Green Your Life

Talking about amazing eco-friendly products and access to my online Wikaniko shop.

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Baby Photo Competition


Are you a ‘Green’ Mum or Dad?

Do you like to use eco-products on your little ones

Is your baby (are your babies) adorable, cute, gorgeous, beautiful?

Are they under 24 months?

If so, why not take part in our Eco Baby Competition!

My little boy when he was a few days old! Now a monster of 2.

My little boy when he was a few days old! Now a monster of 2.

You could win £50 worth of eco-points to use in our online shop.

All you have to do is to go to this link and follow the instructions on the banner.

Competition closes on 31st December 2014.



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Living Greener with Wikaniko – #2: Kids!

la on beachJJ exploreI admit it! I have committed the greatest eco-sin, not just once but twice, I have two kids.

They will grow and use up more and more of the worlds resources, they may too have children and so the process will continue.

However, I do try to ensure that my children understand about the environment and how to look after it.  From wildlife and nature to saving energy and water, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint, I try to help my children be aware of their links with the world around them.

Using products from my Wikaniko shop helps with this understanding – well at least for my 5 year old.   We talk about why we use the products we do in our bathroom and why I’m not happy for her to use make-up (yes, some of her friends are allowed to play with their mum’s make-up!).

aloe-vera-gelcoconutdispWe used to chat about why I didn’t like the prescribed products for her eczema – instead preferring Aloe Vera Gel or Coconut Oil.  The Aloe Vera providing a soothing coolness to help get rid of the itch as well as being healing for the skin and moisturising.  The coconut oil being a good moisturiser, keeping her skin supple.  We are lucky, it seems like she has grown out of this eczema – fingers crossed.  These two products are still our mainstays!  I’ve talked about the Aloe Vera before and the coconut oil helps with nappy rash, dry skin, mini-massages and when my daughter is swimming regularly again, we will use it as a monthly hair conditioner to see if it helps her tangly mane!

We also love using the coconut oil in cooking, though I think their favourite use is for my coconutty-chocolate sauce to go on ice-cream!  (Equal amounts of coconut oil, cocoa and either honey or maple syrup, melt slowly until completely mixed in and pour on vanilla ice cream. The sauce goes solid almost immediately and it is quite delicious.  You can also make chocolate cornflake cakes with it!).

organic_cotton_wool_padsI talk with her about why I use organic, fair trade cotton wool on her younger brother.  It was all we used when he was tiny to clean his face, body and bottom.  Just cotton wool and water.  Why organic? Well growing cotton is one of the most pesticide-intense farming practices.  Yes, some of those pesticides will be washed off or removed during processing, but not all.  Also, what about the people who grow and harvest the cotton – should they and their families suffer so I can use something really soft on my tiny baby?  I think not.  This is also why I try to buy FairTrade when I can.

nappy-liners-disopMy youngest is still in nappies (reusable of course) and I find the paper liners invaluable in reducing the amount of poo that sticks to the nappy!  He eats loads of fruit and his poos show it, especially if he then sits!  Though the liners say they are flushable, I don’t flush them (though the odd one does escape) as though they will biodegrade completely, this does take longer than loo paper and so can lead to blockages in pipes.  Instead we have a little bucket in the bathroom lined with one of the biodegradable pedal-bin bags to pop the soiled paper and any other bathroom rubbish in.

jacksonreecewipesunscenteddispAt home, I use flannels to clean faces, hands and bottoms, but when out and about, we do use wipes.  It took me a while to find a wipe I was happy with when my eldest was young as I was petrified of using anything that might cause her eczema to flair up!  Eventually I found Jackson-Reece wipes, made by a family for their children who had eczema.  Now, I don’t use anything else.  They are strong, can wipe a lot of grub off all parts of the body (during the holidays we went to the woods with some friends and my daughter decided to put on some ‘mud-sun-screen’!  The wipes removed the worse of the mud before she got back into the car) and fully bio-degrade.  Though again, I don’t flush them down the loo.  The water companies say nothing down the loo but toilet paper and what comes out of your bits and bum!  Anything else may result in blockages, especially in houses/flats with older plumbing!

