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What is Bio-enzyme?
Bio Enzyme is a natural cleaner made with citrus peels. It is a complex mix of organic substances such as proteins, salts and other by-products of naturally occurring yeast and bacteria. It effectively breaks down waste and helps remove stains, get rid of harmful microbes and it smells great. Bio-enzyme thus is a great alternative to chemicals commonly found in cleaning products such bleach and phenyl.
Chemical cleaners not only pollute the environment in the form of plastic packaging, they also leave chemical residues. This slow accumulation of toxins is harmful to us, our children and pets. If you can’t be bothered about the environment, do it for your personal interest and the safety of your loved ones.
Is it really worth putting in all this effort to make just a ‘cleaner’?
YES! YES! YES!
A thousand times yes!
Bio enzyme is not ‘just-a-cleaner’. I’ve been using it for almost all my cleaning needs but I find new uses for it every now and then. Here’s some ways you can use it –
- Cleaning and disinfecting – Think floor (except marble), tiles, bathrooms, toilet bowl, stovetop, kitchen counter, windows, refrigerator, cabinets, cars and surfaces.
- Dishwash – Mix with soapnut water to make your own all natural, non-toxic dishwash.
- Produce wash – Neutralize harmful fertiliser and pesticide residues by washing fruits and vegetables in a water and bio-enzyme solution.
- Fabric conditioner & stain remover – Throw 1/4th cup in the washing machine along with a bag of soapnuts and have delicious smelling clean laundry.
- Personal care – Bio enzyme can be used as a hair conditioner. You can augment with glycerine, soapnut solution and essential oils to make body wash, shampoo and face wash.
- Deodoriser – Add 1 part bio-enzyme to 3 parts water to a spray bottle and remove odours from shoes, shoe cabinets, under the sink cabinet or just spritz around the room for a citrusy fragrance.
- Limescale remover – Use the pulpy residue to scrub taps and other metal surfaces.
- Pest control – It does not kill insects but bio-enzyme can be effectively used to repel cockroaches, mosquitoes and ants. Add 15ml bio-enzyme to 500ml of water in a spray bottle. Combine with neem oil if you’re faced with persistent critters.
- Garden pest control – Spray a very diluted solution of 1: 1000 on plants to repel pests like white flies, mealy bugs and spider mites.
- Natural fertiliser – Bio-enzyme also works wonders as a bloom nutrient. Mix 30 ml bio-enzyme in 2 litres water and feed directly to the soil.
- Pet shampoo and cleansers – Bathe your pets with a diluted solution for an allergy-free experience.
- De-clog drains – Pour directly into the drain to get rid of any clogs and blockages.
Know of more uses? Let me know!!!
Bio-enzyme has an amazing capacity to rejuvenate contaminated water. One litre of bio-enzyme can de-contaminate 1000 litres of water. Each time you pour this miracle solution down the drain, you are actually helping in purifying groundwater.
How can I make bio enzyme?
Citrus peels (orange, lemon, lime, pineapple, mosambi), water, jaggery and a plastic container is all you need.
The ratio 1:3:10 – Jaggery to Citrus Peels to Water
Take an air tight container that’s big enough to accommodate the solution and still have a 10 – 15 % space left empty. Mix these three ingredients in that container. Bio-enzyme is quite forgiving so rough measures work perfectly fine. Put the lid on, label it with the date of creation and leave it in a dark place.
For the first week you should open the lid to release gases built up in the empty space. From second week onwards, the gas activity will reduce a bit and you need not open every day – you can open every other day.
How long does it take?
Usually, it takes about three months for the Bio Enzyme to be produced. You can expedite the process using one of these two options –
Option 1: Add 1 teaspoon baker’s yeast to produce bio enzyme in just 20 days.
Option 2: Add leftover pulp of a previous batch to produce bio enzyme in 30 days.
I hope you found this helpful and will make your own miracle-juice soon.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like some help/troubleshoot information on the making and usage of bio-enzyme. And share it with a friend looking for allergy free cleaning solutions.
Soapnuts, popularly known as Reetha in India, have been part of natural hair care since the beginning of time. What you might not know is that soapnuts can be used for all kinds of cleaning requirements.
They don’t actually contain any soap because, for soap to be soap is has to contain lye. These nuts are actually berries and their long harvesting period makes them a very sustainable solution for cleaning needs.
What you will need?
- Tap water – 1 litre
- Soapnuts/Reetha – 100 gms
- Distilled white vinegar – 2 cups
- Lemon essential oil – 5-6 drops
- Any other essential oil for fragrance
Bring soapnuts and water to a boil. Set aside.
Once the water is cool to touch, crush the soapnuts with your hands to dissolve as much pulp as you can.
