Do you know what you’re spraying on your kitchen surfaces?

Have you ever breathed in noxious fumes while spraying a household cleaning product and wondered what else it might be doing to your body, your skin, your eyes or blood?

Take a look at this worrying sample list of chemicals.

Ingredients from plants, not chemical plants

For completely non-toxic cleaning products try Method. When you see natural on a Method label it means that 100% of the ingredients in that bottle come from natural sources, which means you can be confident that your home is not poisoning you.

Method has a big range and their products are technically innovative so you don’t have to use as much or pay as much. They also make sure that their cleaning bottles are made from recycled material and can be recycled – they call it ‘reincarnation’. Visit Method’s website to see all their Green credentials – the way they think through their green production process is very impressive.

GoodnessDirect recently brought in some new products from Method, including Hand Soaps, Laundry Liquids and Washing-Up Liquid, but for an entire list visit the Method pages on GoodnessDirect.

Bathe in pomegranates for a night of love (well almost)

I have a love affair with pomegranates. Most of humanity has. They keep popping up in folklore stretching back to the beginning of time.

But then it’s not surprising… Pomegranate is reputed to be very helpful for people suffering from eczema, psoriasis and sunburn and, when it comes to hair, pomegranate oil will transform lifeless locks to give them a radiant healthy looking sheen.

Anti-oxidant rich body and hair treatment
Pomegranates: for anti-oxidant rich body and hair treatment

All of which explains why Faith In Nature, producers of natural and vegan beauty products, combine Pomegranate with the antioxidant properties of Rooibos for its latest set of bath foam, shampoo and conditioner.

They say, “The result is gentle, yet effective formulations that are environmentally responsible and free from parabens, SLES and other nasties too.”

Pomegranate is also known for encouraging love, so the range might be the perfect thing to use just before that all important date.

Gift ideas for Christmas – making sure you get a headstart

Hopefully you’re not like me. You don’t leave Christmas shopping to the last minute. You even manage to remember Great Aunt Bertha who always seems to be happy with “a nice bar of soap”.

But if, like me, you find Christmas shopping a bit of a task then hopefully online shopping with GoodnessDirect could make it a bit easier. Try our sweet little online brochure– the first place to go for ideas.

Personally, I reckon Christmas hampers are just about the best present going. You can fill them with lots of goodies, and adjust the price according to your budget. The GoodnessDirect team will do the work for you. They can send the hamper anywhere in the UK but please be aware that the last date for orders will be Friday 16th December.

Imaginative gifts ideas include…

Attractive gift ideas
Attractive gift ideas

■ Cute and clever Bottle Shaped Cheeseboards and Coasters handmade from Recycled Glass.
■ Luxury bodycare items from Dead Sea Spa Magik and Weleda (Faith in Nature also have some wonderful gift sets at the moment).
■ Gorgeous boxes of chocolate.
■ And there’s The Salt Seller’s mystical Himalayan Salt lamps.
■ Oooh and don’t forget about our gift vouchers.

Whatever you get, I’m sure Great Aunt Bertha will be pleased.

Toothpaste – do you know what you’re putting in your mouth?

When you put toothpaste in your mouth do you really know what you’re putting in? Or when you use deodorant do you know what’s going on your skin?

That’s why I like natural based products with nothing artificial in them. Tom’s of Maine have been making hygiene items since the 1970s.

The thing I like about Tom’s of Maine is that their website explains each and every ingredient so you can see exactly what you’re getting – much like we do at GoodnessDirect – but with greater scientific detail.

Tom's of Maine
Webshot from Tom's of Maine

Each item has a list of ingredients and if you click through there’s a layman’s explanation of what the ingredient is…

Close up of webshot
Close up of webshot

They’ll also tell what the ingredient is for, where’s it’s come from, if there are any alternatives and what the risks might be. That’s pretty impressive.

Tom’s also have a great commitment to sustainability, they aim to keep their products affordable and their ethics animal friendly.

If you’d like to find out more about the Tom’s of Maine values, visit their YouTube Channel.

