Safe Cleaning for Babies & Children

How to Create a Germ- and Toxin-Free Home for Baby

Even for adults, commercial cleaning products can pose serious health risks. From headaches to certain cancers, the carcinogens, endocrine disrupters and neurotoxins commonly found in supermarket products have been linked to a range of issues, including:

  • Premature puberty;
  • Reduced fertility;
  • Challenged immune systems;
  • ADHD;
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and certain cancers.

 

Baby&Toxins

Babies and toddlers — due to their still-developing immune systems and their smaller size — are one of the most at-risk categories when it comes to chemical exposure. This isn’t helped by their close proximity to the floor: as they crawl along, chemical traces get absorbed through their skin and respiratory tracts, with the risk of exposure becoming higher when they insert their fingers into mouths, noses and ears.

However, despite even the most supermummy of efforts, it’s impossible to keep everything free of toxins. But choosing organic cleaning products and knowing the most important places to clean are two great places to start.

Kitchen Surfaces

Before you go crowning us Captain Obvious, we’re not just talking about the regular spraying and wiping of food preparation surfaces (though it is particularly important to use toxin-free surface cleaners anywhere food is being prepared). To keep your baby safe from bacteria, avoid placing roving items — such as grocery bags — on the counter. Or better yet, avoid the supermarket altogether and get cleaning products delivered to your door!

Baby Clothes & Mumma Clothes

A baby’s clothes get even more hugs than mummy does, so it’s important they’re washed daily using a safe laundry detergent that won’t leave their sensitive skin in a chemical embrace. While traditional laundry powders get rid of germs, they’re also filled with nasty chemicals that get absorbed into a baby’s clothes and can cause rashes, itching and other unpleasant reactions. And if your baby is anything like most babies, it will also be prone to munching mummy’s shirts, so a 100% natural laundry powder like Resparkle’s is just as important for big kid laundry.

Bed Linens

Every mum knows that it’s important to make the most of baby naptime. So when your baby eventually gets to sleep, make sure you too can rest easy in the knowledge that their bed linen is clean and toxin-free. To avoid your baby breathing in both the allergens and chemicals that get caught up in bed linens, make sure to wash them regularly with a natural laundry powder that kicks the butts of germs and toxins alike.

Bathtubs

The bathtub should be where your baby gets clean, not dirty. While cleaning the bathtub around once a week with a natural disinfectant will ensure a clean and toxin-free starting point, avoid using supermarket soaps with baby. A soap with all-natural and organic ingredients will not only avoid chemical exposure, it will also be gentler on baby’s sensitive skin.

Feeding Bottles & Baby Accessories

Make sure the nutritious food you are feeding your baby isn’t compromised by chemicals on the feeding bottle. While it is recommended to have a number of bottles on hand so that you can rotate their use and avoid constant washing up, it’s just as important to avoid cleaning them in chemicals. Supermarket detergents are full to the brim with harmful toxins such as corrosive alkaline salts, so by switching to an organic dishwashing liquid, you can ensure the only things that go into your baby’s mouth are natural.

Kitchen Sponges

It’s all well and good to wash your baby’s feeding bottles with a toxin-free dishwashing liquid, but where has your kitchen sponge been? To avoid contaminating your baby accessories with dirty sponges, make sure to wash them thoroughly after each use with a toxin-free detergent, and replace old sponges with new ones at least once a month.

The Floor

When your baby crawls along the floor, make sure they aren’t picking up toxins with their toys. Commercial floor cleaners are some of the worst offenders when it comes to toxic load, often containing harsh chemical categories such as carcinogens and neurotoxins. Keep baby safe from the adverse health issues associated with these toxins by using an organic floor cleaner that gets rid of germs with nature, not nasties.

Toys

Toys need baths too — especially since a baby’s idea of playtime often involves a lot of sucking and dribbling. Hard plastic toys can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher, while soft toys love going for a spin in the dishwasher. But to ensure they don’t come out the other end covered in chemical nasties, make sure they’re being washed in safe products such as Resparkle’s organic dishwasher powder and all-natural baby laundry powder.

Sit Back and Relax

We believe that a toxin-free home for baby is even better when it means a carefree life for mummy.  

