Ecover Floor Soap Eco Product Review

I’d never been one for floor soap before, but I recently rented a flat that hadn’t a single carpet in the place. So, being too lazy to make my own cleaner, I tried Ecover’s floor soap.

You only need to add a capful or two to a whole bucket full of water so a little goes a long way. Although it says it’s not suitable for laminate flooring, I gave it a go over everything – laminate, tiles, varnished wood etc and it seems fine.

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Now Ecover products always say what they’re made from (see below for full list of ingredients), but non of the other products I’ve used have quite the lemon smell that this one does. In its raw form it’s overpowering and even when diluted and I’ve cleaned the whole floor of my flat it’s best to go out for a while. Not that it’s a bad smell, just a bit strong and it does say it’s got “fresh perfume from plant based ingredients”.

Leaving it dry, I returned later to find a nice clean home. It did take some harder mopping to get some marks out, but general grime and mud was no problem. Having not used another type of floor cleaner before it’s difficult to compare but I had no problems with it, the smell was reduced after I’d finished so it was quite a pleasant and “clean” smell.

It’s fully biodegradable and not tested on animals. The plastic bottle can be recycled (I’d be happier if it had already been recycled) and like other Ecover products it can be refilled where facilities exist.

The Ecover website gives a complete ingredients list:

The list below displays ingredients in descending order, with those present in highest quantities first.
Linseed oil
Perfume
Limonene
Nitromethylidynetrimethanol
2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol
Citral
Geraniol

It’s now stocked in most supermarkets or you can buy it easily online.

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Beyond Organic Hydrating Body Oil Eco Product Review

Following on our look at some of the Beyond Organic Skincare products is the Hydrating Body Oil. Part of their Sensual Massage Gift Pack which costs £29.92, it can also be bought separately for £14.50.

Once again I roped in Claire who looked at the Firming Eye Cream and asked her about this 60ml bottle of body oil which contains a host of ‘good for you’ ingredients such as horse chestnut, fennel, cornflower, green tea, sea buckthorn and macadamia nut.

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Do you use a different product normally?
My skin tends to get neglected during winter because it’s always covered in layers of clothing. During the summer I usually use a self-tanning moisturiser. But during winter my legs become very dry and itchy.

How does this compare to that one or nothing at all?
Big improvement to nothing at all. After applying the oil, my skin stayed hydrated for a couple of days, they soaked up the oil and felt nice and smooth and looked really good. No flakyness, no itching.

It claims to ‘deeply nourish and tone the skin, leaving it with a lovely silky feel. Great for bare arms and legs, giving skin a warm glow’ – any good?
Yep, my legs looked and felt soft and hydrated. Once it was rubbed in my skin felt firm and and did have a nice glow to it.

It says it’s not slippery and easy to rub in – was it?
Rubbed in as easily as any moisturiser. It is quite runny though, slips between you fingers and drips on the floor when your trying to get it out of the bottle and onto your arms or legs. I was able to put my clothes on straight after applying it.

What was the smell like?
When I first opened the bottle I didn’t really like the smell, I found it very overpowering. But I found when I rubbed it into my skin, it was still quite strong but it became quite pleasant and relaxing.

It contains… ‘Horse Chestnut helps to increase circulation. Fennel is said to be good for cellulite. Cornflower is very emollient and nourishing. Green tea is detoxifying. The synergy of these herbs and flowers make this an excellent toning and firming body oil. The Macadamia nut oil base is high in Oleic fatty acid which has an affinity with the skin’ – did it do any of that sort of thing?
No. Didn’t really notice any of those amazing effects. I never really look for those kinds of things in an oil or moisturiser, because none of them actually work. I just want my skin to be hydrated and look healthy and have a glow, and it did that.

It says you can put a teaspoon in your bath – did you give that a go?
No. I don’t have a bath.

How would it be to use as a massage oil?
It has a similar feel to massage oil, gives the skin the same sort of ‘oiled up’ feeling (can’t believe I just said that), but also absorbs into the skin easily. And the smell is quite relaxing.

Beyond Organic Hydrating Body Oil is available to buy here.

The Transition Handbook – From Oil Dependency To Local Resilience Book Review

The Transition Handbook – is written by Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Movement and published by Green Books in the UK and Chelsea Green in the US.

Now I can’t pretend to have read the entire book while I write this, but I plan to. It’s just that it’s 240 big pages long with two to three columns a page – it’s going to take me a while to get through it. And a lot of it is about starting your own Transition initiative which I don’t plan to do. Yet.

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But back to the beginning, the whole transition thing of this ‘Transition Movement’ is to do with moving away from the dependency on oil and building resilience – i.e. building a way of coping with the change when oil runs out. And the book is a guide to the issues central this change and how to prepare for a different future.

Split up into three main chapters: The Head, The Heart and The Hands, the book starts off with a great introduction to what it’s all about. The amount of text initially looks fearsome, but Rob Hopkins writes with a relaxed style that draws you in and the more you read the less hard work the book seems. What makes it more interesting is that Rob relies on his own experiences to draw you in and explains things in a clear and relaxed style.

There are also box-outs, quotes from newspapers, authors and experts to help spice things up a bit. There is a reliance of some graphs and charts at the start, but these soon make way to photos or communities and people who are going through the changes outlines in the book.

Having someone writing the book who has been through the experience readers of this book are going through is invaluable. The Transition Tools and Transition Tips are there to ensure future projects go smoother and the insights seem very useful. But the book also makes a good read for those not immediately planning on starting a cultural change in their local town or village. It’s interesting to see what real people from across the world have done and read about something inspiring.

As I mentioned at the start, I haven’t read everything yet, but the story the book tells is very compelling. Flicking to Part Three: The Hands, is an inspiring moment. Seeing the Transition movement in Totnes, Devon (UK) is amazing. Seeing what they achieved and being given a blueprint to do it yourself as well is food for thought. As is how the Transition approach differs from conventional environmentalism in its group approach, proactivity and resilience idea.

If you’re interested in practical solutions to how you and your community can move away from a dependency on oil, or even if you fancy reading a story about how it can be done, I’d recommend this book. The Transition Handbook – From Oil Dependency To Local Resilience is available from Green Books, priced £12.95 and printed on 100% recycled paper. You can see a video of Rob talking about his book here.

Earthchic Reusable Tote Eco Product Review

Smart Totes provided us with a cool zebra patterned reusable bag. Produce by Earthchic are based in Mobile, Alabama,and run by Sallye Irvine and Claire Leaman. Their bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Earthchic reusable bag

A good size at 18″x15″x7″ and with 21″ handles the bag is useful not only for groceries but for carrying school books of folders around, up to 50lbs worth. It has an interior pocket and is also machine washable (on cold) and you can just hang it outside to dry.

Earthchic also provide these tips for when you’re at the grocery store:

  • Use a reusable bag (buy more if you are a big shopper) instead of plastic or paper – much more fashionable and easier to carry as well! Those plastic bags will never end up in a landfill if you don’t take them in the first place.
  • Don’t take those little plastic produce bags unless absolutely necessary. If you are buying small, numerous items like cherries or beans you probably need one; if you are buying anything else that has its own peel or will be washed, you don’t.
  • Select products in readily recyclable materials such as cardboard, aluminum and #1 and #2 plastics.
  • Try to cut down on single-use, individually-wrapped or disposable products such as juice boxes, cups, plates, razors etc. Buy the permanent versions instead they are usually much nicer and last much, much longer.
  • Purchase eggs in cardboard containers not styrofoam. Styrofoam doesn’t biodegrade- it lasts forever.

Available for only $29 from Smart Totes, with different versions available.

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