Review of Human Nature: Who said organic and affordable can never go together?

I recently stumbled upon Human Nature, a personal care and cosmetics brand that is natural, organic and 100% free from harmful chemicals.

I’ve been using the tangerine kids shampoo and body wash for the kids, and I just adore the smell of fresh orange on them after a good scrub and shower.

I’ve also been enjoying the strengthening shampoo for myself. It’s clinically proven to reduce hair fall and thicken the hair. I’ve been using it for the past 4 weeks and have already noticed less hair in the sink.

The only “complaint” that I have is that the lather is noticeably less than normal shampoos, but thinking about having less chemicals on my head each day makes that a very small issue.

Here are three things I love about Human Nature’s products:

1) They are natural

2) They are affordable – I was surprised to find that the shampoos cost only $6.90 for a 200ml bottle and $13.90 for a 500ml bottle. And all this despite using similar ingredients as other higher priced brands.

3) Most of all, I love that they that exist to help the very same communities that serve its business needs. This is how they explained it on their website:

“…we chose to greatly reduce the usual profit margins and be affordable so all can use products that are good for them and the environment. Only when millions use products free from harmful chemicals can we truly make a difference in our environment and in the lives of Filipino farming communities.”

Pretty inspiring huh?

Updated:

If you’d like to know more about the person who brought this line of products to Singapore, hop over and read Christine’s story.

To enjoy 10% off all products, just enter my promo code “MWPS10”.

Good things are meant to be shared! Happy shopping!¬†ūüėČ

On going green – an interview with the founders of Green Living

I had the pleasure of catching up with Delphinia Tam-Lower and Militza Maury, the founders of Green Living, a workshop designed to share the simplest tools, tips and tricks to start us all leading greener, simpler and healthier lives.

Here are snippets of our conversation. If you’re thinking about going green, read on to find out why you should get started, and how.¬†

~~~

Q) How did you guys get started on this green project?

Del: My “green consciousness” really only started when my daughter developed eczema as a baby. That made me a lot more aware of what was going into the food, skincare and other products we use around her. My mum-in-law, who lives on a farm in S.E. Queensland in Australia, was always a natural remedies advocate and when she began making all-natural skin care products for my daughter, that was how Four Cow Farm came about.

Militza: Del was already holding natural skincare workshops at Four Cow Farm. We got to know each other through Little Green Dot, and we decided to collaborate because we shared similar ideals. We thought it’d be great to organize workshops on different green topics, and that was how Green Living was born.

Q) Why should parents take the natural route?

Del: Going natural saves money, time, keeps our families safer and saves the planet! Learning the details and science behind the conventional options makes you realise that the natural route really is best. And more studies are backing that up in many different areas, from cleaning to food to skincare.

Militza:¬†Going natural is about ridding yourself of excesses and¬†simplifying¬†your life. There are thousands of products aimed at parents, shouting for our attention and half of it we don’t even really need. For me, choosing to shut out the noise has been incredibly liberating. And learning to make your own products, realising that you can make it simpler and better than most of what’s being sold out there, is incredibly empowering!

Q) Going natural seems so overwhelming. Where should I start?

Del:¬†Household cleaning is a good place to start. It’s so key because it touches every part of your house, and yet it’s simple too. It’s about being aware and intentionally reducing the amount of chemicals that you bring into your home.

Militza: The reason why we clean is to keep our families healthy and safe. Once you get started, you really start to see the kind of things that goes into the stuff you use on a daily basis, and then you can take small steps to change the things that you use, and build new habits.

Q) There seems to be a great deal to learn and do. Is it really worth the effort?

Del: Detoxing the home is totally worth the effort. Start with one thing, and you’ll soon find that this isn’t difficult at all. ¬†

Militza: For a start, we really need to re-think the entire idea of cleaning. You don’t need a sterile environment in the home, I mean, you’re not doing surgery in the kitchen!

Take it one step at a time. For general cleaning, use vinegar. It has natural antimicrobial properties, and it basically can replace the disinfectants that you use. Once you get going, it can actually be quite fun. And you can start experimenting with different herbs, and use their natural properties to create the effects that you need. For example, lemon helps to cut grease, so lemon juice can be added to a vinegar solution to make a de-greasing solution. And for anything that you need to scrub, just mix vinegar and baking soda, which is effective for removing soap scum and stains.

The best part is, these are all food-grade items, and you no longer need to worry about what happens if your child gets in contact with them.

Q) How do we know that these natural methods work?

Del: We do a lot of research into the methods we recommend (quite a number of natural methods have actually been tested and researched by scientists) and we test these out in our own homes! There’s a science behind these natural methods that make them work, and that’s what we try to explain to those who attend our workshops.

Militza: We are about finding real and practical solutions to our everyday needs…these are not old wives’ tales! The methods and the ingredients that we talk about have been used throughout time and are shown to be effective by modern scientific testing. So we do the research, we use these methods in our own homes, and we believe in them! ¬†¬†

Here’s a study done which tested vinegar against e-coli¬†and found vinegar to effectively¬†inhibit its¬†growth. What’s interesting too is that they found that adding table salt to the solution made it even more effective for the prevention of bacterial food poisoning. We will definitely be showing parents how to clean with vinegar and table salt to maintain a healthy home.

Q) Will going natural burn a hole in my pocket?

Militza: Not really. On the contrary, it might help you save a bit in the long run. Because as you get used to DIY and using things like baking soda and vinegar (which are cheap when you buy in bulk), you might realise that you no longer need a different product for each area of your home. You also spend less time shopping. So with the money that you save, you can think about investing them in really quality products that you believe in.

Q) I’m game to try this out, but how do I convince my mum to go natural too?

Del: I think you can start with an area which she uses frequently, for example the kitchen top, and try showing her what she can use in place of her usual cleaner. Once she sees that it works, it gets easier to move on from that specific area to other areas. It all begins with simple steps!