That’s why we’ve partnered with our friends at Aster and Oak — providers of beautiful organic clothes for healthy and stylish babies — to give one lucky winner a 6-month supply of Natural Baby Laundry Powder and an adorable clothing set from Aster and Oak’s new Woodland Animals collection.

To enter, just follow these easy steps:

  1. ‘Like’ Resparkle & Aster and Oak on Facebook
  2. In the comments section of the promotion post, tell us in 20 words or less why you’d love to win!

Entries close 12pm Sunday May 01 2016. The winner will be announced on the day.

Until then, wishing a safe and happy home for you and your family.

Surprising Health Benefits of Cucumber Water

Cucumber WaterThis summer has delivered many scorcher days across Australia, making so important to stay well hydrated. Make plain water taste better by adding some fresh fruits/veggies, so you’re likely to drink more H2O.

We highly recommend simply adding cucumber & mint. This is not only adds super refreshing flavour, cucumbers are chock full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, vitamin K and potassium. That means you could be reaping benefits like great skin just by adding some slices to your water. If it sounds easy, that’s because it is.

So what’s so great about cucumber water? Here are 4 surprising healthy benefits of cucumber water:

  1. Weight Loss benefits :

 Cucumbers act as a natural diuretic helping you get rid of that excess water and bloating. Not only that, but cucumber water makes plain water taste better, so you’re likely to drink more H2O. Water is an important factor in preventing constipation, which can cause swelling in the abdomen and add on a few extra pounds. Also, sufficient water intake helps your body’s natural detoxificationprocesses, which makes it function more efficiently, thereby facilitating weight loss.

 

2. Detoxing Properties

Use cucumber water during a detox program. It contains antioxidants that will help battle free radicals, and helps the body flush out built-up toxins thanks to its hydrating effect. Detoxing the body doesn’t have to be a drastic 1 time event, you can cultivate healthy every day habits to help your body stay clean with daily attention to the foods that you’re taking in, as well as avoiding foods that are known as being toxic to the body. This sort of regular maintenance keeps you feeling great all year long.

3. Healthy Skin: 

To give your skin even more cucumber benefits, you can wash your face with cucumber water. It refreshes the skin, closes pores and helps prevent oiliness. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own cucumber cleanser with this recipe from The Times of India .The silica and antioxidants help your skin stay clear and supple. Wash your face with cucumber water in addition to your usual acne routine to reduce redness.

4. Strong Muscles

The same silica in cucumbers that helps the skin, also helps your muscle tissues healthy. It’s a great choice if you’ve added a strength training regimen such as barre or pilates workouts to your lifestyle, or if you want to make sure that your muscles have all of the nutrients needed to function at their best. A daily glass of cucumber water makes a great contribution to the overall health of your muscles, and your body in general.

 

 

Homemade Tabletop Water Feature

Creating your own table top fountains is a wonderful way to bring out your creativity and self-expression while simultaneously relieving stress and enhancing your interior décor and fengshui.

There are many unique benefits to having a fountain at home or work:

  • The gentle soothing sound of flowing water can help you relax and meditate in your bedroom after a hard day’s work;
  • Fountains humidify the indoor air, especially if your home or workplace is dry due to continual air-conditioning. This is extremely helpful in preventing your skin from drying out.
  • Fountains release negative ions, said to promote better moods and concentration. This is especially important in today’s electronic world as gadgets emit negative ions in our homes.

 

waterfeature290Building a water fountain can be as simple as putting some stones and a small pump into a container with water. It does not have to be expensive or fancy. And personal is what having a fountain of your own is all about.  You might include special coins from a treasured trip abroad, shells from a beach-combing bonanza, a charm from your grandmother’s bracelet, a memento from your first love.

Whatever treasures you choose to stamp your tabletop fountain as your own, know that you can change it as easily as you change your mind or your mood. Yet it will remain immutably, unmistakably yours—and always just right.

 

 

To make your own tabletop fountain, you’ll need:

1 A waterproof container or bowl of proper depth.

Choose a container between 8-16 inches across in diameter and depth of at least 4-6 inches. The water has to cover the pump; otherwise, the pump will burn out. You can use ceramic bowls, glass, or wood boxes. The easiest and least expensive containers are plastic pots or ceramic bowls.

