My Carbon Footprint

Follow your nose: Smell the chemicals out, then cut them out

Kate Hughes find that conkers probably aren’t quite the answer to her sustainable cleaning conundrum

<p>All-conquering: Soak them in water and conkers become a sustainable cleaning product</p>

All-conquering: Soak them in water and conkers become a sustainable cleaning product

When next door hangs their washing out, you can smell the detergent in our kitchen, and though it isn’t entirely unpleasant – with its subtle notes of organisation, care and cleanliness – it is potent, even from the other side of the wall.

But then pretty much everything seems to smell stronger these days, and I have my suspicions it’s because of water. I’ll be honest, the wet stuff has been a late addition to the sustainability drive in our house.

It wasn’t until I caught the end of a fairly punchy radio interview with one audibly frustrated expert – who said we need to consider wasting water as equally taboo as blowing cigarette smoke into a baby’s face – that it occurred to me that it might be worth going a step further than the 1980s Blue Peter advice about turning the tap off while you brush your teeth.

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