Sunday 5 June 2016

Camping with Eco-Friendly Products

I’d love to hear what eco- friendly products you use at camping to minimise your footprint?  Not just cleaning products, but the ones we put on our bodies and our children’s bodies.  One organic product developer says, ‘we should not put on our bodies anything we would not eat’.  YUCK, the thought.  I suspect when we wash it off in our waterways or dump our grey water, we are feeding it to nature and all her inhabitants.  Can’t be good, so what are some alternatives you’ve found?

Here are a few alternatives to traditional commercial products I’ve started to use…

Disinfectant - A tablespoon of Water Soluble Eucalyptus in a litre of water is a great option for sterilising benchtops and wash basins.  Eucalyptus will help deter bugs of all kinds, including mosquitoes and cockroaches.

Household Cleaners - Vinegar and water in a spray bottle is fabulous cleaning option and especially good on any form of glass products.

Dish liquids – I have tried a few different ones and I like the Earth Choice.  I found some others did not suds up.  Others didn’t smell great and another that felt slimy.
  • Carmel says "Unimat Dishwash and Green Action laundry liquid are both grey water safe and Australian made and did I mention cheap?" 
  • Mary says " Buy Earth products. The laundry liquid and washing up detergent range is available at Reject shop for $2 @"

Soap - Many doctors believe we should not use soap at all to bathe and instead, simply wash ourselves off with water and apply Sorbolene to clean and moisturise our skin.  A few drops of water soluble eucalyptus in a tub of water is a great alternative for the kids to wash their hands.  At least you don’t have to worry about the soap going soggy or dropping on the ground.

Shampoos & Conditioners - There are some fabulous organic and septic suitable shampoos and conditioners on the supermarket shelves.  Have you found one you really like?  The only one I have found is the Organic Care range but I did find that my hair felt itchy after a few weeks and I found myself leaving my conditioner only half washed out.  I did this so it didn’t knot as much.  I would like to find a better option.

Insect repellents – There are lots of natural products and combinations of aromatherapy oils to use for keeping away mosquitos and other bugs.  Most of them have a tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus or organic citronella bases.  Others suggest adding lovely scents like lemon myrtle, cedarwood and my personal favourite geranium which has immune boosting and healing properties.  If you prefer a commercial product, Bug Off Me or Bug Another are the two organic one’s I have heard most spoke about.

Sunscreen – Seems to not be a big range or highly recommended alternatives to traditional sunscreen.  I still stick to the Cancer Council sunscreens. The only two commercial brands I found which were recommended are ‘Wot Not and Soleo’.  Nothing beats a hat, sunglasses, a long sleeve shirt and not spending too much time in the sun though.  We still live in a generation that highly recommends sunscreen, even with the concerns about nanoparticles.  Keep an eye out for signage at some pristine gorges, as you will start to see more and more prohibiting swimming if you are wearing sunscreen and insect repellents.  Not sure what the answer to this is.  Let me know if you hear of one.

Moisturisers - Sorbolene is a wonderful all-purpose moisturiser and makeup remover.  We are often in the sun, wind and water when camping and this is a great way to protect our skin from the elements as well as clean us (see soap).  VegeSorb is an even better and more organic version and I can personally recommend it as a lovely gentle product.

Deodorants - The organics community have designed some wonderful aluminium free deodorants and others have gone further with minerals salts.  I like the Vanessa Megan range -

Perfumes – Who needs perfume if you have mixed your favourite combination of aromatherapy oils to chase away the bugs?  Maybe add a drop of sandalwood, vanilla or geranium and you will smell a treat.

When shopping, if you can find products that say ‘suitable for septic’ than you are more likely to have found a more eco-friendly option.  That does not necessarily mean it is a good product, chemical free or good for the environment.  It simply means it will have a better chance of breaking down in the environment.  Most commercial products need to go through an urban treatment plant to be safe to be released back into the environment.

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