We all have our rituals as we unwind at the day's end. Maybe it's a cup of herbal tea or a few chapters of a great book, but those moments before bedtime can also be great for greening up your home. Beyond turning off the tap when you brush your teeth and lowering the thermostat, there are many ways to be both eco and efficient!
Every night after washing my face I use a homemade toner. Plain old rose water works beautifully, but I like to add a few drops of tea-tree oil to help sooth my generally irritable skin (just shake it up before each use). I prefer using organic cotton pads to apply the toner, but their disposable nature is somewhat problematic. I asked myself, "What else can I wipe up before this hits the trash?" Well, the answer was all around me. All of the surfaces in the bathroom benefited, but none more so than the toilet.
I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but cleaning the toilet is no favorite chore. Dust seems to accumulate at a fantastic rate around the hinges of the thing, and lets just say I don't love what lies under the lid. Reusing the toner-soaked cotton pads to quickly wipe these spots down as part of my routine has been a great solution. Now the bathroom is well maintained with the tiniest little gesture every night!
Another of my evening green practices occurs specifically during the winter months: reusing the remains from the previous night's hot-water-bottle. Indoor plants get a drink, or perhaps a dirty dinner pot is filled and left to soak overnight. Sometimes the water is used for the humidifier. Now and again it finds its way into my top loading washing machine (which is clever enough to detect water levels so as not to overflow later on).
Then there is the matter of coffee. As I prep the impending AM brew I often place the old grinds in a container by the littler box or in the fridge to act as a deodorizer. I'll even use a pinch of used grinds to exfoliate my face once every week or so.
Really, there are lots of ways to incorporate your bedtime auto-pilot actions into a greener lifestyle. Consider your own evening routine and you're sure to find an unexpected and easy way to creatively conserve.
Let us know what works for you!
(Images: MaryAnne Petrella)