Archive for July, 2010

Weekly Water Saving Tips

Limit your household water consumption to a set amount per day – try 20 kilolitres a month of 600 litres a day

Indigenous grasses like buffalo and kweek need half the amount of water that kikuyu requires.

Fit a length of 19mm hose to your washing machine waste outlet and use the water on your garden.

Playing under a sprinkler or with a hose is fun for the kids in summer but it wastes up to 1 000 litres of water an hour.

Don’t cut your lawn shorter than 3cm to 4cm, so the blades of grass can shade each other, reducing water loss.

Water plants sparingly. Water plants only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.

Soaking saves. Soak pots and pans rather than let them sit under running water while you scrape them clean.


Leave a comment »

Word of the Day – Phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol is an organic chemical compound, a glycol ether often used in dermatological products such as skin creams and sunscreen. It is a colorless oily liquid. It is a bactericide (usually used in conjunction with quaternary ammonium compounds), often used in place of sodium azide in biological buffers as 2-phenoxyethanol is less toxic and non-reactive with copper and lead. It is used in many applications such as cosmetics, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals as a preservative.  

It is also used as a fixative for perfumes, an insect repellent, a topical antiseptic, a solvent for cellulose acetate, some dyes, inks, and resins, in preservatives, pharmaceuticals, and in organic synthesis. It is moderately soluble in water. It is used as an anesthetic in the aquaculture of some fish.[1][2]

It is also listed as an ingredient for many United States vaccines by the Center for Disease Control.[3] In Japan its usage level in cosmetic products is regulated.[4]  

Phenoxyethanol is an excellent alternative to the standard, potentially harmful formaldehyde-releasing preservative.[6]


Leave a comment »

Soap Facts – Lots I didn’t know


Handmade Soap Facts –

  • Most “soaps” sold in grocery stores are usually not soap at all—they are detergents! Detergents are cheaply produced petroleum-derived surfactants used in common household cleaning products like laundry liquid, car wash and dishwashing liquids. Yes, the same ingredient used to wash grime off your car is also in skincare products known as “beauty bars”, “facial cleansers” or “shower gels”.


  • Real soap is made from animal or vegetable fats (we only use vegetable ingredients), mixed with an alkali (lye, or sodium hydroxide). The fatty acid molecules of the oils link up with the base, creating a new molecule consisting of soap and glycerin. There is no lye left in finished soap, because it is irreversibly, molecularly transformed. This process of making soap is called saponification.


  • Handmade soap is fashioned in a time-honored tradition called the “cold kettle method”. The soap isn’t really cold when it’s made, but the term refers to the absence of externally applied heat to drive the soapmaking process…except for the heat used to melt any butters or saturated fats, there is no other “cooking” involved. Saponification actually generates its own heat (exothermic reaction), which is just enough to drive the process to completion. This method of low-temperature soapmaking helps to preserve the nutrients imparted by the base oils and herbs, so they are still available to your skin within the finished soap. In contrast, commercial soap is cooked in huge vats, within a vacuum, which speeds saponification for faster product turnover.  

  • It takes a full month to make a bar of good handmade soap! Once the soap is removed from the mould and cut into logs or bars, it is placed on racks to “cure” for at least four weeks. Like fine wine or cheese, the aging process allows the soap to mellow and cure, so that it will last longer and lather better.


  • Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the soapmaking process; handmade soaps retain the natural glycerin, which makes a gentle, creamy, moisturizing lather. Commercial soap companies remove the glycerin from their soap, then bottle and sell it for use in cosmetic and industrial products—for more than they make from selling soap! Removing the glycerin is why most commercial soaps leave skin feeling dry and itchy.  

  • “Glycerine soap” is generally not soap at all—just like other commercial “soaps”, it is usually made from detergents. Even in the rare occasion it is from a true soap base, it must be processed at very high temperatures with special chemicals in order to achieve the characteristic transparency.  

  • To “superfat” a handmade soap means that there is a calculated excess percentage of a particular emollient oil (such as Shea Butter or Avocado Oil) which, instead of being linked up with lye and turning into soap, will remain in its original state within the finished soap and will be made readily available to the skin. The practice of superfatting is the ultimate luxury in a moisturizing soap.  

  • “Castile Soap” is the common name for a soap made entirely from olive oil, and named for the region of Spain from which this type of soapmaking originated—the province of Castile. Today, the term is sometimes used to describe any soap made with olive oil, regardless of its actual content. But for soap connoisseurs, a true castile is the gentlest of all soaps and can be made only from 100% pure olive oil.  

  • Until the mid-19th century, soap was usually made by women in the home from leached woodash and leftover tallow (boiled animal fat). Soap was made once a year and was generally used not for bathing, but for household cleaning and laundry. It was not until regular bathing came into vogue that soap was elevated to its modern use as a luxury “toiletry” item, and so the trend to perfume, color and otherwise decorate soap began.


Comments (2) »

Wave Your Flag

Wave Your Flag – With the world cup completed and everyone at a loss at to what to do with themselves, we have a plan for all those who have flags, they are not sure what to do with…

We will be collecting flags, the large SA flags will be put up at needy schools to help them be super proud to be South African.  Smaller flags will be used to create proudly South African and other countries clothing, bags, etc.

All will be sold to help fund our school community garden project.  Give us your unwanted flags and we’ll make sure they get put to good use, and wave your flag… 🙂

Comments (17) »

Earth Friendly Wine?

Earth Friendly Wine? – Enjoy some the of the finer things in life without the guilt…choose green wines.  Not only will you impress your friends with the effort you are making, you will also be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to make the change.


What is the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI)? The BWI is a pioneering partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector. The goals are to minimise the further loss of threatened natural habitat, and to contribute to sustainable wine production, through the adoption of biodiversity guidelines by the South African wine industry.

One of the strategies of the BWI is to identify and enlist interested producers as members or champions of the initiative, who will implement the biodiversity guidelines, conservecritical ecosystems and incorporate a biodiversity story into their winery experience. BWI champion sticker BWI member sticker Support green wine!

Please support BWI members and champions by printing out the BWI wine list provided below and purchasing these members brands. (Important Note: this list is updated on a monthly basis to include new members).

Also look out for the BWI promotional label prominently displayed on the wine bottle in the front or on the backlabel, and support our producers conservation efforts.

Leave a comment »

On a Sad Note – Our Home

On a Sad Note – Our Home


On a sad note, our home was broken into on Tuesday.  A great number of items were taken but what broke my heart more then anything else was that our video camera and digital camera were taken.  Both items had the video and photos of my youngest son’s first hair cut which his dad did on Sunday.

Our computer which the life line of Recycled Inc as also taken so the updates will be slow and not as frequent.  We are in the process of making sure our home and the Recycled Inc office is very secure.  Your patience and thought are appreciated as we reclam our space!

Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!

Comments (2) »

What I Need To Do In Ten Years…

What I need to do in ten years, alot, but above all, I want to teach my boys selfconfidence, to be a good person, to be happy with life and happy to be where they are in it. How to be gental with humans, love animals, save the planet one plastic bottle at a time and give praise to Jesus for giving them the ability to help those who need it.

I want them to know without a doubt that I love them completely as they are, there will always be space for them at home and no matter what they do, Mom and Dad will always be there to give hugs and kisses.

To love my husband beyond possiblity and grow happily old with him is a absolute must. All the other stuff is just frills which make my life anything but dull.

If I get this right then I'll be a very happy and contented 37 year old, soccer mom who runs around mad between schools, children's home and my home office 🙂

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: