Recycling foil – do it right

Recycling foil – do it right

Let’s keep this short and sweet.

Most people have the best intentions when it comes to recycling but the ‘rules’ can be confusing, especially when many councils differ in their standards. Recycling rules for foil seem to be quite general across the board and I’ll give you my suggestions in this blog post, but of course, if you’re in doubt please seek further clarification.

How do you recycle foil?

1. Collect little pieces of foil (think chocolate wrappers, yoghurt seals etc.) – we have a container in our pantry for this purpose.

2. Grab a larger piece of foil, pop all the small pieces on top (keep any large pieces of foil, flat and ‘un-scrunched’, they’ll come in handy for this purpose).

3. Scrunch it up into a ball roughly the size of a tennis ball, and throw it into your recycling bin.

See quite simple!

You’ll find useful tips like this one in my new book, THE LIFESTYLE EDIT – On Sale Now!

Naturally, it would be better if you could reduce/eliminate your foil use altogether, but I am a realist and acknowledge that this isn’t on everyone’s radar. So for now, at the very least, please recycle your foil properly. Thank you!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read here for more information.

 

Small sustainable swaps that everyone can make

Small sustainable swaps that everyone can make

This week there has been some big wins on the sustainability front with Western Australia leading the way with its plans to ban single-use plastic items. Bravo! If you’d like to see what your state has planned, check out this graph from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

As for WA: “It will be done in two phases, with items such as plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws, thick plastic bags, polystyrene food containers and helium balloon releases banned from December 31 this year. Takeaway coffee cups that contain plastic, plastic produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics will be banned from the end of next year.” (source)

As wonderful as this news is for WA (hopefully the other states jump on board quick-smart!), I would love to encourage you to take some action now, rather than wait for the government to enforce it ??

Here are a few of the easiest sustainable swaps you can make to reduce your waste

Coffee cups

There are so many options available. I prefer the glass ones (and love these Joco cups), although metal is more practical if you’re a little rough/clumsy with your belongings (also handy if you have small children). While the ‘bio’ type takeaway cups are better in that they’re typically plant-based, most need to land in an industrial compost facility – and I see them get thrown into regular waste bins all the time.

It’s easy to be caught out without a reusable cup so make a habit of always popping your washed cup in your car/handbag/by your front door so it’s not forgotten. And of course, if you’re out and about without one and you really want a coffee, just dine in (or deny yourself the caffeine hit – you’ll definitely remember your cup for next time, trust me!)

Cutlery 

There are cutlery kits available to buy that come with cute tins to keep them safe and clean. But there is no need to make an extra investment, you could just nab some from your kitchen drawer and throw them into an old sock or small Tupperware-style container. Easy.

Produce bags

If you don’t want to buy reusable ones (these are made from recycled plastic too, closing the loop which is the goal!), you could choose to either make your own from old t-shirts if you’re handy or just cut the lower leg from old stockings. Or… simply use none! I often chase my ?? around my trolley when I’ve forgotten mine. Not a big deal at all!

Napkins and straws

The straws are available to buy, almost everywhere, often for a gold coin donation. I’ve seen them at so many cafes, and even at pubs and restaurants etc. As for napkins, you could use a handkerchief (one you have or you could make one if you’re handy with a sewing machine), or just use an old face washer – why not!

It only takes a little conscious thought and effort, plus some habit-forming (which won’t take long) before it’ll feel wrong to tear off a plastic bag or accept a paper/plastic cup.

Who’s already made sustainable swaps? And who’s ready to commit to one (or all!) of these swaps?

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read here for more information.

 

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Yes, you could just use white vinegar as a natural rinse aid replacement for your dishwasher – that’s what I have been using for years. However, I thought I would experiment and see if I could find an option that gave me even better results. And, guess what? I did!!

Just three ingredients for this one, and it really does work wonders ?️?

Dishwasher RINSE AID

Makes: 120 g | 4.2 oz Prep Time: <5min.

Ingredients

40 g | 1.4 oz citric acid

40 g | 1.4 oz boiling water

40 g | 1.4 oz clear alcohol

10 drops of essential oils (optional)

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oil in this recipe is lemon, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Method

1. Add citric acid and boiling water to a glass bowl and mix until dissolved.

2. Add remaining ingredients and stir, then allow to cool.

To Use

Fill rinse aid compartment with mixture, as required.

Recipe Notes

I have worked out my compartment size is about 120 g/ml but you may have a little left over. If so, store it in a glass jar (I keep any extra in a dark cupboard, but the fridge will help extend shelf life further).

