provided by Matthew Ballenden, dad to Isabella & owner of the Fresh Earth Food Store, an organic health store and vegetarian restaurant with a  great online store.  Visit their website to find out more.

The safety of beauty and household products has largely been taken for granted but as you do with food, its vitally important to also scrutinise these ingredients.

The shampoos you apply to your body and the detergents you use in your home eventually end up down the drain and into our water system. It is therefore important that these products have no negative environmental impact during manufacturing and also when released into the environment.

Natural and organic detergents are generally not as strong as regular chemically-based detergents and require a little more effort in the cleaning process. People are often put off by this but a little sweat never harmed anyone in comparison to the damage non-environmentally friendly detergents are causing.

Every year a new Organic detergent is brought into the market and its effectiveness is getting better and better. There are no more excuses for not buying environmentally friendly body care products and household cleaners.



All one needs is white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, water, and a bit of elbow grease.

Not only are these ingredients cheaper than other products on the market, they come in fairly large containers from your local supermarket – white vinegar, for instance, is available in 2 litre bottles (plastic, unfortunately, but it is recyclable).

  • General Cleaner – white vinegar + bicarb + water – it even foams, and cleans just about anything
  • Odour-Remover – bicarb – sprinkle it on carpets to soak up smells and then vacuum; place it in a cup in your fridge or cupboards
  • Loo Freshener – water mixed with essential oils, or just add plants to a room – they act as air filters
  • Basic Bleach – hydrogen peroxide (believe it or not, this is a totally biodegradable product – we were also surprised) available from chemists. It can, however, irritate the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, so use with care
  • Oven Cleaner – dampen oven surfaces, sprinkle bicarb over surfaces and leave overnight; for stubborn dirt, use steel wool
  • Mildew Zapper – 2 tsp tea tree oil with 2 cups water – just spray on surface and leave
  • Furniture Polish – ½ tsp olive oil & ¼ cup vinegar/lemon juice – wipe on furniture with a rag – olive oil also preserves wood
  • Toilet Cleaner – ¼ cup of bicarb into toilet bowl, let it stand for about 30 mins and then scrub. You can use borax for tough stains (just keep this out of reach of little fingers)
  • Window Cleaner – 2 tsp vinegar and 500 ml water, spray on windows and wipe dry with newspaper
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