying rack inside the house. They wash really well with no change in shape or feel when you use them. Assuming they continue to last this well I can see that they'll soon start saving me money over packs of cotton wool pads.
You can buy washable cleansing pads here from the Love The Planet Store, and until the end of summer 2013 if you buy one packet of the white ones you get a second one free. Bargain – an opportunity to save money and the planet. Also available are packets of multicoloured ones which I think would look rather funky if you had them on display in your bathroom in a little glass bowl.