Advice for protecting children from toxins in your house

It’s simple really. ‘Get out the hoover and mop the floor – regularly.’

But a research group are concerned that simple house dust can affect the development of children’s brains, because of the toxic substances which it exposes infants to.

Canadian professor, Bruce Lanphear, published a dust study which shows that lead, mercury and tobacco particles in the home can affect babies and toddlers even in small amounts.

According to Professor Lanphear, ‘An infant will absorb about 50 per cent of ingested lead, whereas an adult absorbs about 10 per cent… This, combined with children’s frequent hand-to-mouth behaviour, places children at much greater risk.’

Has the toxic time-bomb finally exploded?
The effects are worrying: learning and behavioural disorders, asthma, cancer and birth defects. Lanphear actually connects exposure to lead with criminal activity, but toxins can also have an impact on a child’s education, violent tendencies and general contribution to society.

So what can a parent do?
■ Dust your house twice a week.
Use a damp cloth and wet mop as this collects dust better. Put away toys and leave shoes at the door as these can contribute to a dirty environment.

■ Use non-toxic cleaning.
Bleach isn’t needed for most cleaning and air fresheners should be avoided. In fact, fragrance-free detergents and non-toxic dry cleaning laundrettes are recommended. You can find lots of ‘green’ cleaning agents at GoodnessDirect.

■ Seal off rooms when decorating.
This is especially important in older homes where lead is more prevalent. Ventilate decorated rooms well and use heaters. Aim to buy less toxic chemical products for your DIY.

■ Pack away the plastic.
Generall avoid cooking with plastic, especially in the microwave, even if the bowl says “microwave safe”. Plastic toys and other items which are made of plastic and that children might bite are generally advised against.

■ Go for sustainably fished fish
This is because of the mercury found in certain types of fish and shellfish, particularly tuna. However, sustainably fished tuna and mackerel, herring, rainbow trout and salmon carry less mercury generally.

Win a water filter jug

Isn’t it funny how when you move to a new area you can always notice the difference in the taste of the water?

But it’s just water isn’t it? Well, we all know about the difference between hard water (great mineral taste but it furs up your kettle) and soft water (clean look and taste, saves money because the washing machine works better, but it’s difficult to rinse soap suds off)

Brita water filters are definitely on the soft water side – which means it will taste cleaner and produce a higher quality cup of tea or coffee. It’s even said that steaming food with purer water increases the food’s nutritional value.

If you’re interested in the benefits of a water filter I’ve got a Brita Marella water jug to give away. All you need to do is email me and I’ll enter you into a prize draw (make sure it has ‘Brita’ in the subject line). (The competition closes on Thursday 2nd June – UK based entrants only.)

Have you tried the Method Laundry Liquid yet? Smaller bottles and easier to use.

Laundry Revolution! That’s how Method are describing their new washing liquid.

Method - it’s a lean, mean, stain-fighting machine
Method - it’s a lean, mean, stain-fighting machine

That’s because: It’s easier. Four squirts straight into the machine – that’s it! And the bottle is so small and light it could fit into your handbag.

It’s smarter too. The liquid formula is ultra concentrated, it uses a 1/4 of the dose of the leading brand, but it’s made from plant-based ingredients too, which means…

It’s greener. It has a 35% smaller carbon footprint and it’s made of 95% natural and renewable ingredients. It’s a lean, mean, stain-fighting machine.

One surprised customer wrote:

The commercials often speak of how this or that product cleans so much better or leaves your clothes feeling softer, but I just don’t believe them. So when I get home and my wife tells me ‘this stuff is really good!’ I’m genuinely impressed.

We regularly use a leading brand of eco-friendly washing detergent, but thought we’d give the new Method Smartclean a try. The washing was notably cleaner and softer. The fragrance is pleasant, but not overpowering, and at 26p per wash we make quite a saving.

The 300ml bottles of Method Smartclean Laundry Free & Clear, Peony Blossom or Fresh Air can be found at GoodnessDirect. Try it and let us know what you think.