9 October 2013
September Eco Challenge WINNER
By: Penny Worland
Penny Worland signed up to the Sustainababy September Eco Challenge to rid her home of chemicals over an entire month. This is the story of her journey...........
This month Laura challenged us to 'Rid our home of chemicals.' I was a tad overwhelmed when reading this as I use chemicals to clean my clothes, floors, walls and even my face!
I started by researching chemical free living online but that was a mistake as it just made me aware of things I didn't need to worry about. In previous Sustainababy Eco Challenges I have focused on the topic in a small way rather than trying to achieve everything. For example, in August’s Buy Australian Made challenge I ensured I bought Australian fruits and veggies. So, this month I set out to revisit my floor cleaning, personal hygiene, and as it turns out, how to clean a whiteboard!
I read on the Sustainababy Eco Challenge Facebook group that Eucalyptus oil is a great chemical free cleaning product and I now 100% agree. Thank you Laura - I am now converted!
Eucalyptus oil can come in solution and also pure oil. I tried out both forms and they seemed to give me the results I wanted. I tackled the floors first! As shown in the photo of the mop bucket it looks just like I am cleaning the floors with water. I had to think twice if I had actually put anything into the water! But no, it contains the floor shining secret ingredient- eucalyptus! Not only does it smell fantastic, there are no 'chemical bubbles.' I used to think the bubblier the better the clean. Not anymore! Another bonus of cleaning the floor with eucalyptus oil is that it is toddler friendly - no skin burns from the nasty bleach hidden in the cleaner! So after a mop I now have shiny floors and a toddler willing to help with the mopping! A WIN and a WIN! Never too early to harness their love for cleaning, right?
Another use for eucalyptus oil and solution (yes I tried it with both) is cleaning a whiteboard! We have two whiteboards in the house - one for weekly schedules and the other for our toddler and me to draw on! For this I mixed a little eucalyptus oil with vinegar and a tad of water! Have a look at the picture, it worked!!! This whiteboard has been like this for a few weeks now, and I was about to give in to the fact that the markings would be there for good and that permanent marker was indeed permanent. After a quick scrub down with my mixture my toddler literally has a clean canvas to work with! Magic!!!
Lastly, I came across the TOM organic range of personal hygiene products! They are organic and chemical-free and are much better for our bodies! Although menstrual cups (another product I had never heard of) were discussed on the Sustainababy Eco Challenge Facebook Group I don't think they are suited to me. I am happy that the TOM personal hygiene products tick the boxes in my book and honestly for a few extra cents I think my body is worth it!
So that’s my journey for September. Not too exciting but I had fun falling in love with eucalyptus oil as a cleaning agent, and I am a little excited to work out what else I can do with it! Do you think it would clean the walls, I haven't decided whether or not to try it yet?!!?!?!
Congratulations Penny! You have won yourself a 1kg bag of Pure Revolution Soap Nuts. Soap nuts are small outer shells of a berry grown on trees in the Himalayas. They contain saponin, a naturally foaming surfactant which acts like detergent when immersed in water, This creates a 100% safe, natural and chemical-free substitute for commercial detergents.
Thank you to Pure Revolution for sponsoring the Sustainababy September Eco Challenge. If you would like to sponsor future Sustainababy Eco Challenges and introduce your product to our large following of eco parents, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.