3 Ways to Keep Your Baby Safe from Toxic Chemicals

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We absolutely loved being invited along to The Fourth as a guest speaker to share our knowledge on reducing the chemicals around your little one and wellness in the home. It can be overwhelming with all the new information we’re given as a new Mama so just take on board what you can and when you have the time or energy see if you can make a few easy switches so it feel easeful not stress-y.

“I was at the Fourth the other morning, I’ve purchased Rascal nappies instead of Huggies. They are exactly the same price point except none of the nasties so that was a no-brainer too! I use flannels instead of baby wipes anyways and I hope to make the switch to re-usable nappies too! Thanks for sharing all the info.” - Emily.

We covered 3 main areas to think about with the littles ones which are touching their skin the most:

1. Nappies

I was shocked to find out most nappies are sprayed with a very toxic chemical - formaldehyde! Urghhh gross. 🤮 Rascal and Friends are formaldehyde free, so we choose them for disposables. Even better again are reusables, they are seriously rad for lil bums + our planet. If you have the time + energy or have been thinking about it give them a go! It’s surprisingly fun scrubbing them, very satisfying, less horrifying for your rubbing bin, and there’s so many funky patterns out there.  I was scared to start but now love it! Just wash them first which brings me into number 2...

2. Wash EVERYTHING before putting on bubs

Clothes, bedding, play mats, blankets. 🧶Again our nasty friend formaldehyde is around plus toxic dyes etc. Wear clothes until they’re dirty rather than washing daily (esp pre solids), they’ll also last for longer. Avoid it completely by buying second hand or cranking the hand-me-downs! Also more planet-friendly.

3. Baby wipes.

I invite you to check out the ingredients listed on the back of your current pack. There’s heaps of shitty ingredients that you wouldn’t want touching your babes bum if you knew they weren’t safe! Phenoxyethanol, isopropyl myristate, basically any words that are super long and sound like they’re from a science lab- ARE! The water wipes are great as they use grape seed extract (sounds natural coz it is!). Many wipes are made with a synthetic cloth and plastics, which do not biodegrade, or chlorine bleached. So even better.... make your own- our recipe is on our blog OR if that seems to hard just use a water and a cloth or chop up an old sheet. Yes it really is that simple.

Even if you change just ONE thing it’ll make a world of difference and could stop 2, 4, maybe 10 chemicals from being around your babe and that makes a massive difference.

Pat yourself on the back for any changes you make! You’ve got this Mama, you’re doing amazing!

Small actions towards a healthier family and a healthier earth

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Spurred into action by a little one with eczema, discover the journey of two kiwi Mums, Kat and Olivia Darling Buds of Play, who are saying goodbye to the JIF and chemical cleaners and give our products a go!

"I used soaps on my kids and cleaners around the house with no thought to how this might affect their health, or the health of the planet.

Then Connor started getting eczema. Goodbye bubble baths and goodbye fruity smelly soap. Hello aqueous cream. Suddenly I was aware of all the chemicals that were a key part of my daily routine." - Darling Buds of Play

Can you relate? I loved hearing about Kat’s journey as it’s SO relatable because I think most of us at some point had that light bulb moment and wondered what is actually in that JIF and how is it affecting our health!?

These two conscious Mums are so passionate about our earth and raising eco-kids (so are we!). They share some amazing tips over on their blog plus sell a range of handmade wooden products for play and home.

Click the link below to get the full scoop! 👇

https://darlingbudsofplay.nz/blog/small-actions-towards-a-healthier-family

Get your Compost on!

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Compost, it’s nature’s way of recycling and one of the easiest (and I think fun!) ways to have a greener home. Turn your food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, paper, cardboard – toilet rolls, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, into nutritious compost that your plants will love.

It’s way easier than you’d ever imagined if you follow a few of our simple tips below:

  • Layering the green matter (food scraps, coffee grinds + grass clippings) and brown matter (cardboard, paper, leaves) like a giant lasagne will work a treat!

  • Turn and water your compost every few weeks so it’s slightly damp.

  •  A mix of water + molasses will really give it a good kickstart and get all the good bacteria on board 

  •  Skip meat, dairy and cooked food as it might attract pesky pests. We’ve found small amounts of citrus + onion is OK but avoid loads.

  • The compost will take around 3 months to break down. So we have two bins on the go, one we are digging up and using on the garden and the other we are filling up and it works out perfectly.

Digging up that rich, yummy compost and putting your veggie patch is a very satisfying thing to do! Not to mention you save yourself a trip to Bunnings and $ by making your own.