Strain the water to remove seeds and shell. (Toss them in your compost bin)
Add the rest of the ingredients and store in a glass bottle.
I have been using this solution to clean surfaces, windows and what have you and cannot recommend it enough. Boiled soapnut water serves as my base for almost all of my household cleaning supplies and personal care toiletries as well.
Currently I’m testing the recipe for an all natural body and face wash and will be adding it here as soon as I achieve satisfactory results.
Regular toothpaste contributes to pollution and negatively impacts our environment in more ways than you can think of. Approximately 1 billion toothpaste tubes make their way to the landfills each year. These tubes are made with aluminium or plastic. Almost all of them are non biodegradable and may take up to 700 years before they begin to decompose. In addition, toothpaste companies package the tubes in boxes. Paperboard production contributes to deforestation, increased water consumption and higher greenhouse gas emissions.
And it’s not just the packaging. Regular toothpaste is rife with chemicals, parabens and triclosan that go down the drain and wash into our natural water systems each time you brush your teeth. also wreak havoc with animal hormones and the environment.
By choosing to make your own toothpaste, you can reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and save the water and energy involved in the production as well as disposal of these products.
What you will need?
- Calcium Bentonite clay – 2 tbsp
- Rock Salt/Pink Salt – 1/4th tsp
- Clove powder – 1/4 tsp
- Activated charcoal – 1 tbsp
- Peppermint oil (optional) – 5-6 drops
- Stevia Powder – 1/2 tsp
Mix it all up. Thats it.
It doesn’t get simpler than this. This dry powder can be stored in a glass jar and you can use a wet brush. You may also mix it with a few drops of coconut oil before brushing your teeth if you’re looking for a creamy consistency.
If you cant be bothered to make it, you may use baking soda, salt and coconut oil. I personally miss the lack of minty, refreshing, clean feeling that the recipe above delivers perfectly.
Clothing made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles, ocean plastic, and other “upcycled” plastic sources has been getting a lot of encouragement and support recently. Many of us fall prey to the trap of thinking we’re making a responsible choice by supporting these businesses. While in reality, clothing made of plastics (of any kind) render more harm to the environment and our planet than good.
To transform into clothing, plastic is broken down into pellets, heated into a viscous plastic-y liquid and spun into fibre. The same fibre we’ve all known for years to be wrecking havoc to our planet – polyester. Part of the slow-fashion revolution is based on the principle – Clothes made of polyester (or any other synthetic fibre) are not earth friendly.
Turning plastic into clothing doesn’t take away the plastic from our ecosystem. It simply breaks it down into untraceable bits.@sustainablyslow
When clothes made of synthetic fibres are washed, they shed microfibres that break down into smaller and smaller plastics that are infinitely harder to filter and collect. Dr. Mark Browne, an ecologist at the University of New South Wales and world-leading expert on microfibres, published a paper in Environmental Science & Technology stating that a single synthetic garment can produce more than 1,900 fibres per wash.
These microfibres are one of the largest threats to ocean health. They enter not only our waterways but also get consumed by fish and marine life, in turn entering our food chain. Eventually humans end up consuming these micro plastics. A study by University of New Castle and the World Wildlife fund reports we eat an average of 5 grams of microplastics per week.
That’s a little over 250 grams a year.
I am always in support of the idea of lowering our impact and of companies and people working towards it. Maybe the companies making and marketing plastic clothing products do not understand the complexities of Systems Science.
But oftentimes, they are intentionally taking advantage of a trend.
The use of non-reactive packaging such as glass and plastic to preserve the nutritional value is understandable. They claim plastic was chosen over glass to reduce the carbon footprint from a higher energy consumption during transportation. But no information is presented comparing this fuel energy consumption to that of plastic bottles. Nor has it been compared to the energy spent in manufacturing t-shirts.
When PET bottles can be recycled and turned into new bottles at least ten times, why is there no mention of the same on their website?
Let’s assume the cost to recycle the bottles is excessively high. Recycling them into products is the only sensible option. But why wearables like t-shirts? Why not accessories like bags, shoes or bracelets that don’t get washed after each use? Why not pen holders and storage baskets that, perhaps, require no washing at all?
Clothing made from “upcycled” plastic, despite good intentions, is not at all a sustainable solution.@sustainablyslow
It is completely okay to manufacture merchandise. Brands have been doing it for decades. What’s not okay is to present profit-seeking merchandising efforts as sustainable or environmental pursuits.
We ought not to patronise such stunts with our money.
I urge you all to please always research companies and products that claim to be “sustainable”. Greenwashing and painting a sustainable picture online/on social media through messaging is not only dangerously misleading but also practically free in the absence of appropriate policies.
We must choose to support companies that embrace environmental practices through design, supply chain infrastructure, and at the end-of-life stage of their products.