Using non chemical alternatives..

Why do we use Wild Ideas dish wash powder and laundry powder even though it entails a little more difficult than using a chemical detergent? Sometimes the powder might come out of the bag I haven’t tied properly. Sometimes, my lady, Friday complains that the dishes don’t look “pala pala”, and she tries to sneak it in behind my back, it is a constant battle.

My repeated response to her is when I take the effort to eat organic food, I don’t want my plates to be washed with chemical dishwashing liquids. I do not want to wear clothes washed with strongly scented chemical detergents and fabric softeners (research shows that they release carcinogens and allergens). I do not want my body to absorb these chemicals through my skin, mouth, and breath. The same applies to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, deos, cosmetics (which for me is only kajal J), creams, toothpaste etc.  It is shocking, when we list it, to see the number of chemicals we are willfully exposing ourselves. Similarly, house cleaning agents, bug repellants, air fresheners, the list is endless and scary. There is really no reason to expose our bodies to chemicals if we can avoid it.

We can’t at a personal level avoid traffic and air pollution and many other chemicals that must be emanating from industries and the new industry of burning waste (however, we should also be alert citizens fighting some of these causes). However, we can always eliminate or minimize many of our household and personal use chemicals. Eliminating or replacing these does take effort and change of attitude. We want to pour smooth flowing liquids out of bottles and don’t want to deal with powders or something a little less smooth.  We have been subtly conditioned to associating the smell of strong chemical agents with a clean bathroom, the fragrance of fabric softener with well-washed clothes, the shiny looking vessels as a well-maintained kitchen, perfumes, fragrant shampoos etc with well-groomed selves, while completely negating the presence and negative impact of these chemicals. These chemicals not only permeate our bodies directly, they contaminate our water bodies and soils, and they fill the air with these chemical particles.

Do we have a choice to shift? Yes, there are many small producers who are manufacturing non-chemical alternatives. Individuals and groups committed to non-chemical, non-food products. Personally, we have been able to replace most of these with non-chemical alternatives; this we think is part of living responsibly. What I would recommend is to try and eliminate these chemicals, one by one with nonchemical alternatives. It is difficult, many a time we relapse for convenience, due to old habits and sometimes frustration with the alternatives which may not live up to our expectations.

Yes, it is a fact that these alternatives are not always perfect, they are in the stage of being rebuilt from knowledge scattered around, they need to be improved and have to work more consistently. On the flip side, for that to happen, we need engaged consumers who will try these alternatives, give suggestions for improvement and not give up on these small, brave entrepreneurs. Therefore, we have to continue to buy these products; remember that these are safe for us, whatever the other failings; they might foamless, might be a little lumpy or smell less heavenly.

Let us not forget that the seemingly ‘great’ chemicals products have been perfected over decades with tons of money. Yet they have failed in the fundamental responsibility of keeping us safe and we ignore that failing and continue to support them. So let us go back to basics and tell ourselves that safety for us, our environment, water, and the air is of paramount importance. From there  let us work

upwards to add other attributes and let us have the courage to not ask for more than what a natural product can give us.

At Bio Basics our endeavor will be to help each and every one of us to move to these products, by offering a range of these options and also to help and guide anyone who faces difficulty. We know the manufacturers of the products and are in constant touch with them and do share your feedback constantly to feed into their product improvement process.

... and spread the good word!

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