The Mighty Soap Nut

I would like to introduce you to one of the most amazing nuts in the world and no i am not on about myself lol….. THE SOAP NUT.

Soap Nuts have been used for many centuries going back as far as the as ancient asians. The nuts themselves come from the Soap Berry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi) found in the Himalayas. What makes them so special is that each nut can produce a substance called SAPONIN. Saponin is a surfactant and has the amazing ability to clean many things around the home, it can also be used as a screen wash for your car, boil some water and flax seed and you can make a chemical free shower gel and shampoo.

The thing we love about Soap Nuts, is they are 100% natural and when done with them you can add them to a compost pile. They are not irritant to the skin and so ideal if you suffer from some sort of skin condition such as eczema, which makes them as far as we are concerned, the most valuable and amazing nut on the planet.

So far we have made washing up liquid, car screen wash and have used them several times to wash our clothes, the key to getting them to work effectively is you have to get them warm so try adding 1 cup of soap nuts to 5 cups of water, bring them to the boil for around 20-25 minutes, part way through we find it best to use a potato masher but anything will do, crush them this will help release some extra Saponin we also added a cut up lemon and orange, firstly for the smell and secondly because the lemon helps cut through grease.

When washing clothes we find a small handful of around 10-12 nuts works best, tie them up in a muslin style bag and then just pop them in your washing machine, with white washing add a cup of bicarbonate soda and to soften the clothes a small amount of white wine vinegar, you can also add a essential oil at the same time, dont worry your clothes wont smell of vinegar it will be gone by the time you take your clothes out of the machine, if you would rather not add the nuts to your washing machine then you could always just add some of the liquid soap you have made previously. We also found that they can do around 3-4 washes so dont throw them straight in the bin, we spread ours out after each load to allow them to dry. One important thing you should remember with this is due to the water involved, you should not make to much liquid in one go, however if you do want to make a large amount you can always freeze some, just pour the liquid soap into ice cube trays and take them out as and when you require them.

We as a family give this product a 5 out of 5 for good environmental impact and a 5 star for practicality. We would recommend anyone trying to live a life free from a negative environmental impact to get these as they will not only reduce your global footprint but also save you many hundreds of pounds on cleaning products and toiletries throughout the year.

I use this company on amazon for mine you get 1kg for £9.95 and let me tell you that will last you for ages Salveo

Please let us know how you get on with this product yourself.

We will be adding some recipes for toiletries and cleaning products we have tried, to save you time as we test each one and remember subscribe for our updates, to receive updates.

If you have any products you would like to suggest please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading once again and dont forget you can find us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/zerowastevegan2019/

Living a Zero Waste life

For sometime we as a family have been looking into ways we can reduce the effects we have on the environment. Our biggest concern is about the amount of plastic we seem to use and the longterm effects it has on the world we live in. Currently millions upon millions of tiny pieces of plastic called micro plastics are floating around the sea, these plastics slowly over time break into smaller and smaller pieces but never go away, video footage has shown small tiny Plankton consuming these tiny fragments, in turn the Plankton are eaten by bigger fish and they in turn are eaten by bigger fish, until we get to the greatest of all sea creatures the Whale.

Coral Reefs that have been around for many thousands of years are now dead because of the pollution caused by plastic and oil in the water, complex colonies have now disappeared, and the many thousands of colourful corals and fish have all moved on or died.

Even the birds who feed on the big blue sea are affected by the plastic in the ocean, many hundreds of birds are now being found on beaches around the world with stomachs full of plastic, because of this they are unable to consume normal food and starve to death, this is not only found in adult birds but the young as well. Even the Great Whale is effected by the plastic we produce, recently i saw footage of such a sad site, the video showed a whale lying on a beach slowly dyeing from starvation and the people could only stand and watch at the time unsure why this was happening, it was only when they did a autopsy afterwards that they found a large amount of plastic in the stomach of the whale, it was unable to consume or digest anymore and so passed away.

The problem we face today is a emergency that all need to wake up to, the plastic we use and discard is poisoning our oceans, the food we eat and the air we breathe, i worry about the future we are leaving our children and for future generations, the fact is we all have a choice we are the caretakers of this unique world, it is our responsibility to protect it, by reducing the amount of plastic we produce we may start to reverse the harm we have done.

This is why we as a family have decided to live a life without single use plastic, we realise this is not a easy task as plastic is everywhere we look, its in our homes, in the cars we drive, the planes we fly, the toiletries we buy and holds the food we eat. Now obviously we understand that we cannot rid our lives totally of plastic after all i am typing on a keyboard and the keys are made of plastic my phone to has plastic in it some where or other, but there are certain things we can do to reduce our impact, for instance no longer buy products that come i single use plastics, make some of our own toiletries and cleaning products, source what we need from companies that do not use plastic.

This Blog is our Journey and what we have learned that we wanted to share with you who is reading this, we hope you find it helpful.

Living Without Impact