Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010: We can live life with a little bit of dirt

Today is one special 'dirty' Earth Day for me. Through the invitation and support of a kind soul, I have the opportunity to put together a workshop called Toxic-Free Cleaning and have 30 enthusiastic listeners chanting 'Change We Can!'

We can change the way we clean in the knowledge that we can certainly live life with a little bit of dirt, have a lot less detergents and be a lot smarter and selective in using them, knowing them. That we are masters of detergents and not slaves.

Yes, today, we hold up high a common belief that we can be a little bit more dirty for a cleaner and safer earth. We can say no a lot louder to plastic and harmful chemicals.

And importantly, we also know we have options to choose safer alternatives. Look no further for valuable lessons than the collective wisdom and folk knowledge of our innovative grannies. We can make cheap and safe and natural cleaners from scratch right in the kitchen.

If only we go ask our elders how they managed housekeeping in the good old days without the modern 'you-must-have' detergents. I am sure you can extend the list that I have in my workshop and go beyond the used tea bags, baking soda, Epsom Salt, lemons and limes, vinegar and wood ash, lye powder (kansui) and a good rub of coconut oil or two.

Today we also celebrated trees in our backyard - the Coconut, the Acacia and the Tamarind trees. We make liquid soap with Acacia pods (above photo) and return the original shine to my much-tarnished copper trophy with a good rub of tamarind pulp. We make them without ever raising a degree from the stove.

Yes, today we give ourselves the power of Change. All we need is to give it a good shake here, a good rub there, and a healthy dose of innovation, imagination and fun making toxic-free cleaners. Change We Can... we certainly can! : )

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