Many products we use in our daily routines can be damaging to the environment. It is estimated that liquid soap has a carbon footprint 25% greater than of a bar soap.
This is largely due to the chemicals required for manufacture and the use of single use plastic packaging. In recent years the vast reach and devastating impact of microbeads used in exfoliating products has come to the fore, leading many countries including the UK to ban their use. Microbeads are now found in humans, animals and fish across the world, and a new study in Brazil has demonstrated that microbeads can act as a carrier for other chemical pollutants, adding to the risks posed to animal and human health.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it… is to make your own natural bath salts!
Bath salts are incredibly quick and easy to make and are very cost-effective. They make excellent presents, but best of all you’ll know exactly what you are putting into your bath. Soaking in bath salts can be incredibly beneficial from a wellness perspective.
As well as a 20-30 minute bath being incredibly relaxing, bath salts may also help to relieve tension and muscle soreness, aid in detoxing the body, soften the skin, calm itchy skin, improve sleep, and fight off a cold.
You may need to order some of the vital ingredients to do this challenge, but they are readily available.
What you’ll need
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- 1 Large spoon
- 2 Cups Epsom salts
- 1/2 Cup sea salt
- 1/2 Cup baking soda
- 15 Drops lavender and orange essential oils
- 1 Bottle food or soap colouring (optional)
- 6 Mini mason jars or other glass jars
- Combine the ingredients: stir the salts and baking soda together in a large mixing bowl.
- Next, add the essential oils and colouring, if using. Use a spoon to incorporate the liquids into the salts, breaking up any clumps to ensure that the colour and scent are evenly distributed.
- When it comes to fragrance, play around. Lavender and orange is a great combination to start with because it’s perfect for a long, relaxing soak in the tub, but feel free to choose different scents based on your personal preferences or their aromatherapy benefits. If you’re going to mix scents, smell both bottles simultaneously to make sure the combination is a good one.
- If you’re using traditional food colouring, you’ll only need about five drops. (Soap colouring, which you’ll find at craft stores, will be less intense, so you’ll need closer to 15 drops.) It’s best to start with a small amount of colouring and add more if needed.
Some essential oils should not be used by pregnant women or children. Be sure to read labels before using them.
What Groundwork is doing
Groundwork work with individuals, communities and businesses to reduce their impact on water quality. We run programmes in schools and communities to educate people, and we support the improvement of water quality in our rivers through Catchment Partnerships. Through the Catchment Partnerships we work with anyone who has a relationship with or impact on the river to improve our shared responsibility. We run clean ups of waterways and litter picks by rivers and on beaches.
We also work with the big water suppliers to help them detect leaks and run water use education schemes for businesses and individuals. Our education officers help people understand what shouldn’t be flushed down toilets or sinks. Our landscape architects design schemes that help to reduce flooding by de-paving and diverting water through green spaces or ‘Sustainable Drainage Systems’ (SuDS). These green spaces filter out silt and pollutants and reduce the amount of water going directly into our drains which in periods of very high rainfall can cause surface water flooding.