dogwastedisp_copyAlso when out and about, we use the biodegradable nappy bags to put the dirty nappies in.  I have found it useful to have these bags on me a number of times for other reasons – particularly removing dog poop from an area we are playing in.  Dog owners – please remove your own poop and put it in one of our biodegradable bags so you are not preserving it for generations to come!


nappy-freshteatreeessoilndispMany people are put off reusable nappies because they need to wash them and they are concerned about getting them properly clean.  After removing as much poop as possible from the nappies, I usually soak them for at least two hours prior to washing.  If I remember I put some Bio-D Nappy Fresh in with the soaking water, but usually I forget and just pop some in the powder draw of the washing machine.  I also add in a few drops of Tea Tree oil for extra anti-bacterial action and a gentle scent.  I usually wash on 60, with a 90 C wash every 6 months or so.  This keeps my nappies clean of bacteria, bugs and other things that may harm my son, but sometimes a stain will remain through a couple of washes.  This does not fuss me – at least they are not being bleached and the bleaching chemicals are rubbing off onto my little boy’s bottom!

When my son was tiny, he had quite bad cradle-cap and I found our Cradle-cap lotion to be excellent in gently removing the scabby bits as I have written about here.

I really love the fact that my job and home lives are so intertwined.  For me, that is how life has to be.




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Goodbye to Cradle Cap

Both of my children suffer from Cradle Cap. It is not a serious thing, but it is a bit unsightly, especially when the scabs flake off. Monkey goes to school next year and I wouldn’t want her being teased about it. So, action is required.

The most frequently touted solution is to put on some olive oil, rub it in, brush with a soft brush to remove the flakey bits and then wash it out. Fine, so long as you remember in this order!

I have a tendency to do the hair wash and then, when brushing out the tangles remember that I intended to put in the olive oil to get rid of the cradle cap!! Next time I think, but next time passes and the cradle cap stays.  Putting olive oil in the hair without then washing results in really horribly greasy hair – yuk!

Aloe and Rosehip Cradle Cap Lotion

Aloe and Rosehip Cradle Cap Lotion

So, when Wikaniko announced it had a new cradle cap remedy, I thought I would give it a go….

I tried it on Chimp first.  He was about 4 months at the time and had a fair amount of hair, but the scabby bits were quite obvious and a couple of bigger bits regularly made my fingers itch to scratch them off (a no no as it may result in infection).  So I gently rubbed some of the cream in to part of his head, massaging it in for a while as he sat in relaxed mode on my lap.  The instructions (on the website and not the bottle) said to use a baby comb to remove the softened flakes, but as hard as I looked no comb could be found, so made do with a soft baby brush.  Even so, the flakes were coming up well for the few minutes that Chimp remained relaxed, including the big nasty one (yeah!).  He wasn’t that keen, so I stopped.

Mid combing - you can see the mass of flakes and the redish skin where I had removed the flakes.  The redness disappeared within a few minutes.

Mid combing – you can see the flakes and the reddish skin where I had removed the flakes. The redness disappeared within a few minutes.

I tried again a few days later, this time with the comb that had been hiding in plain sight (don’t you hate that?) and was amazed at the volume of flakes that fell from Chimps head onto the floor (luckily laminate so easily swept.  If you have a carpet, I suggest putting a plastic sheet down to collect).  I wasn’t combing hard at all, just gently and repetitively over his head.

I think Chimp is still producing cradle cap as once clear bits have now got a few scabby bits again, but as he is still young this is probably to be expected.

I also tried the product on Monkey who is nearly 4 and has always had some fairly scabby bits despite repeated attempts with olive oil over the years.  I put it on and brushed out with a soft brush until she complained quite vocally.  Her hair is very fine and easily tangled and caught on brushes, so she is not very keen on having it brushed.  Again, the scabby bits came off easily, though I had not managed to get all of them.

I looked again at her head yesterday to hunt for scabby bits and all of the bits I had brushed were still clear.

So from me, a thumbs up for this product.

And the best bit – I can use it any time, even straight after hair wash as it doesn’t make the hair greasy.  It dries well and soon after use you wouldn’t be able to tell you had used it (well other than the mass of flakes in Monkeys hair that she wouldn’t let me brush out).

The main components in the remedy are Aloe Vera and Rosehip.  It is very gentle and non-toxic.