If you’ve got a small space or apartment check out Bokashi kit that will fit under your kitchen sink. You’ll still feel bad wasting food but certainly not as bad as if it’s going to the tip where apparently biodegradable items are ‘mummified’ in between all the other crap, shock horror.

Will you give it a go? What good tips have we missed?


DIY Baby Wipes for Happy lil Bums!

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Store bought baby wipes can be full of some nasty sh#t, that you don't want to be using on your bubba, so even if they are claiming to be good for 'sensitive skin' or "free of this" and "free of that" always check the actual ingredients list. We reach for the WaterWipes as a back up when our DIY's run out. These have the most simple ingredients - water and grapeseed extract which is super natural and chemical-free. Better yet make your own, you'll know exactly whats in them, it'll save you $, it's very satisfying and that little bottom will thank you for it!!

Here is our DIY Baby Wipes Recipe:

- Thick Paper Towels like Viva (or reusable cloths)

- 1 tablespoon Organic Castile Soap (or you could substitute for a natural dishwashing liquid or baby shampoo)

-1 teaspoon of jojoba oil (or substitute coconut oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil etc)

- 1 tablespoon Witch Hazel (optional)

- 1 tablespoon Rose water (optional)

- 1 3/4 cups of water

- 6-8 drops Lavender Essential Oil (once bubs is 3 months +)

- Ice-cream container / lunch box / large glass jar / or similar sized container

1. Cut the paper towels in half using a sharp knife.

2. Mix the liquid ingredients together.

3. Pop one half of the paper towels (use the other half next time) face up in the container and pour the liquid over it . Flip the container to make sure it's all getting a good soak-y soak. You may need to add more or less depending on the brand of paper towels.

4. Once they’re soaked, you can just pull the cardboard roll right out of the middle and pull up one wipe, which will get the roll started. Now you're ready to roll!!

Pop a few in a zip lock bag for on the go. For super simple or sensitive skin just use the paper towels and water and skip the other ingredients. Happy bums all round! What do you think - will you give it a go?!

Conscious Chrissy Shopping

If you’re voting with your $ this Chrissy, ditch the big chain stores and give a handmade gift that is unique and you won’t find anywhere else! Plus go natural and get those feel-good feelings knowing it’s better for our bodies, homes and planet! Winning!

So if you haven’t realised it’s less then 30 days till Christmas (eeeek, did that sneak up on you too!?). We’re giving you a heads up that we’re having a wee SALE, starting early next week!! If you're after a handmade, sustainable, natural gift then SNB is perfect!  We've put together below some people that would love these products in their lives:

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Chill Me Out Spray

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want more calm in their life!?Ideal to support those who have just started a new job, have toddlers / kids, or for your partner that needs all the help they can get to fall asleep. Shop here.

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Perfume oils

All the ladies will be sure to love these! Whether it's your bestie, sister, mum, teacher, these gorgeous perfume oils are created with beautiful blends of essential oils and jojoba. Shop here.

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Organic Foaming Soap

The perfect stocking filler for guys or girls who love a bit of style in their bathroom or kitchen, and want to bring some joy into mundane tasks like hand-washing, shop here.

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Organic Floor Cleaner

For those family or friends who have little ones that are crawling. They'll love you for giving them a natural, non-toxic Floor Cleaner that is super safe for kids and pets (I'm sure they'd love it if you actually mopped their floors for them too!) Shop here.

Stay tuned for the CHRISSY SALE coming next week!

The Ultimate 8 Spring Cleaning Tips

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After many evenings spent in big woolly socks curled up on the couch sipping red wine, chowing down hot stews and stuffing our faces with chocolate self-saucing pudding it’s time for us to emerge from hibernation (and start shaving our legs again). Spring is a time for renewel and rebirth, inviting new beginnings and releasing things that are no longer serving us, and why not include our homes in this too? Spring cleaning and decluttering is a bit of a ritual in our household and let’s be honest (after its done!) it just makes us feel better! With less stuff and clutter, we can have a better focus on what matters.

A few quick tips include working from the top down to avoid having to clean twice. Also get yourself some good gloves to protect your hands and use natural cleaning products so you aren’t having to breathe in toxic fumes and the surfaces in your home aren't covered with harmful chemicals. Look for products that are plant-based and use essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances. Feeling a tad overwhelmed on where to begin? Here’s a few quick notes to get you started:

1.         Deep clean mattresses – sprinkle with baking soda mixed with a few drops of calming essential oils like lavender, ylang ylang or geranium. Let sit for at least an hour and then vacuum off. Then air mattress in sunlight which will naturally help kill bacteria and germs. Sweet dreams.

