Ever heard of soap nuts? A natural, environmentally friendly, compostable alternative to regular detergent, the handy little things grow on trees, and the nuts are the dried shells from the fruit. These shells contain a substance called saponin, which can replace chemical detergents such as those containing sodium laureth sulphate which are becoming known by consumers for being a skin irritant. Best of all, they’re cheap – each load costs about 12 cents. Find out more at
Element magazine has seven gift packs containing 250g of soap nuts and an essential oil to give away to readers. That will wash your clothes for about three months. Visit elementmagazine.co.nz, sign up for the weekly e-newsletter and enter the draw.