You cannot open a magazine or newspaper today without reading about how enviromental toxins are damaging to our health. These articles discuss car fumes, pollution, air fragrances & chemicals for flame retardancy, but did you know that some of the most hazardous ingredients are in your household cleaning products? Yes, it’s true, these products that ironically you use to keep your family safe from germs and grime can be harming your family’s health. Think about it this for a second most parents spray their small infants feeding chair with bleach or a synthetic anti-bacterial spray before allowing their child to eat off straight off the tray. Oh yes, the delight of weaning and finger foods. We want to make sure little Johnny/Jessica etc is safe. That small infant with its tiny organs and fragile immune system has just ingested a synthetic cleaning material made to kill viruses and bacteria into their delicate digestive tract. Scary right?
Under the kitchen and bathroom sink is a plethora of cleaning materials containing chemical compounds that impact negatively on your health. These ingredients are synthetic solvents and degreasers which long term can cause liver damage, bleach which has been linked to asthma and respiratory issues, and the old favourite synthetic fragrances (of any strange smell you can concoct; strawberry Sunday, summer meadow and Fresh cotton. What is that that supposed to smell like any way? Not sure but I bet it’s got hundreds of chemicals with even more chemical compounds to make the smell we have grown to love so much. So, what does this mean to our health? Well most fragrances contain phthalates which is a well-known endocrine disrupter (this means messes about with your hormones). Any correlation why there are issues with marine life having both reproductive organs? Well think about all the cleaning and manufacturing ingredients and products we are flushing into the water systems, seas and rivers. Some of the ingredients in our household cleaners also end up being carcinogenic (yes this means cancer causing) this maybe because of the harmful ingredient itself or because of a by-product in your cleaner that has a carcinogenic capacity due to the manufacturering process of said ingredient and yes this means you won’t know from the ingredients list that it is even in there; as it’s a by-product therefore remains silent. Like 1.4 dioxane which is termed as the ‘silent killer’ in the manufacturing business. I am sure you can guess why? Yes, it is a by-product therefore NOT an ingredient and it’s a known carcinogen. Where is that most commonly found you ask? Well it can appear in sulphates which are an ingredient in nearly every natural cleaning product on the market.
The beginning: -Diet
My journey to non-toxic living started when I became very ill in 2012. I was overworked; which left no time for cooking properly. As a family we were eating processed food and I cleaning my home and body using commercial easy to purchase, off the shelf products. As a result, I had constant brain fog, many digestion issues and I was generally miserable with no energy. I decided that I wanted to heal myself with natural remedies. The first obvious way to start was with food as Socrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine’. So here was my first big shocker and wasn’t it a whopper! I found out most of the food in the supermarket was ‘food like substance’ rather than actual food! Processed food full of sugar, salt and very little nutrition is on every shelf of the high street supermarket. No wonder I felt tired. The fruit and vegetables that I thought were good for me where grown using GM crops and pesticide sprays which create huge yields for the manufacturing company but as they are toxic to insects No doubt, they are also harmful to our digestion. Think about our bodies on a microscopic level; we are all made up of lots of tiny cells. Our super delicate digestion’s eco system with all these helpful bacteria, cells and neurons in our organs, skin and blood being bombarded by these highly toxic pesticides through our digestion and blood. Of course, this is going to have a massive impact on our health and energy; especially on our delicate internal digestive system. I sat at a diner table for a friend’s birthday the other day there were 10 people at the table and 5 of them all had digestive issues, we all discussed symptoms, what we were doing for relief and the causation. I believe these ever-increasing digestion issues are the caused by the modern-day diet. After I found out how food was grown, harvested and found out more about the processing of these so-called food manufacturers. I started to purchase organic and wholefoods; when I can, and I started educating my family and friends on non-toxic living. When weather permits, we grow what we can. I want you to know that this is an on-going journey continually finding out healthier ways to eat and balancing up organic produce with in inevitable increased priced on a normal family wage. Ultimately my moto to others who care about this issue is; do what you can, reduce where you can. No pressure, small changes really matter, you got to start someone and every other cliché you can think of that is relevant to this moment. Seriously though just one change at a time. That’s how I started, read on.
