So that was the kitchen grey water all done in the last post. Phew! Our search and Go Green mission continues with the bathroom now. Can you think of areas in your bathroom which need looking at with a stern eye?
Waste water from your Handbasin: Have you thought of all the products that we wash down the sink? Oh, and water. Check out my Oct 2016 post for eye-goggling water wastage facts and solutions.
Let’s start with soap/handwashing gel and look at the harmful chemicals they contain:
Fragrance/perfume/parfum/essential oil blend/aroma:
WE WANT FULL DOSCLOSURE!
I love how any of these words cover a secret list of ingredients the manufactures don’t have to tell you about as they are considered a trade secret- Grrrrr. In the ranks of undisclosed ingredients are chemicals with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues. These include diethyl phthalate, a plasticizer linked to sperm damage. Here is just one study: Li-Ping Huang et al (2014) and musk ketone, a synthetic fragrance ingredient that concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk Read Ch. 9 & 10 of this link. Sheesh!
Triclosan: We looked at this in the previous post and decided we were anti-antibacterials! Arghhhhh!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These need a post all on their own! Next one coming up!
Parabens: These are a family of related chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in a wide range of health, beauty and personal care products because they prevent the growth of fungi, bacteria and yeast. Commonly used parabens in cosmetics are: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben. Though parabens have been detected in human tissues and bodily fluids, it is their discovery in the breast tissue of patients with breast cancer that has raised public concern over their use. However, studies investigating the health effects of parabens are conflicting. But this is yet another post……
Just like with dish washing soap/gel/detergent, my advice is the same: keep it simple! Avoid anti-bacterials or products with oh so many ingredients especially ones which are unpronounceable and which you don’t understand ( I swear they think up these complicated names deliberately so as to confuse most of us) and or make your own!
Liquid Castille soap. That’s it! And if you have a bar of Castille soap and want to make it into a liquid, it is pretty damn easy! All you need is:
- 1 bar of soap (one with as few ingredients as possible)
- About 8-10 cups of distilled water
- A grater
- A saucepan
Grate your soap and put it in a saucepan with the distilled water. It’s not an exact science so you will have to experiment BUT, Its important to use distilled water else your soap will go off. Yup, it takes on the texture of that thick, green bogey your nose produces when you have a bad cold. Ugh. Anyway, heat all that up without boiling, till your soap flakes have totally melted. Let cool and voilá!
Remember the soap nut liquid we made in the clothes washing post? We’re going to use that here:
- 1/2 cup Liquid Castille soap
- 1/8 cup soap nut liquid
- 5 drops Essential Oils (any of the following EOs are powerful natural anti-bacterials): Cinnamon, Basil&Rosemary, Clove, Thyme, Oregano, Lemongrass, Tea tree, Lavender.
- Mix it up and use it as needed.
Plain and simple bar of soap! Nothing fancy and does the trick!
We live in a society which is so obsessed with cleanliness that I feel that we sometimes overdo it. Following the disclaimer that I am not an official researcher or scientist 🙂 , my take is that sanitisers are great in hospitals for staff who move from patient to patient or at festivals/fairs/camping/trips where access to hand washing is restricted but apart from that, I’d simply dispose of using them. How about just washing your hands with soap? Sanitisers with less than 60-95% alcohol are not much good anyways so regardless of what the sellers say or advertise, stick to washing your hands with soap – nothing beats that for you or me.