Look in your cupboard for a rarely used casserole, serving dish, punch bowl, or fruit bowl or even head to your nearest op-shop. A great way to up-cycle!

Sea-Shells Water Fountain
Or get creative such as using sea shells!

 

2. A small water pump and clear plastic tubing (1/2″ inner dimension or 5/8″ outer dimension).

Fish tank pumps are fine. The smallest ones work well for the typical size containers. Some shops supply suction cups with water pumps. Both the pump and tubing can be found at an aquarium, hardware, or garden supply store. To straighten the hose, boil it in water for a while.

3. Rocks; pebbles; slate; crystals; semi-precious stones; sea shells, anything that goes in water can be used.

Each item can have a special meaning, thus adding to the individuality of your fountain

If you select rocks from your garden make sure you clean them well. We suggest soaking them in Resparkle’s Dishwashing Liquid and give it a good scrub.

4. Plants add greenery to your fountain. A small clipping will do nicely. You could also use a small pot or glass bottle [baby food jar], fill it with water, put the plant inside and place it inside the fountain bowl.

Steps:

  1. Place the decorative slate or tile on the table. Place the bowl on the slate or tile.
  2. Place the pump at the bottom of the bowl, taking care to see the cord is draped to the back of the container. Use suction cups to make the pump stick to the bottom of the container.
  3. Add tap water to more than cover the intake value [2″ minimum]. Plug the pump into the electric outlet. (It is advisable to test out the pump in a bucket or sink before placing it in the container.) Unplug the pump to adjust the water flow, if needed.
  4. Cut the tubing length to fit your container and design. Fit one end of the tubing to the pump spout. Place larger rocks to cover the pump and fill the bottom of the container.
  5. Arrange the smaller rocks and tiles /slate by stacking them so as to create a diverse and irregular path for the water flow. You can reduce the water flow from a geyser to a gurgle by covering the open end of the tube with tumbled glass.
  6. Plug in the pump, adjust the water volume and stones as needed to produce the sound that appeals most to your ears.
  7. Place figurines, plant cuttings, ivy, moss, shells or tiles to hide the tubing and electric cord.

TIP: Place a candle in a candleholder beside the fountain, the light from the candle will glisten on the water and reflect its light onto the fountain arrangement.

Think Pink Go Green (October Special)

BCAThumbnailIn 2015, approximately 42 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer each day. Globally, over the last two decades, breast cancer rates have risen from a lifetime risk of one in 20 to one in eight.

The fact is the average women are exposed to 168 chemicals daily from cosmetics, skincare and cleaning products. Cancer News Australia reports that breast cancer risks were found to be twice likely with women who use cleaning chemicals and air-fresheners the most than those who use them the least.  Cleaning chemicals may contribute to breast cancer because it contains mammary gland carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals. These chemical cleaners contain many toxic ingredients – such as Alkylphenols, Phthalates, Triclosan, etc. – that are endocrine disrupters, and are known to alter mammary gland development in rats. The list of household chemicals that contribute to breast cancer risk is long and we encourage to have a read here.

thinkPinkGoGreenThumbnailYes, we live in a toxic world but don’t let that overwhelm you into in-action. The goods news is eradicating your home and daily life of toxic chemicals is easier than it may seem. So let’s all take the opportunity of Breast Cancer Awareness month to Think Pink & Go Green. To share this important message to your family and friends simply click on the facebook/twitter/pinterest button to the left of this page.

To help you go green for breast health, we’ve compiled a little directory of safer choices. The founders of these brands all share Resparkle’s commitment to being 100% honest and creating products that are truly natural & safe. They are also tried and tested by Resparkle’s founder – Pearl. These are products she uses daily.

 

……………………………………

SKIN-CARE/Cosmetics

  1. DNA Elements
  2. Simple as That
  3. 100% Pure 
  4. Jacqueline Evans
  5. Luk Beautifood Lipstick
  6. Nourished Life: One-stop for non-toxic skincare, cosmetics & home-care products.

