Eco-friendly wash­ing

Element - - Upfront -

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 el­e­ment­, sign up for the weekly e-news­let­ter and en­ter the draw.

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