I had been thinking about banning plastic from our household for a while. I know it will be a long transition until we finish up all the products that sit in plastic containers at home, and also until we figure out how to substitute all of them for plastic-free options. So receiving this beautiful Earth (that emphasizes the oceans) seemed like the perfect time to embark on a journey to help heal our oceans. As the first step, we chose to make an all-purpose cleaner out of white vinegar, lavender flowers and rosemary that I found at @zerowastefolks.
I was amazed by how quickly our son picked up the importance of the project. After we explained that the artwork he was holding was actually our home planet, he got very excited about protecting its waters. And started to kiss the Earth (warning for the next carrier, hehe)! Next, we headed to the garden to make good use of our lavender plants. It was so nice to see him and his friend having fun picking the flowers and stuffing them in the glass jar. It was all fun and such a lovely time. Then, it was time for the vinegar.
I had some leftover plastic bottle vinegar, but needed more to fill up the jar. So, at the store, I went straight for the glass bottle. And guess what? It was for seasoning/cooking. Other than much more expensive than the vinegar in giant plastic bottles, the quality of that vinegar was superior. It threw me off because I wondered if I should use such higher quality vinegar as a cleaning product. And this questioning felt so familiar… It’s there, for example, every time I think about not using leather anymore, so as to help decrease production of all cow/sheep related meat and goods. I find myself torn then as well, because the alternative durable product for a jacket, for example, is made of synthetic fibers. And we know that synthetic fibers contribute for ocean pollution. So this is to say that, when looking for more sustainable alternatives, we often times find ourselves in a conundrum.
But I had to make a decision based on my best guess. I chose to buy and use the vinegar in the glass bottle and made the natural cleaner. After two weeks sitting, it smelled much more like lavender and less like vinegar. We’ve been using it ever since, all over the house, and yes, it took us some time to get used to the smell, but now we can’t see ourselves going back to chemical all-purpose cleaners. And as far as environmental conundrums go, I am thankful for all the tech innovations and wonderful thinkers out there who are helping us sort it all out!