~~~

Thanks, Militza and Del, for sharing your experience on going green with us!

If you want to find out more about going green, do check out their Green Living Facebook page for more updates on upcoming workshops. You can also read about what I learnt from their ‘Non-toxic homes’ workshop.

Non-toxic homes, healthier families

green - cleaner's basket

What do you use to clean your house? Have you ever thought about what goes into your common bottle of household cleaner? If you’re anything like me, chances are it’s never really crossed your mind.

I attended a Green Living workshop conducted by Militza Maury and Delphinia Tam-Lower today.¬†Militza is the founder and author of¬†Little Green Dot, an online guide to the best ideas, brands and places to living an eco-friendly lifestyle, and Del’s family is behind¬†Four Cow Farm, a range of all-natural baby skincare made right on the family farm in Australia.

Together, they taught us how to detox our home. For starters, they introduced us to a few potent and toxic ingredients that are commonly found in everyday household cleaners, such as:

  • Bleach (which releases poisonous fumes when mixed with certain chemicals, like those in toilet bowl cleaners)
  • Phthalates (linked to asthma and allergies in children, birth defects in male children, and reduced sperm count in adult males)
  • Fragrances (primary emitters of Volatile Organic Compounds, many of which have carcinogenic potential)
  • Silica (known to be cancer-causing when inhaled. Found in many abrasive cleaners.)

Then they taught us to use these common kitchen ingredients:

  • Baking soda (great for absorbing odors and neutralizing the pH of water, which helps detergents to work better)
  • Vinegar (great for breaking down minerals found in water, which is the cause of water sans. Also a disinfectant, shown to kill viruses, germs and bacteria. Do not use on marble as it is acidic.)
  • Olive oil (great for hydrating and adding shine to wood and leather)
  • Herbs & Spices (many contain natural antimicrobial properties, can also be used to add a natural scent to your cleaning solutions)
  • Lemon (helps to cut grease, bleach and disinfect)

Okay, so now we know what’s good and what’s not. Then what? If you’re a beginner like me, it’s better to take it one step at a time.¬†Here’s where the action plan they provided comes in handy.

1. Review your products at home

Scrutinize your household cleaning products; read the ingredients and look for warnings. Consider chucking those with bad ingredients away.

2. Find safer alternatives

You can either buy products that do not contain any bad ingredients. Or simply make your own.

3. Keep questioning, keep researching

Make it a point to read the label of what you are buying. Develop a critical mind, and don’t be fooled by clever marketing language. (For example, I discovered today that “organic” vegetables does not mean no pesticide, it just means certain approved pesticides are used instead.)

Lastly, I would like to say this: information is power, but it is people and relationships that empower.¬†Get connected with like-minded people and share ideas and solutions with one another. (This is where I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet Del and Militza, and for friends who have inspired me to think green.)

Although I went home with a lot of information, what’s more important is that a new window in my mind has been opened. I’m going to be far more critical and wary of products and labels from now on.

Oh yes, before I forget, I also got to take home some DIY cleaning agents that we made on the spot. (What’s pretty amazing is that these were so simple to make! Tip: You just need to keep lots of glass bottles to hold your concoctions with.)

Here is the grease-remover, made of two parts water and 1 part vinegar, plus a good measure of lemon juice. (I was quite excited to try it out, so I used some to wipe down the sink, and it helped to get rid of some of the water stains quite effectively.)

green greasecutter

And this is the deodorizer – mainly baking soda with your choice of tea leaves or dried herbs, which can be used to replace common cleaners such as Febreze. I chose to add a mix of chamomile, lime, flowers, lavender, and rose petals, which our hosts kindly provided us with. We are supposed to just sprinkle the mixture onto our upholstery or mattresses, leave them for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

green deodoriser

Don’t they look quite pretty too? You can even give them away as gifts to inspire others. It was quite thoughtful of our hosts to provide us with pens, ribbons, ready-made stickers and stuff!

green - pretty things

All in all, I give the workshop two thumbs up. We had loads of fun learning about cleaning (I mean, I seriously never thought I would get this excited over housework. Like, seriously?)

I was also happy to bring home stuff that I can actually use!

I must confess I felt a little heavy-hearted though, because I wish I had been aware of these things earlier. I keep kicking myself to stop thinking of the toxins that we’ve been inhaling all this while.

Still, better late than never…

Here are some of the recipes we took home. Do give it a try, or if you need more information, feel free to get in touch with Militza or Del, or find out when their next Green Living workshop will be held.¬†If you’d like to stay informed on the latest¬†knowledge, tips and tools to help make our lives greener, simpler, and healthier, do check out their¬†Facebook page.

I’m so happy to be kick-starting a green project for our home. Will¬†update you guys when I make progress. Please let me know if you’re going to embark on this mission too ya? And yes, please share whatever ideas you may have. Would love to hear em!

PS. I met a lovely mom blogger called Jayne at the workshop. Do also read about her green experience here.

PPS. Ruth did a pretty cool summary of the different uses of baking soda, and Delphine also shares about her experience with the Green Living workshop. Be sure to check out their posts for more details!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...