TOOTHPASTE

  1. Grants of Australia 

SHAMPOO

  1. Weleda Hair-care 

GO PLASTIC FREE

  1. 4 My Earth: Lunch boxes, Food Wraps & all things non-plastic
  2. Biome Eco Store

Organic Cotton

  1. Bhumi Organic Cotton : Bedsheets, Quilts, Towels, Throws.
  2. Pure Baby: Organic baby clothes

Food for Every Day Health

  1. Matcha Maiden : 100% pure organic green tea leaves ground into powder. Up to 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!
  2. Remedy Kombucha: A super healthy alternative to frizzy drinks!
  3. Whole Kids: Healthy snacks for kids and adults too!

Household Cleaners

Resparkle of course! We’re the only home-care brand in Australia that is truly 100% natural and hold a organic certification by NASAA.

There you have it. All you need to KEEP CALM & QUIT CHEMICALS.

Totally do-able isn’t it?

—————————————————————————————————————————

Resparkle October Special – Breast Cancer Awareness Home-Care Pack 

Only $49 + Free Shipping to all Metro Cities!

Breast Cancer Awareness Australia

 

 

Go Plastic Free: Tips on how to save the earth & money!

It aint no secret that plastic has stamped it’s mark in today’s world – but as we know it, that stamp is not good. Plastic is everywhere, usage continues to rise and our environment continues to suffer.

Thankfully, a group of Earth Carers (www.earthcarers.org.au) have made it their job to raise awareness on the amount of plastic in our lives and they challenge us to reduce the amount of single-use disposable plastic. This initiative happens July every year and we encourage you to hop on board www.plasticfreejuly.org

So why is plastic such a problem?  

  • Plastic is here forever! Every plastic item that is developed, still exists today. In fact, in the last 50 years of the 20th century, over 1 billion tonnes of plastic was produced. This figure has already doubled in the first ten years of this century (Scientific American).
  • Recycling! Recycling is not a long term solution, that’s why we need to focus more on REfusing, REducing and REusing
  • Health – some plastics contain BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates. Both these chemicals can have harmful effects on human development
  • Litter & Marine Life – its not a surprise that 80% of the Ocean’s marine debris comes from the land, which is destroying marinelife through entanglement and ingestion. 

What can we do?

Because our plastic usage continues to skyrocket and every piece of plastic will continue to exist for many years to come, we need to REDUCE, REUSE, REFUSE, RETHINK and REPAIR!

Don’t worry, reducing plastic is not going to happen over night and you certainly aren’t alone.

At Resparkle, we have concentrated our efforts on smart packaging so that collectively we can help to REduce landfill and carbon footprint by REusing our BPA free bottes.

Green Packaging 

A Tip from the Resparkle Girls

Did you know that the plastic bags used to pack your fruit and veggies traps moisture and may speed up the decomposing process? Instead line your Crisper box with Paper or Tea towels (so that it absorbs moisture), then place your fruit and veggies in the box (without plastic bags)

+ Using Tea Towels

Using Tea Towels
Using Tea Towels. credit: image from participant of Alexx Stuart’s 30 Day Low Tox e-course. www.alexxstuart.com

+ Use Produce Bags

These eco-chic produce bags can be purchased from Aussie company 4MyEarth.

Using 4 My Earth Produce Bags
Using 4 My Earth Produce Bags

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENJOY! longer lasting Fruit & Veges SAVE! Money BE PROUD! that you have done your bit to support Plastic Free July

Last but definitely not the least, in support for Plastic Free July, we will be giving away a free reusable bag with the next 50 Resparkle purchase via our website www.resparkle.com.au.

FREE Keep Calm & Quit Chemicals Eco-Bag with every Resparkle Purchase online.
FREE Keep Calm & Quit Chemicals Eco-Bag with every Resparkle Purchase online.

 

 

How Plants Improve Health and the Flow of Positive Energy

Regardless of whether I am in a client’s home to consult on how to improve their health through Healthy Sustainable Interiors or ways to increase the flow of positive energy with Feng Shui or both, I always end up recommending the addition of indoor plants.

tree-house-border1

We spend over 90% of our time inside, with research showing that the quality of our indoor air is much worse than our outdoor air.  In fact, experts now believe that poor indoor air is responsible for the dramatic increase in the number of cases of allergies, asthma, chemical hypersensitivity and even cancer.