Use the cheapest (plain) vodka you can find.

I trust that you will make the decision on whether this formula is suitable for your dishwasher. I cannot take any responsibility if your dishwasher doesn’t agree with this recipe.

Find the dishwasher tablet recipe here.

 

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

Mould in your shower?

Mould in your shower?

Mould, mould, mould. It’s an unsightly pain in the backside, right? It can sneak up on most of us, and even when we treat it, it seems to simply come back again, and again, and again…

Mould is an aesthetic issue, but it can also be quite a serious health concern. It has been recognised as a key indoor biological pollutant that may cause adverse health effects to the building’s occupants. It affects almost 1 in 3 homes and around 24% of the population cannot create the right antibodies. So every time they go into a water-damaged building, the result is inflammation of the brain and body which can be misdiagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or even worse, a mental illness. (source)

Each individual’s responses to mould exposure will vary depending on a number of factors such as health status, genetic makeup, allergies etc. (source). The main source of concern is inhalation of mould spores. Those spores are tiny and when they’re disturbed, they become airborne and easily inhaled.

Mould can be visible (think black mould), and hidden. It can typically be treated easily when it is present on non-porous surfaces.

Hidden mould could be identifiable from a persistent earthy smell, or ongoing symptoms that can’t be addressed any other way, although it can’t always be recognised this way. Caution needs to be taken when investigating hidden mould as the spores may be disturbed/released/aerosolised leading to the cross-contamination in the property. Professional help may be required if mould or dampness is suspected but cannot be observed. (source)

Dealing with the source of mould is the first step

Dampness/moisture is a key area of concern for mould growth in indoor environments. Dampness can be defined as any visible, measurable or perceived, unwanted and excess moisture in an indoor environment. (source)

Once moisture sits on a surface for more than 48 hours, the microbes on the surface will attempt to take over the space by producing endotoxins, mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds which can dramatically impact the indoor air quality and affect the health of the occupants. (source)

For the purpose of this blog post, I am going to suggest a method to treat everyday, surface mould in your bathroom. If you notice mould elsewhere in your home, or if you suspect your mould issue is extensive and hidden behind walls and flooring, I strongly suggest finding a mould specialist (Nicole Bijlsma, building biologist and wealth of information, recommends looking here).

What about commercial versus natural methods?

Did you know that the chlorine bleach many people use to deal with mould does not kill fungi? It may turn the mould white, but doesn’t actually kill the spores. Clove oil (and tea tree oil) are effective fungicides, although some research suggests that the amount required to treat mould can be an issue for those who are chemically sensitive; sodium percarbonate/hydrogen peroxide will help to remove the colour.

Cleaning Your Shower

Step 1: Clean your shower (screens and tiles) with this recipe.

Step 2: Wearing a mask (you could wear gloves too), treat areas affected by mould by applying either of these options:

* Paste option – 1⁄4 cup of sodium percarbonate, 2 tablespoons of hot water and 5 drops of clove (or tea tree) essential oil, mixed into a paste.

* Liquid option – 1⁄4 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) and 5 drops of clove (or tea tree) essential oil, combined in a spray bottle (dark-coloured glass is best here).

Step 3: Smear the paste or spray the liquid directly to affected areas. Leave it for as long as possible (at least 4 hours) and then rinse.

Step 4: Repeat until you can no longer see the mould stain, or until you are convinced the mould discolouration is set too deep for surface treatment. For deep-set mould discolouration, in grout and silicone seals, you may want to consider re-grouting, grout paint and resealing.

*Nicole Bijlsma’s protocol is to vacuum the affected non-porous surface using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter, then wipe with a damp microfibre cloth (soaked in ½ litre of water and a generous squirt of dishwashing liquid), and vacuum again. The cloths should then be rinsed thoroughly before reusing, and discarded (along with the HEPA filter and disposable vacuum cleaner bag) at the end of the process. You might like to try this method, and then hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate/water paste to help reduce discolouration.

Good luck!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Please read here for more information.

 

Eyebrow Conditioning Serum

Eyebrow Conditioning Serum

Eyebrows – you either notice them or you don’t. I never used to pay attention to them, and then in came the mid-2010s and BOOM, it’s all I see!

I wanted to find a natural alternative to store-bought growth serums and came up with this eyebrow conditioning serum recipe. It contains ingredients known to nourish the skin and hair, and promote hair growth. While I can’t scientifically demonstrate the effectiveness of this recipe, I can say that I noticed a marked improvement in the condition and thickness of my eyebrows while using this serum. I believe it also helps ‘tame’ those wayward hairs that want to rebel and grow sideways!

