Friday, 18 July 2008


I spend most of my time washing up...or so it seems!
I have found that this has been where most of my wonderings have occurred too.

Whilst working towards purging our life of all the nasty unnatural things in our home one of the main concerns I have are chemical laden, detergents and toiletries.  Simple you may say, don't use them. Well I don't want to, but what is the best way to dispose of chemicals you already have?

1) When we moved in to our home a few months ago, there was already about 10 different bottles of cleaning products including bleach, all purpose cleaner, window cleaner, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, carpet cleaner x2, washing powder, liquid hand soap and bug spray!

2)  When we moved, my mum gave me about 10 litres of washing liquid detergent and 10 litres of fabric conditioner.

3)  I used to be a Body Shop consultant for a couple of months.  (I didn't really agree with how dramatically the ethics of the company changed after Anita died, so I stopped doing it.  They held regular competitions for consultants and the last one included winning extremely expensive designer diamond jewellery and a trip to 'sparkle like the stars' in Monte Carlo...not really an image I would want to have a part in promoting, what happened to Community Trade ?  I would have liked to ask them where the diamonds came from... anyway rant rant!)

Hence I still have quite a few bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel left over from those days.

So what should I do?  I'm not in a position financially to just get rid of them or give them away.  Beggars can't be choosers as they say. Anyway, whether I pour them down the sink or give them to someone else, they still end up in the place we don't want them to be.  They have been paid for already, so the companies producing them know there is a demand for their products already...they will keep making more, regardless of whether I use them or not. So I just have to plough through them until they are gone!

Easy you may say but every second they are sitting there in my cupboards, I feel I am a liar and a cheat...what kind of eco warrior are you with all that chemical crap polluting your cupboard real estate?

Sometimes I find myself giving the bathroom sink an extra squirt, just to rid my stuff sooner...Hmmm that's not being frugal now, is it?

I use those awful spongy scrubber things for washing up pots and pans, only 14p from Tesco's for 5.  I'm sure they can't be any good for the environment.  In India my father in law uses a soap bar, a coconut husk and a lemon...wonderful!  With the price of lemons and coconuts and the air miles to get them here that's not very ecological or economical, so I've been trying to come up with a better option.

Ideas....on natural cleaning.

* Thank you Crazy Mumma for this idea, a pot scourer knitted from garden twine.  Brilliant idea, get the knitting needles clicking!!

* Soapnuts,  (Sapindus) I just found this blog entry, sounds interesting!  I'll look into it more.

* My husband always goes on about some white beans they use in Kerala for washing with, skin and hair that is.  Googled it and found this blog about ayurveda.

* Another hair care product I have heard of in India is Shikakai, it means "fruit for hair" and is a traditional shampoo used in India. It is made from Acacia concinna, a shrub native to the warm, plains of central and south India.


Jennifer said...

Hi Emmani

Yes this is such a quandry and one that I too faced nearly a year ago. I am a frugal eco warrior and so therefore I have taken the following stance:

I will use what I have as wasting is not in keeping with my frugal instincts. However, I am now evolved in my natural product thinking that for the rest of my hopefully long life I will not buy these products ever again. That is a lot of years to make up for the karma of using the products you already have.

good luck


emmani said...

Thanks Jennifer,

I like the idea of 'Chemical Karma', I guess karma is about good intentions, so my 'repayments' should be at a lower rate of interest because I didn't buy the products myself!

I've bought some Ecover products to tide me over til I get round to buying natural substitutes and experimenting on the cleaning recipes I've collected.

Til then I'll keep holding my breath...