Going green isn’t just about reducing your carbon footprint. Eco-conscious people often cut out a great number of mass-produced chemicals, replacing them with alternatives found in the natural world. While there has been a movement toward green cleaning products, another area where we are seeing a transition is in the world of antibacterial products such as hand sanitizers.
Hand sanitizers, while effective in killing germs, sometimes contain chemicals that could have dire consequences for the environment and our health. The most debated chemical used is triclosan. Chemicals such as triclosan often cause environmental harm, instigate bacterial resistance and strip the natural oils from your skin.
Avoid these harsh chemicals by reading labels closely or making your own eco-friendly, natural hand sanitizer. Making your own is quite easy, more fragrant and cuts out the potential for health risks and environmental harm. Try this great recipe from DIY Natural.
What you need:
- 5-12 drops of an antibacterial essential oil: lavender, sage, sandalwood or peppermint
- 30 drops of tea tree essential oil
- ¼- ½ teaspoon of vitamin E oil
- 1 tablespoon high-proof vodka or witch hazel extract
- 8-10 ounces of pure aloe vera gel
First, mix all essential oils with the vitamin E oil in a small bowl. The essential oils have antibacterial properties, as well as a nice fragrance and do not create risk of bacterial resistance. Vitamin E oil is added to soften hands and extend shelf life.
Then, add the vodka or witch hazel extract. Either will work just fine to add a bit more antibacterial power. Remember, vodka was a go-to antiseptic for many years.
Take the mixture and add it to the aloe vera gel, blending it well. The aloe dilutes the anti-bacterial mixture while adding natural softeners and protection for your hands.
Dispense your finished product in bottles. You can even wash out old hand sanitizer bottles and refill them with your natural alternative. Your all-natural hand sanitizer should last several months, thanks to vitamin E’s preserving properties.