Eyebrow Conditioning Serum

Makes: 50 g | 1.8 oz  Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients

30 g | 1.1 oz castor oil

10 g | 0.4 oz avocado oil

10 g | 0.4 oz argan oil

20 drops of essential oils

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are rosemary and lavender, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Method

Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until combined. You might find it easier to add ingredients directly into a glass bottle with dropper top, or glass roller bottle, and shake to combine (add essential oils first to lessen the risk of them overflowing when you secure your lid).

To Use

Apply a small amount of serum to brows. Using a clean brow brush, sweep through in the direction of hair growth, and leave on.

Recipe Notes

You can leave the essential oils out if you prefer.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

Colouring and DIY

Colouring and DIY

I love colour, so do my kids, but we’ve learned over time to appreciate the softer shades that natural colours give us. In our home when we DIY, we mostly avoid micas and artificial food colouring. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use brighter colours; depending on the recipe, it can be way more fun to have colours that pop, for sure. It’s up to you to decide which colourings meet your needs.

Despite our love of all things natural, and our appreciation for softer natural hues, in our house we adopt the 80/20 rule; basically, we try to do the absolute, very best we can 80% of the time, and we give ourselves 20% grace for those things we can’t control or that we choose to take shortcuts with. This makes a natural life much more doable, fun and relaxing! I encourage everyone else to adopt a similar approach – this means that you can relax if you only have regular, artificial food colouring in your cupboard, and you want to colour your Lip Balm or Stretchy Spotty Sticky Goop hot pink! Be proud and focus on the fact that you’re doing such a great job of making natural goodies. Also, with my recipes, you won’t be eating the final products, so you might not be as worried about the colouring you use.

Let me help you navigate your way through the world of natural DIY and colouring, with some helpful guidance and suggestions.

What are the main types of colouring?

Natural powder – typically come from spices, fruits and vegetables. Here are some examples:

? Yellow/orange – turmeric, paprika, pumpkin, ginger

? Red – tomato, paprika

? Green – green spirulina, kale, spinach

? Pink/purple – beetroot, pitaya (dragon fruit), hibiscus

☕ Black/brown – activated charcoal, cocoa, cinnamon, coffee

? Blue – blue spirulina

Natural Liquid – sometimes you need to use quite a lot to get a good punch of colour. There are many brands on the market selling natural liquid colours.

Artificial (liquid and powder) – typically used in cooking and cake-decorating, usually very bright, and you may not need very much to get a big result.

Cosmetic micas – minerals naturally formed from rocks and used to add shimmer and colour to recipes. Many are coated in bright, artificial colours. Always handle these with caution, never inhale them, and make sure you’re using cosmetic-grade micas that are designed to be used on the body.

Here is a useful colour comparison chart for you (I coloured some Fun Dough from my kids DIY recipe book, Make & Play):

Which colouring is best?

Depending on which recipe you’re making, you might need to use a powdered or liquid colouring. Sometimes, a specific colouring really is the better choice and, in these cases, I’ll point it out. Feel free to have a play around though; you are most welcome to experiment, in fact, I encourage it. Just keep in mind that some natural powdered colours and spices don’t mix perfectly well into oils and waxes, and in some recipes, liquids just aren’t a good choice.

If I haven’t suggested a quantity, that’s because it doesn’t matter and it is up to you how much colouring you use to get your desired outcome. It’s always advisable to add a little bit at a time – you can always add more, but it’s near impossible to take it away!

Can you make your own colouring?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: You can dehydrate (dry) and blitz, or boil down, many fruits and vegetables to get natural colourings. Although these types of colourings can work in natural DIY, from my experience, the liquids just don’t last very long, the powders are often too lumpy and gritty, and I think they are best left for colouring icing, cakes and other food-based recipes.

 

So there you have it. Lots of guidance on colouring your natural DIY goodies. Click this link for lots of suggestions on suppliers of natural ingredients, plus discount codes (many of them sell colouring too).

Happy colouring!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

AUTHOR & ADVOCATE FOR NATURAL LIVING

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious choices that honour both humans and habitat. It is her mission to gently guide people towards this beautiful way of life. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to increasing awareness on common and avoidable toxins, as well as educating individuals on simple ways they can adjust their lifestyles to better serve themselves, and the planet. Natural DIY is Krissy’s speciality, and she has sold over 50,000 copies of her recipe books, including her latest book, The Lifestyle Edit, the award-winning, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ free natural DIY recipes on her website.

 

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