Wendygoesgreen – Cleaning in the Bag

We really have got ‘Cleaning in the Bag’ with our new products:

3 Shaker Bag Set which includes sodium bicarbonate, citric acid & soda crystals in reusable shaker bottles in a cute jute bag.

2 Shaker Bag Set with sodium bicarbonate and citric acid in reusable shaker bottles in a cute jute bag.

3 Spray Bag Set which includes a multi-surface cleaner, limescale remover and window & mirror cleaner in reusable mini-trigger spray bottles in a cute jute bag.

All you need for cleaning around the home and for use in the garden.

These products are compact, easy to store and use, are greener, simple and natural.

To purchase these products and to see what else we have visit http://www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk


Why Use Green or Ecological Detergents or Cosmetics?

Answer: To take better care of our skin and bodies and the environment. To be safer!

Detergents and cosmetics products can have over 30 synthetic chemicals in them. Some of which may not be safe. Some of which are fast to be absorbed through our skin and most of which are likely to be allergenic but all of which we come into daily contact with because they are in some many of the products we use.

Our skin is the largest organ we have and whilst we know much about the dangers to our heart & lungs and are regularly advised how to keep them healthy, apart from the dangers of exposure to the sun, we don’t hear that much about what other potential dangers there are to our skin.

Mainstream cosmetic and detergent manufacturing companies believe that many of the synthetic chemicals they use are safe based on their long-term use and safety records. However, many public interest organisations believe that further research is necessary.

Take parabens as an example. These are used for their bactericidal and fungicidal functions. They are found in shampoos, moisturisers, shower gels, toothpaste, antibacterial hand washes etc. The most common ones are: methyparaben E218, ethyparaben E214, propylparaben E216 & butylparaben. Have a look and see if they are in any of the products in your home.

Low concentrated levels of parabens have shown up in breast cancer tumours. They can mimic estrogen which is known to play a role in breast cancer. UK molecular biologist, Philippa Darbre reported ester bearing form of parabens found in tumours indicated they came from skin applications such as underarm deodorant, creams or body sprays. She said this could explain why 60% of all breast tumours are found in just one fifth of the breast, nearest the armpit.

There are no conclusive studies but the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Protection (SCCP) said in 2006 that available data on parabens did not enable a decisive response to the question of whether propyl, butyl & isobutyl parabens can be safely used in cosmetic products at individual concentrations of up to 0.4% which is the allowed limit in the EU.

Parabens are just one example. There are many other synthetic chemicals such as: propylene glycol, a petroleum derivative used for antimicrobial properties; methylisothiazolimone (MIT), used as a preservative and biocide controlling microbial growth. Both chemicals are described as having allergenic and irritant tendencies.

Also, we should be aware of surfactants which are widely used to achieve a better wash, a better clean, a softer finish. However, the way surfactants work means they affect the surface tension of what it comes into contact with. Some surfactants are made to keep soiled water from re-entering a surface so forms a barrier. Fabric conditioners do this and bubble baths. But the chemicals are then left on our clothing or skin, which can result in being absorbed into our bodies. Having a bath, hand or foot soak with the right products can be a great benefit to our bodies as the chemicals we want in our body for detox purposes or to redress mineral in-balance etc can readily enter through our skin. It does mean though that they are not being filter by the liver which medicines or orally digested products would be. The annual global production of surfactants was 13 million metric tonnes in 2008 which was expected to grow by 2.8% to 2012 and 3.5-4% thereafter.

So why do we use these products with so many synthetic chemicals in? It’s easy. Yes, just that. It is too easy to select our cosmetics and detergents on colour, price and packaging. There are labelling directives companies need to use but with such long chemical words, do we really know what they are? Natural chemicals also have long words although any company selling products with natural or organic ingredients usually highlight this.

Have a closer look when purchasing you next lot of products and take time to read the many warnings that appear on the labels. Limescale remover liquids and powders are an example. They also give a toxic warning. We are likely to be putting ourselves at increased risk as I doubt we follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, using bleach based products to clean our toilets etc requires a well ventilated room and protective clothing and eye protection. This guidance is more likely to be followed by good commercial cleaners but not householders even though we are warned.

There are more natural ways to keep ourselves and homes clean and so eliminating contact with these types of chemicals. However, it would be a lot easier if we had more readily available and cost effective green, ecological or organic products to select from.

I am trying to do something about that. Having discovered what was in the products my children used daily and the potential harm the chemicals in them presented, I started using natural ingredients for cleaning and eco personal care products. Some were expensive for my tight household budget, so I researched making my own. That was 18 months ago and I have now started producing a back2basics range of detergents based on methods of cleaning that are better for our health and for the environment. I have devised a way of cleaning based on using natural revived products that we used to have in our homes and that are still brilliantly effective today. They don’t need preservatives, as they wouldn’t be hanging around our cupboards for too long as they have multi uses, are in smaller containers with the option for refills. I have kept them simple in their production using only basic biodegradable ingredients and packaged them in a way that enhances the ‘life’ of each product while still being ecological. You could describe them as old-fashioned. Most people say something like…’ I remember my Gran using that’. I like to think of them as revived or new-fashioned using what has worked well in the past but with a present and future day concept to them.