2.       Wash all bedding and pillows and dry in the sun which is one of our best natural anti-bacterial masters – spritz bedding and linen with our Chill Me Out Spray for that extra freshness and loveliness.

3.       Clear out wardrobe and draws – put winter clothes away/donate to charity if you haven’t worn in 12 months or host a clothes swap party. Get your summer clothes out, hooray! Again, you can spritz those summer clothes with our Uplifting Citrus Spray.

4.       Declutter and organise – books, magazines, photos, even that bottom drawer in the kitchen! Ask the kids to choose some toys to donate to charity. Be ruthless and if it’s not adding value to your life, then donate it! You’ll feel better for it, trust me.

5.       Dust the obscure: pictures, art, light fittings, air-con units, fans.

6.       Empty out fridge and clean with our Organic Cleaning Spray - throw out all those jars of sauces that expired in 2012! 

7.       Vacuum sofas after sprinkling with some baking soda, and spot clean using our Organic Cleaning Spray which helps remove stains

8.   Give EVERYTHING (benches, tables, bathrooms, fridges, draws, couches) a good spray down afterwards with our no-wipe Natural Disinfecting Spray to help blast germs and leave your home smelling like deliciousness. 

Still feels like a bit of a never-ending insurmountable task? Just start one room at a time and enlist some helpers - getting the kids (or hubby) involved teaches them responsibility, monkey see, monkey do. Be brutal with things you are no longer using let them go, donate if you can, recycle or upcycle.

Now close your eyes and imagine that your home is perfectly de-cluttered, organised and fresh for spring… you feel calm and serene, think of all that extra space, the beautiful feng shui energy in your home, and that amazing sense of accomplishment! Now it’s definitely wine time!

How to Make Your Own Eco Wood Polish

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This is seriously SO simple to make that instead of reaching for that icky toxic aerosol spray we can use our own homemade concoction that your wood will soak up and love. 

Recipe:

½ cup of Grapeseed or Olive Oil or Almond Oil

Optional:

Juice of 1 lemon OR

x10 drops of Orange Essential Oil

x5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

Mix in small bottle/container and use a cloth to gently polish for beautiful shining wood! YES it really is that easy and in dire times I've literally grabbed the olive oil bottle straight from the cupboard and applied it to my cloth!

Then sit back and feel that great empowered feeling that comes from banishing one more toxic product from your home and replacing it with a natural, eco-friendly one that you can make yourself, high-fives!

31 DAYS OF PLASTIC-FREE INSPO!

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"Think about it...why would you make something that you are going to use for a few minutes out of a material that's basically going to last forever. What's up with that?"  - Jeb Berrier, BagIt movie

It’s July already! This means as well as freeeezing our butts off, we are trying to eliminate and reduce all single-use plastics. It's hard ok! We take a little step back and scrutinise what we are buying, what it's packaged in, and step away slowly if it's in plastic. EVERYTHING is in plastic! Takeaway coffee cups. Plastic Water bottles. Takeaway containers. When you put plastic in the bin there is no "away", it's on our planet and will never fully break down. Here’s the problem: Plastic will last FOREVER. It will never fully break down or degrade. It will keep piling up in our landfills, floating around in our oceans entangling, getting eaten by and killing sea life and birds. 

We've come up with some easy tips to keep you going for the rest of the month and seriously, every little bit helps! Some of these tips require an investment first up, but here’s the thing, you’ll be able to reuse it again and again, saving the planet and a couple of bucks too. 

 1st - Treat yourself to an double scoop ice-cream cone rather than the plastic lined containers. 

2nd - Drink what's on tap at the pub – another round of pints please! 

3rd -  Go to bulk bin refills for herbs and spices, whole foods, oats, nuts and dried fruits etc, we love the options at Wild Earth Organics

4th -  Switch gladwrap to beeswax wraps – they’ll keep your sandwiches just as fresh we promise! We love ours from Kiwi Wraps

5th -  Head to your local butchers or farmers market for fresh meat rather than the supermarket meat wrapped unnecessarily in plastic. 

6th - While you're at the farmers market grab fresh fruit and veg – go the extra mile and use cotton bags for fruit and veg, we love ours from Eco Saint.

7th - Choose plastic-free takeaway options or take your own reusable glass or stainless containers.

8th - Invest in a stainless steel drink bottles rather than buying plastic water bottles – it's a no-brainer plus no need to worry about the BPA leaching.

9th -  Create your own toothpaste - mix baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil – I’ve since been to the dentist and my teeth passed all the tests, promise!! 

