Over the past few months we were creating more awareness about the great eco-friendly cleaners one can use in the home.
We told the story of our friend who uses his grey water from his washing to water his lawn and garden plants. And why he uses the Better Earth laundry gel for his laundry. I wonder whether people realise just how toxic some of the normal chemical laundry detergents can be and why my friend could not do this with a conventional washing powder?
“Whiteners”, “softeners”, bleaches and sodium are often contained in conventional detergents. None of which are good for the soil, your plants or the lawn. It is not a good idea to use grey water from chemical laundry detergents.
Another issue is phosphates – water-softening mineral additives that were once widely used in laundry detergents and other cleaners (but thankfully less so now). Phosphates cause algae to grow, a lot of algae, which eventually depletes water’s oxygen supply, killing off water life and other organisms.
Fragrances in detergents may also cause respiratory irritations, headaches and sneezing, nausea and dizziness. Unfortunately because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies are seldom required to list their full ingredients, but merely label them as containing a “parfum” or “fragrance.”
No aerosols, no sulphates, parabens or fragrances
Better Earth cleaning products are natural products produced locally, clean just as well as conventional chemical cleaning products, do not use aerosols, are free of sulphated surfactants (sulphur containing detergents), parabens (preservatives), animal products, colourants and synthetic fragrances. This therefore protects your fabrics too.
The next time you are at a Bed & Breakfast or guest house, ask the owners why they are still using harmful aerosols to freshen the air in the toilets and bathrooms. There really is no excuse for not using a pump spray natural air freshener when they work just as well. Some people start coughing immediately from the chemical room fresheners, due to the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) irritating their lungs. Personally I find the smell of fresh grapefruit far better than a “Spring Floral Ocean Spray” synthetic fragrance.
Thankfully aerosols no longer use CFCs but instead use hydrocarbons and compressed gases, such as nitrous oxide, as propellants. Unfortunately these chemicals are greenhouse gases and can contribute to the global-warming effect and even increase smog levels.
There is no need to be narrow-minded when it comes to natural cleaning products as the uses are vast and often unexpected. The beauty of natural products is they are gentle on whatever you are cleaning, so there are far fewer restrictions on what you can use them on.
It can seem like it is more convenient and affordable to buy chemical eco unfriendly cleaning products but at what actual cost? Truth is, we really do not fully know. Where have these products come from, what is the carbon footprint and is the packaging fully recyclable and most importantly, what is actually IN them?
Small decisions can make a big difference
It is the small things we all do and decisions we make in our daily lives that count and can make a big difference to the earth. I always think the worst thing we can do as the human race is think our individual choices have no effect on the environment we live in. They do. So please give Better Earth natural cleaning products a try when you next need cleaning products. You will not regret it.
Many people ask why these products are not available at your regular supermarket. Please visit our website www.betterearth.co.za for a full list of national and online stockists, more information on all of our products and feedback for your casual perusal.
For a chance to win some of the Better Earth products discussed recently, simply answer the question below. The first five people to send in the correct answer to Green Times will win two free products of their choice.
Win some products!
Question: Do Better Earth products contain synthetic fragrances, parabens or sulphated surfactants?
Please remember to include your delivery address and contact details.
We hope you feel inspired to shift to natural cleaning products, if you have not done so yet. It has been a pleasure sharing our stories with the Green Times readers. It is fantastic and reassuring to know there is a community of like-minded people out there who care about the environment as much as we do and want to make a difference with actions and choices in their own lives.
by Craig Lees