Climate change is a reality that is affecting our planet in a very negative way. One of the things that we can do to help mitigate climate change is to use natural products.
Natural products are made from renewable resources and are biodegradable, so they have a much smaller carbon footprint than products made from fossil fuels.
In addition, they are often more effective than their synthetic counterpart, so they can help us to reduce our reliance on harmful chemicals.
So, with all of that in mind..my research has yielded GOLD!! I know you will agree after reading this post that Mother Earth Rocks!!!
Our focus will be on the African Soapnut, the Sapindus saponaria. This tree is found in tropical regions of Africa, including the Congo Basin, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Its scientific name, Saponaria, comes from the Latin word for soap, saponis.
The soapnut tree grows to be about 20 meters tall and produces a fruit that is about the size of a walnut. The fruit contains a substance called saponin, which is a natural surfactant.
When the soapnuts are crushed, the saponin is released and creates a foamy lather.
Our ancestors crushed these nuts and put them into a bag and then boiling water would be added.
The bag would be swirled around and then they would add the clothes. Saponin is released when the soapnuts come into contact with water.
This swirling created a foamy, soapy lather which was used to clean their clothes. The African Soapnut is a gentle, natural alternative to harsh chemicals and synthetic detergents.
Below you will find a comparative list..just in case you need any more reasons to give soapnuts a try…
- Gentle for people with sensitive skin.
- Can be used on all types of fabric, even delicate items like silk and wool.
- Soapnuts are environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
- Soapnuts are inexpensive.
Chemical Laundry Detergents
- They can be harmful to your skin.
- Chemical detergents can pollute waterways and are not biodegradable.
- Can be expensive.
- Harmful to wildlife and plants that come into contact with them.
How wonderful is Mother Earth’s Bounty!! We really do have everything we need here.
Learning to utilize her bounty AS IS as much as possible will go a long way toward being more proactive in the usage of natural cleaning products. They are better for our health and the environment.
So, in regards to habits, if you change one thing immediately and commit to doing one thing differently… in time it will become easier for you to make the environmentally friendly choice, the better choice.
In this case, for those of you who are ready to try soapnuts, I’ve included a recipe that you might find useful…
1 cup soapnuts
2 cups water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Add soapnuts and water to a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Add baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice to the mixture and stir well.
5. Pour into a clean, empty bottle and shake well before each use.
6. To use, add 1/4 cup of your mixture to a load of laundry.
If you have a difficult stain on your clothing, pre-treating it with a soapnut will help to remove it. Simply rub the nut on the stain, then wash as usual.
You may find that you need to repeat this process a few times for difficult stains, but it is much gentler on your clothing than using harsh chemicals.
Many people are now interested in using natural household products instead of those that contain chemicals. This is because natural products are less likely to cause health problems and are also more environmentally friendly.
These laundry detergents are made of synthetic, hazardous, petroleum-based chemicals — which are known to be linked to health problems such as headaches, skin sensitivities, allergies, respiratory irritations, asthma, and even cancer.
If you are like me, someone who prefers a clean FREE sustainable source to wash your laundry. There are resources available that will assist you and release you from chemical reliance… you should know there are multiple ways to do it naturally.
Imagine the money you could save if you didn’t have a need for chemical laundry detergents to wash your clothes…
I would recommend choosing an environmentally friendly, healthy alternative to harsh chemical detergents.
You could include soapnuts in your recipe with any number of alternative choices.
It just takes a little creativity in putting together your ingredients. You could always try them all and keep the mixture that works best.
For example: essential oils, salt, castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, and the like. It’s easy to do a quick search for ingredient combinations for natural remedies for just about anything.
I hope my research on the African Soapnut, the Sapindus saponaria, will inspire you to change what you are using to wash your family’s clothing. Imagine the money saved alone, makes it all worth it.
Maybe, in doing this, you will be inspired to continue on a path of choosing natural first… It surely will go a long way in helping to reduce your carbon footprint.
I challenge everyone to participate…
Ok, that’s it for now! If you found my research to be useful… please follow, comment, and clap, I would appreciate it!!
(affiliate disclaimer**This article contains affiliate links to products that you may find useful. If you click on these links and you decide to purchase any of the products, I will make a commission for the sale)
With love and gratitude,
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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