10th -  Upgrade to real butter (wrapped in paper) instead of margarine in a plastic container – tastes better too (or making my own at home is something I’ve wanted to try!)

11th -  Create your own drinks with a soda stream maker instead of buying fizzy drinks – explore with delicious cordials like Elderflower, or if you like the soda water it's ready to roll.

12th - Create your own yoghurt with an Easiyo Maker instead of buying yoghurt in plastic container.

13th -  Try baking bread at home or choose fresh bread that comes in paperbag – fresh bread wafting through the house, yes please!

14th  -  Choose tea bags that aren’t individually wrapped and are compostable.

15th -  Invest in a reusable keep cup when ordering takeaway coffees – some cafes give a discount, score!

16th - Ladies, Invest in a reusable silicone cup rather than single use sanitary items– it's waaay better for YOU and our planet. We love and use Lunette.com.au

17th - Say no to receipts – easy peasy. 

18th -  Choose glass or cardboard cartons of milk rather than plastic.

19th  - Use coconut oil in a glass jar to replace night creams, hair moisturising products – add a few drops of your favourite essential oil like Frankincence or Rose Geranium. 

20th -  Use material napkins and cloths instead of paper towels.

21st -  Upgrade to a pair of bamboo glasses instead of plastic – be the coolest kid on the block, check out the stylish range at ECOO

22nd -   Switch plastic straws to stainless steel/bamboo/glass straws – your smoothie will taste better, trust me. 

23rd -  Say no to the plastic bag and take a reusable bag – way easier to get your groceries home safely!

24th -  Keep old glass jars and use for storage/making candles/drinking cups – we keep our old marmalade jars for vintage looking drinking jars.

25th - Use a soap bar instead of body wash/shampoo/conditioner– this sustainable company is leading the way in soap shampoos and conditioners Ethique that really work! #giveupthebottle

26th -  Invest in a wooden dishbrush instead of a plastic one  - check out our sustainable beechwood wooden products Redecker.

27th -  Choose refillable cleaning products - we offer refills on most of our products! 

28th -    Invest in glass storage containers for food instead of plastic ones (better in microwave too).

29th -   Invest in wooden/stainless steel cooking utensils instead of plastic - try Meals in Steel.

30th  -  Switch your plastic toothbrush to bamboo toothbrush.

31st - Wash clothes using soap nuts or choose our Natural Laundry Power in a compostable bag (coming very soon!).

We hope we've armed you with some plastic-free ammo that you'll be able to incorporate into your every day life. If we stop buying it, they'll stop making it. Have fun on your plastic-free journey and get a bit creative out there!! We hope you end up becoming as addicted to low-waste as we have.

EUCALYPTUS - OUR BFF FOR WINTER

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Getting a bit sniffly? We've got some great tips on how you can use Eucalyptus Essential Oil through-out these chilly months to enhance your winter wellness. 

Eucalyptus Essential Oil works as a decongestant when you are stuffed up and blocked so has got your back for those snotty noses during winter.  Here's our top tips for use:

#1 - Diffuser

Add a few drops to the DIFFUSER (with Lemon Myrtle or Orange is absolutely divine).

#2-Steaming Bowl

Add 2-3 drops in a steaming BOWL of water, cover your head with a towel and breathe.

#3 - Shower Diffusing

Pop a few drops in the bottom of your SHOWER and let the steam diffuse throughout the bathroom. 

#4- Bathtime

Add 4-6 drops into your BATH with 1/2 cup of epsom salts and let it ease your muscles and mind.

#5 - Instant Relief

Pop one drop into your PALM rub together and breathe for a quick fix.

#6- Chest Rub

Mix 3 drops Eucalyptus and 1 drop peppermint with a base oil such as coconut, apricot kernel and use a chest rub, which is oh-so nourishing!

We're using our Eucalyptus Essential Oil as part of our family wellbeing tool kit nearly every day so hope you can find some inspo!

ESSENTIAL OIL TRICKS FOR YOUR BATHROOM

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Everyone loves a nice smelling bathroom but without the nasty fragrances and toxic stuff (no thanks!). Here are our tips for a natural (and of course amazing!) smelling bathroom that will give you a spa-like experience in your own home:


#1 - The Loo Roll

Pop a few drops of essential oil in the inside of the toilet roll then every time you reach for loo paper you’ll get a fresh scent flying around, try Eucalyptus or Orange.


#2 The Hand Towel

A few drops onto your hand towel so when you dry your hands the essential oils will create an aromatherapy experience for you. We love Lemongrass or Rosemary (or both!) they have great anti-bacterial properties too so a double whammy.

