Disgusted with the sights of mounting garbage piles in every nook and cranny of the colony where I live, I wondered at the solution. The news of tottering high mountains of rubbish in the landfills just outside city limits which have exhausted the capacity but are still being dumped into; leading to health hazards and safety issues is another major concern.
All of this lead me to search for solutions to this burning issue which has the entire world in its grip. There are some smart movement by educated mindsets of many governments in certain countries, cities and regions but largely the efforts are being done on an individual level. I stumbled onto some Zero waste groups on Facebook which shared and discussed ways to sustainable living by cutting down on consumption of goods and reducing garbage in the process.
It’s been a year or so of making conscious changes in my lifestyle to accommodate sustainable practices like composting my wet waste, segregating dry waste, using kitchen ingredients to make beauty care products, soapnuts for washing clothes and making a Bio-enzyme cleaner at home to replace harmful cleaning chemicals like Harpic (toilet cleaner), Lizol (mopping liquid), Colin (glass cleaner), etc.
It’s this bio-enzyme that I wish to talk about today which has me totally committed to a chemical free home cleaning and I am in love with it. It’s such a simple process to make it and a hugely useful cleaner sans any chemicals at all. I would urge you all to switch to making it to replace all the expensive and dangerous chemicals from your home which ultimately wash into the soil and water resources.
And do you know what its made out of? Kitchen waste!! Yes you heard me right. The waste which we all discard from our kitchen into the dustbin is what’s needed most to make this powerful solution. Let’s get down to the ingredients and their proportions first.
1 part Jaggery or gur (100 gms)
3 parts Citric peels & pineapple pulp (300 gms )
10 parts water ( 1 litre)
** Some folks use all wet peels for this mixture, but it’s primarily the acid in the citric peels and pineapple pulp that ferments the sugar in the jaggery that converts this entire mix to an enzyme that helps to clean. Also the citric peels lend a fine citrus smell to the solution that’s pleasing. **
Put all of the above in a plastic container, mix well and close with an airtight lid. Two things to note here, one the fermentation process produces carbon dioxide gas that expands the container. So a glass or metal container is a no no to store this solution. Two, the airtight lid prevents insects/maggots from getting into the solution which would ruin the process.
After mixing it all, it is to be stored in a cool dry place. My favourite place is the cabinet under the kitchen sink. It needs to be accessible as it’s to be opened once everyday for week-10 days to let out the gas formed. After that open it once in 3-4 days till 90 days when it will be ready. Yes the first batch of bio-enzyme takes about three months to be ready.
Dont forget to write the start date on your calendar or the container to keep track of the months.
I made a batch every month for three months and since then I have a ready cycle to produce this on a monthly basis. It’s easy to collect the peels in a plastic bag and store in the fridge every month. Just take care that they are not wet otherwise fungus will set in.
What is this white stuff?
The mix will gather some white stuff- don’t be alarmed as it’s the yeast microbes that float to the top for some air. It will vanish after a few weeks and will leave a sweet-smelling liquid behind. After three months, this liquid is to be strained and stored into a bottle. Do squeeze out the remaining pulp for every last drop and then the residue left behind can be used as a starter to begin the next batch of bio-enzyme which will now take only a month to be ready. You could also dump this pulp into the compost bin if you so wish and it will speed up the process there too.
The best part about this bio-enzyme is that it doesn’t spoil and doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge which is a problem that I encountered with soap nut solution. I added a few drops of essential oil to add some fragrance to the bio-enzyme. I opted for citronella as it’s a citrusy fragrance too.
You would be amazed at how well my toilets clean with this solution, better than Harpic could ever. Best of all, it’s chemical free and doesn’t cost me anything to make it. List of its usage is exhaustive and I primarily use it as a Toilet and a floor cleaner.
I will try it as a supplement/pest control for my plants next and see how it works out.
I hope I have been able to convince you to make this eco-switch in a bid to work towards un-polluting our natural resources. Wont you please share your impressions with me.
Linking up with Corinne for #MondayMusings
Linking up with #MG