We bring our children up to cross the road safely, ride their bikes safely, exercise and eat a healthy diet though we are putting potential harmful substances on their skin and into their bodies, daily, without a thought. Please just take a moment to consider using natural and basic ingredients that perform the role they need to but without the extras. The Easy Jet of the detergent world! No frills or additional expenses but gets the job done!

For more information visit http://www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk or email office@wendygoesgreen.co.uk or follow me on twitter:wendygoesgreen. Written by Wendy Thomson, MD of wendygoesgreen a green cleaning and wellbeing company based in Gloucestershire, UK.

Networking – What are the benefits to a start-up business?

Hello again! (Or hello for first time!)

So I have become a market trader but business and exposure to customers is slow on a Friday at Shambles Market, Stroud. Could just be the time of year…. so to keep the ball rolling I sought out opportunities to expose my new business through networking. Luckily there were two events soon after each other. The first was a monthly meeting of the Stroud Businesswomens Network, SBN, so I phoned the chairperson to express my interest and was given some useful information but also told to practice a 10 sec introduction. 10 seconds……  crikey…  you can’t say much but I did it on the day! (some of the other Ladies weren’t so concise and were prompted to end.) So what did I get from attending?

Firstly, while there hadn’t been that much opportunity to tell as many people as I would have liked about my new business during the actual networking time, the best opportunity came before the start of the event when people were arriving and we were introducing ourselves then. So my advice is get to any meetings like this early. Most of your successful networking can be achieved then. It is very good advice to practise selling your business (not in just 10 secs) but in about 2 minutes and I knew I got better at this for the 2nd networking event I attended a few days later with a very different audience.   I am now a fully paid member of SBN and look forward to making more contacts next time. What it did expose me to was the sorts of questions people would ask about the business. Quite specific ones and all of them have been seeking free advise which I was happy to supply.  It’s quite easy as they have been about how they can get their ovens clean…..  bicarb and white vinegar works wonders…… (That’s the eco-friendly cleaning side of my business).

Secondly, I did get one member contacting me afterwards with useful info and I followed up on finding out how to get an editorial in my local paper.

I found out about the 2nd networking event from my local paper. Free lunch and being held just a few minutes walk away from  my home.  I booked my place as the advert said to do and on the day found myself mixing with 5 Valleys Chamber of Commerce members. I went with an aim to get views from people, (mostly men) about what I was setting out to achieve for my business and the ways I intended doing this and got very positive encouragement and best wishes. The downside was that there was little time to network afterwards and so I was restricted to only talking to those people I met before the start of the event and those sat at my table. (pot luck really). I did recognise a few people in the room as they were also parents of children at the same school as my son, but generally the room was filled with grey suited middle-aged men; accountants, architects, bankers etc. I was wearing the brightest red dress! (In my past career I got used to being the only women at meetings…)

I came away from that event rather chuffed with myself and was even stopped outside and asked for my business contact details so they could advertise my cleaning services. I’ve got a few follow-up actions to do as the guest speaker made a few suggestions when I spoke to her before the start, about contacting someone in her organisation, Business Link,  to let them know about the Health and Well-being scheme I have devised for businesses. This scheme gives access to staff to the eco-friendly products I distribute through the co-operative company Wikaniko and would cost a company less than £600 annually.  Each month a lucky member of staff would be given £40 to spend on the eco-products (either more practical items like total degradable plastic bags and then the health beneficial ones like luxury shower gels and shampoos and skin creams.) It would also mean that other members of staff could purchase products through the scheme at any time at wholesale prices.

On the downside, the info provided by the guest speaker about business development opportunities was rather bleak. The government is concentrating on helping those companies able to expand more than 20% year on year. I do have my sights set on employing 5 people by the Summer and expanding to 20 next year…  so maybe I might fit the criteria then. There is not a lot of funding for start-up businesses and resources are stopping with support transferring to private companies. With just an initial small amount of money I could ge this business off the ground much quicker as I have to rely on my own efforts to do everything. I need a website, I want to create T&Cs, put editorials together etc and do more marketing activities. It’s frustrating that this would cost no more than a few thousand pounds. I am reluctant to go into debt so I am relying on my own judgements that my plan of attack will eventually make a break through!

So far so good, I have definitely progressed the business as I am clearer about what I want to do, but I still don’t have any clients……..  That’s what I’ll be aiming to achieve over the next month, so until I write again have a good March. (Wish me luck as I have also taken up playing rugby this year , with my eldest daughter, and we have our first friendly match tomorrow… will spend today watching the experts, England. I’m fullback, small but a runner and she’s number 4 as she’s tall and strong and beautiful!)

Back to business…If you are interested in eco-products at excellent prices have a look at www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk or you want to become a distributor, contact me on 07766712506 or maybe you want to set up your own eco-friendly cleaning services, then get in touch. You can learn from my experiences.

Wendy – wendygoesgreen