Dabbling – cosmetics
My quest to a healthier therefore hopefully happier lifestyle i.e. my non-toxic living journey led me to further enquiry. I started to research other toxins in and around the home that impact negatively on our health. Next shock personal care products. As I started researching in this area it was total massive fear that over came me. What! All the manufacturing companies of our cosmetics are self-regulated. That is a conflict of interest if ever I heard of one. What! there is no legal governing body overlooking every ingredient making sure it is safe? What! Ingredients are not all thoroughly tested prior to implementation and sales and only after huge amounts of complaints are, they taken off the market or out of products. Oh, my is there is toxicity everywhere? This felt so overwhelming when I read that the ingredients in shampoos, bodywash, makeup, deodorant, conditioner all just fake, toxic and not healthy for me or my body I was so upset. What I am I to use? How do I cope with this? Well I swapped to a Toluene free nail polish, started dabbling in making homemade makeup and with various degrees of success and eventually started using mica-based foundations, eyeshadows and even natural mascaras. I stopped using supermarket deodorant due to the aluminium content and I now I either make my own or use natural refillable one. Everyone needs to know about this I said to myself some of these cosmetics have harmful ingredients. I started a website to write blogs about what ingredients are harmful to raise awareness about the toxins in our everyday lives; I still believe this; raising awareness is my greatest calling to date.
My calling – Household Cleaners
As I was detoxing my body, I started to do the same for my home. When I read about all the harmful chemicals in cleaning products, I started to make my own. This cannot be hard I thought; there was lots of information on the web to inform me that it was both cheap and easy to make your own products and all you needed was; bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and lemons. Yeah right! I tried this for a bit, and I tell you this. It is hard work. Maybe these writers had all day to make their own products (months to make an orange enzyme cleaner) and all the time in the world to clean their home. However, I have a busy, messy home with 2 cats, 1 dog, a messy son and lazy husband (side note hubby has got much better over the last 7 years). Cleaning my bathroom with lemons and bicarbonate of soda was a joke! I remember having my phone in between my neck and ears on the phone with my mother and scrubbing at bath scum with this bicarb solution in a raw lemon; sweating heavily and using all the elbow grease of goliath. My mum said to me “I don’t know how you have the time to clean this way”. It was a light bulb moment. She was right, I did not have the time or the energy, but I did not want to compromise by bringing dangerous chemicals back into the home. Right there and then I thought surely there must be others like me? Busy, health conscious people who want quick to use, high efficacy and luxurious (nice smelling without the use of cheap scented fragrance) non-toxic cleaning products.
I purchased, used and disliked all the so-called natural cleaning products on the market. The large well-known commercial brands available in the supermarkets all marketed themselves as natural but still contained sulphates which can have the ‘silent killer’ by product I discussed earlier, synthetic solvents which over long-term use can be harmful to the liver and kidney and synthetic fragrances which are hundreds of horrible chemical compounds which can disrupt the endocrine system.
What is going on I thought is there no ethical brand out there that can deliver the efficacy I want, the smell I desire all with the ease of a spray at the hand. Err no but therefore the Green Goddess brand was born. That was it I decided then and there well I am going to create my own. With nothing but the drive, passion and determination (some would call naivety, optimism and stupidity) I left my job and spent the next year working with chemist to formulate my completely non-toxic cleaning range.
I knew I wanted to keep to the ethos of the original lessons I had learned when dabbling with making my own products so we developed a range using the citric acid from lemons in our products to get excellent limescale removal, we used alcohol to degrease and provide a level of anti-bacterial capacity with surfactants (cleaners) made from natural ingredients. Finally, to give a decadent scent, provide an aromatherapy whilst you clean and harness the natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties we added generous amounts of essential oils.
My range includes an amazing all-round Multi-purpose spray in scents such as; Rosemary and Eucalpytus or Lime and Lemongrass or Lavender. This spray is used in so many ways, from spraying and cleaning the kitchen surfaces, sinks, hobs, inside the fridges and even the children’s lunch box. This spray does it all quickly and effortlessly. We have an All-purpose Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaner which is a highly concentrated formula so only a small amount is needed. It can be used directly onto taps and sinks or dilute a capful into a bucket full of hot water to clean the entire kitchen/ bathroom or flooring it is scented with refreshing scent of Lemongrass. I have an excellent Lavender Laundry liquid which is used by many who get allergies as an alternative to normal commercial laundry liquids or mothers that want a chemical free way to clean their baby’s linen. Finally, in our cleaning range we have a super effective Mint Toilet and Bathroom cleaner which smells super fresh perfect for the bathroom and is highly effective for the removal of dirt, scum and limescale.
I have worked tirelessly over the last few years to bring this dream to life, to deliver effective, easy to use luxurious cleaning products to all who desire it. If you believe in looking after the health of your family, the waterways and ultimately the planet then please do purchase one of our starter packs and start your non-toxic journey today.
All my love Green Goddess x