#3 - The Shower

Try a few drops in the bottom of your shower. How about some Lavender or Chamomile in the evenings for caaaalm?  Lime or Bergamot in the morning for a wake-me-the-hell-up?! Leave them in or next to the shower so you don't forget. The heat from your shower will diffuse the drops up onto you and the bathroom activating all your senses for the ultimate aromatherapy experience– blissful!

#4 - The Loo Spray

Leave a SNB Uplifting Citrus Spray sitting quietly on top of your toilet to help keep everything smelling super fresh! A zesty blend of Lime, Orange, Lemongrass, Grapefruit and Lemon Myrtle.

You know how obsessed we are with essential oils!?  They are such versatile little bottles of magic and the best part if you can customise and choose the ones you love the most - citrus, floral, herby, spicy? Always look for 100% pure essential oils.

Most importantly have fun creating your natural bathroom sanctuary!

5 REASONS TO DITCH THE CHEMICALS IN YOUR HOME

Photo by Hayley Gemma

Photo by Hayley Gemma

Home is our safe haven where we relax, unwind and restore (like enjoying that glass of vino or kombucha). We get together at the end of the day to hang out over shared meals chat about our days (moan about our bosses!) and chill watching Netflix. For this very reason it is important that it is safe for our families, friends and furry-ones. Have you ever considered what is in the cleaners you are using in your home and how the hidden nasties might be affecting the health of your loved ones? We are mopping down the floors of our home with chemicals, leaving toxins on our clothes after washing them and wiping down our food-prep areas, benches and tables where we eat with these nasties. We think it’s time to clean up our acts by making the switch to eco-friendly natural products and here’s why:

#1  Our Health

If you start using safe natural products you will no longer be absorbing chemicals through the skin or breathing in the fumes. It’s a bit scary that studies have shown a link between toxic cleaners and asthmas, skin allergies, cancer and autism. If that’s not bad enough they can cause chemical burns to the skin and eyes, urgh no thank you! Children and pets have been known to get under the sink and into these toxic products which are poisonous if swallowed. There’s a lot we still don’t know about how these toxic chemicals can affect our bodies, so this in itself is enough for us to make the switch to natural cleaners.

#2 Indoor Air Pollution

That all familiar stench of pine that we've gotten used to as being 'clean'? Well it’s not so friendly my friends, it's actually toxic  SH#T and polluting the air in your home which can affect your breathing and lungs, possibly leading to respiratory problems. Automatic air-fresheners, aerosols and fly-spray are some of the worst culprits so best to get them out of your home ASAP. It’s best to stick to products with a natural essential oil scent, and benefit from the aromatherapy too! Look for green products that contain plant-based ingredients which are a million times safer. Plus we also love using green plants in our home to help purify the air as well as good ole fresh air so fling open those doors!

#3 Nasty Ingredients are not Listed

Warning: this is a tad scary. Most supermarket cleaners DO NOT list any of their ingredients or risks, and this is unregulated by the government. WTF so we don’t even know what is in them! We’ve gone behind the scenes to find out what is recommended before using the most common and popular all-purpose cleaner on our supermarket shelves: safety goggles, gloves, cotton overalls buttoned at neck and wrists, chemical resistant apron, and if there is no ventilation an approved respirator with a replaceable filter should be used. Really!? So we need to dress like there’s been a major apocalyptic event to be safely using these products in our own homes? We believe all ingredients should be clearly listed ON THE BOTTLE and if it contains toxic ingredients to include the risks and controls. That way we can make a conscious decision to use products in our home that are safe.

#4  Keep our Waterways Clean  

The toxic chemicals we use make their way back into our water systems when you flush the toilet, wash the dishes or chuck a load in the washing machine. The nasties can end up polluting in nearby rivers, lakes or ends up in our beautiful oceans harming our precious wildlife and ocean dwellers. Always choose biodegradable, grey water/septic safe at a minimum.

#5 Sustainable and Eco-friendly

Green and natural products offer better sustainable and eco-friendly options such as REFILL options. They might also be carbon neutral, cruelty free or have a charity they support. Basically, they actually care about our planet and your health and we're all for that! 

It’s quick and easy to run to the shops and grab one of the many bright coloured bottles that line the shelves that promises to make your cleaning chores at home quick and easy but choose wisely! We hope you might reconsider switching to a natural eco-friendly alternative so you know you're doing all you can to keep your home and everyone in it safe, healthy and happy. 

Start to detox your home today, http://secondnaturebotanicals.co.nz/shop/