Going green: Balancing your inner clean freak with your eco-warrior alter ego is easy when you have the right tools.

DEAR HOMELIFE, One of my 2018 resolutions was to be kinder to the environment, so I have been taking my Keepcup everywhere I go, refusing plastic bags, and composting like crazy. But I’m also a clean freak, and here’s the thing: I go through four rolls of paper towel a week. I want to be kinder to the planet, but how can I also keep a clean house? — BABY STEPS

First: what an excellent job you’re doing, committing to reducing waste. Well done! This is an important thing that we all need to take on. I myself have been carting my water bottle everywhere (bottled water is the worst con of the 21st century, not to mention an environmental nightmare) and saving all my soft plastic (anything that scrunches) for the Red Cycle bins located at Coles stores nationally — the plastic is made into new play equipment for parks around the country. I invite you to do the same.

Second: this is such an easily fixed problem so hang in there! Your love for the planet and love of a mess-free kitchen can co-exist.

Invest in some reusable cellulose cloths — I absolutely love Amala’s ‘Magic Sponge Cloth’ (Amazon and Target stock them, see loveamala.com for more information). The material is highly absorbent and antibacterial, and when it gets a little dirty, you can just throw it in the washing machine (don’t use fabric softener, though, as this can destroy the delicate fibres that allow the cloth to do its thing). One cloth can be washed 300 times, meaning it will replace 15 rolls of paper towel. One cloth = 15 rolls of paper towel. That’s almost a month in your house, and about a year in everyone else’s (I jest!).

For glass, I love microfibre cloths. They’re so easy to use, don’t require liquid cleaning products and, like cellulose cloths, can be machine-washed again and again. Invest in your cleanliness, Baby Steps, and invest in the future of our world.

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