The easiest ways to create healthy indoor air and improve positive energy within your home is to grow your own!

And NASA agrees, in studies they conducted in the early 1980’s on how to create a liveable off world environment, they found that the simplest way to purify and revitalise air was the common household plant.

Did you know that one plant placed on your desk at work can effectively purify and revitalise the air you breathe, reducing your exposure to indoor air pollutants and microbe?

How do plants improve indoor air quality and increase the flow of positive energy?

  1. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen  or in Feng Shui terms, they absorb negative chi and release positive energy
  2. They absorb toxic chemical through the tiny openings in their leaves and filter them through their root system.  Amazingly, the common  Boston fern can remove up to 1.8mg of formaldehyde per hour (a carcinogen found in particle board and furnishings)
  3. They reduce airborne mould and bacteria.  One study found that plant-filled rooms contain 50 to 60 precent fewer airborne moulds and bacteria than rooms without plants
  4. They have long been associated with improving the general mental and physical wellbeing of a room and is why I recommend them first above all other possible cures. 

 So, when do I use plants as Feng Shui Cures?

In the world of Feng Shui, plants represent the element Wood.  They bring life to a room and purify its energy.  They also positive influence your own Chi making it easier for you to gain, or maintain good health.

  1. Place a plant in or just outside the bathroom/ toilet and they will absorb negative energy and release renewed, uplifting Chi.   This is extremely important if your bathroom or toilets are located in the fire or earth sectors of your home.
  2. Obscure protruding corners with bushy plants to slow quickly moving Chi or poison arrows resulting from the sharp edge.
  3. Chi may be encouraged to speed up by several doors in a straight line down a corridor or when doors or window are opposite each other.  To slow Chi stagger plants along the corridor or place bushy plants close to the window or door.
  4. Stairs that lead down to a front door encourage chi to flow quickly and risk some flowing out the door depleting the home of energy.  To slow if down place a plant between the foot of your stairs and the front door.
  5. Heavy beams create downward flow of chi that can be oppressive.  Growing plants with strong upward chi under the beam will compensate for this.
  6. Slow stagnate Chi commonly accumulates in the corner of a room.  Yang fiery plants with strong pointed leaves can help to speed up the movement of chi.
  7. Always include plants in your office, home office, or study, they will help maintain positive energy and negate negative energy created by man-made electromagnetic energy.

 Where should I not use a plant?

There are only a few instances when I would not recommend using plants within a home.  These include:

  • Artificial plants or flowers – It is inauspicious for a home to contain artificial plants or flowers as they can gather stagnant Chi around them and generate dead energy
  • More than three plants – It is recommended that no more than three plants are place in an ordinary sized room, otherwise it may create angry energy.
  • The energy is already out of balance with the purpose of the room – Do not place plants in a bedroom with ambient fire, wood or wind energy.

 The top 5 recommended plants are:

9-peacelilyYou will notice that the money plant and jade are not on this list.  Although traditionally used as cures for Feng Shui, the air purifying qualities of the below plants far out weigh the symbolic meaning of the traditional plants.  In my opinion, any plant that is healthy positive shape is a good Feng Shui plant

  • Palms, especially  – Areca Palm, Lady Palm , Bamboo Palm, Dwarf Date Palm
  • Rubber Plant
  • Dracaena
  • Boston Fern
  • Peace Lily
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue

If you are interested in finding out where best to place your plants in your home simply send me a copy of your house plan for your complimentary “Grow your own Health and Prosperity” assessment.


narelleNarelle Haw

HEALTHY SUSTAINABLE INTERIOR DESIGN, FENG SHUI & HOME THERAPY CONSULTANT

www.atharmony.com.au

narelle@atharmony.com.au

p. 0408 113 986

Narelle Haw is a Certified Building Biologist, Feng Shui Practioner and founder of At Harmony Consulting and IKOLEJI – The Healthy Home Shop.  Narelle’s Home Therapy Techniques help build exceptional lives – from the outside in.