Do your cleaning products contain palm oil? The answer is… probably yes!
Palm oil is in everything. Your food, your beauty products, and it even sneaks into your cleaning products! The World Wildlife Fund estimates that about half of all packaged items at the supermarket contain palm oil. So what is palm oil- and why should you care?
What is palm oil?
The ‘mesocarp’ palm is a highly efficient source of vegetable oil. It uses the kernel or the fruit of palm to create a saturated fat. Palm oil became popular when trans fats were found to be unhealthy, and palm oil had similar qualities but was deemed healthier than trans fats.
Why is it so bad?
Tropical rainforests have been cleared to make room for palm oil plantations. This has destroyed the habitat of orangutans, tigers, rhinos, elephants, and other endangered species. There are some plantations that are environmentally responsible, however most are not.
The palm oil trade also hires workers who are abused, and child labour is used in Indonesia and Malaysia. So palm oil not only devastates the environment, but is socially negative too.
Palm oil also has a habit of hiding in ingredients lists. Other names for palm oil can include:
Vegetable fat, Vegetable oil, Palm Kernel oil, Palm Kernel, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmitate, Palmate, Palmolein, Elaeis Guineensis, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol.
Why do cleaning products have palm oil?
Bubbles. Under the name sodium lauryl sulfate, palm oil is used as an inexpensive foaming agent. It helps to bond oil and water, which means water can strip away grease and dirt from skin, clothes, or the surfaces you are cleaning. It’s very effective, cheap, and readily available.
So how can you make a difference?
Don’t buy products with sodium lauryl sulfate in them. Or, use products with the RSPO or Green Palm label. The RSPO label ensures the palm oil used is from certified and sustainable plantations that are environmentally and socially responsible. The Green Palm label helps growers transition to sustainable palm oil farming methods. However there is no real way to be 100% sure that the palm oil is sustainable due to corruption in the countries that produce it. So the safest way to avoid contributing to ecological and social problems is to avoid products that contain palm oil.
No palm oil in Dream Eco Products
Here at Dream Eco Products, none of our products contain palm oil or its derivatives. You can be assured that the environment and our effects on it are important to us and we work hard to ensure we are eco-positive.
Labelling lies and why your ‘eco-friendly organic’ cleaners might be toxic
When someone tells you their product is ‘natural’, you would expect it be created from natural products, but it’s not necessarily true. With marketing jargon making claims that don’t match perception, we want to tell you what they actually mean- and why our products match our claims.
Chemicals aren’t as worrying as they sound
The word chemical might sound bad, but it’s actually not. Everything on earth is a chemical. Potassium in a banana is a chemical. Sodium is the technical name for salt- a chemical. Don’t fear chemicals, you are a combination of them yourself!
What makes a chemical ‘toxic’?
Toxic products have chemicals that disrupt normal cell behaviour. In cleaning products for instance, this may result in skin irritations, breathing problems, or headaches. If a product creates a negative reaction, such as eye irritation when using bleach- then it is toxic.
Organic is often a lie
In New Zealand, revenue from ‘organic’ groceries has climbed 147% from 2012. It’s a huge growing industry and marketing companies have taken advantage of that. While the Fair Trading Act and the Commerce Commission try to stop companies from making false claims, there are no specific standards that have to be met to say that a product is organic. This means that products with as little as one tenth of its ingredients being organic are marketing themselves as organic. Then some companies create ‘organic-looking’ logos and put them on the product. As a consumer, you still need to read labels very carefully to understand what genuinely is organic. However there are some certifications that are legitimate- check them out here.
Eco-friendly may not be as friendly as it seems
The phrase eco-friendly might seem like it’s a good thing, but this word can be put on anything. It’s a marketing term and it’s designed to make you think you’re buying a product that’s good for the environment. If you’re serious about wanting an eco-friendly product, look for one with accreditations such as Environmental Choice New Zealand.
Our products contain no toxic chemicals. They are eco positive, and safe for use in your home environment. www.dreamecoproducts.com
Use these unusual cleaning hacks to make your life easier (and cleaner!)
There will always be things in your home that are difficult to clean- but they needn’t be! Here are a few quick tips and tricks for the hard-to-clean things in your life.
Use your dishwasher for things other than dishes
Dishwashers are great for low-effort cleaning. If you have vases, robust ornaments, plastic toys, bathroom ceramics or even glass lampshades, use a gentle cycle and let drip dry. Easy!
Tongs to clean venetian blinds
Fasten small microfiber cloths to your tongs using rubber bands. Now you own the perfect tool for cleaning venetian blinds! If the blinds are very dusty, a gentle vacuum beforehand will make the rest of the process easier.
Washing machines are for more than just clothes
Put dirty, sticky Lego pieces in a pillowcase and fasten with string. Pop in the washing machine with the normal washing powder and complete a warm water wash. Sparkling clean Lego!
Remove fur from furniture with this simple trick
A simple pair of rubber gloves solves your cat and dog fur problems. Run your hand over your bed, couch, or carpet when wearing dishwashing rubber gloves and it removes fur easily.
Vacuum cleaners clean more than just floors
Your vacuum comes with multiple attachments for a reason! The crevice tool is great for the sides of couches, inside drawers and cupboards, and even spaces like your knife block. The brush tool is great for gently removing spider webs from ceilings, or dust from picture frames.
Toothbrushes for crevices
Use an old leftover toothbrush for tricky crevices and gaps. Ideal for around windows, tile grout, and joins in benches, use warm soapy water and scrub. For hard-to-clean areas, let the water soak in and use baking soda as a gentle abrasive. Just remember to store the toothbrush with cleaning equipment and not lying on the bathroom bench!
Eco-friendly toilet cleaner harnesses the natural power of essential oils
Toilet cleaning is not usually a favourite cleaning task. There’s no way to make this chore fun or glamorous, but we can make a product this is effective, kind to the environment, safe for septic tanks, and smells amazing.
Eco-positive toilet cleaner that works
As with all of our products, our toilet cleaner has been thoroughly tested and is effective. Just squirt into the bowl and use the toilet brush to scrub. For stubborn stains, let sit for a while and then brush again before flushing. Clean, sparkling, and all without having to use harmful chemicals such as bleach.
One of the main ingredients in our toilet cleaner is tea tree essential oil. This is important because tea tree oil is a potent anti-bacterial agent. Combine this with the other essential oils in the range, and you can be safe in the knowledge that bacteria will be eradicated naturally. Cinnamon, lemongrass, lime, and pine essential oils all have antibacterial properties making them ideal to kill bacteria while still being safe for the environment.
Amazing natural scents
With three different scent options, there is something for everyone. Delicate fresh lemongrass and lime, warm and spicy cinnamon and tangerine, and crisp sweet orange and pine are part of the current range. Without artificial fragrances, these products are better for your health than mainstream cleaners.
Lemongrass is also known for its odour killing properties, so it not only provides a lovely fragrance, but helps to remove less-than-pleasant ones.
All-in-one bathroom cleaner
The Dream Eco toilet cleaner can also be used as an excellent surface cleaner. Squirt onto bathroom benches and sinks and wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of soap scum and grime. This is truly a fantastic product that does the job, does it well, and does it without harming the environment. So what are you waiting for? Visit our shop and try some for yourself!