The environment and the earth are resources provided to us by Allah (SWT) as a means of sustenance, provision and shelter. Individuals are the gatekeepers and vessels to maintain the land with the knowledge and mercy of Allah (SWT). It is important as Muslims to be aware of our ecological footprint and refrain from wasting resources. Making small differences in the waste we accumulate can reduce our environmental impact and create a more sustainable future for our families.
Now you may ask what small steps you can take to make yours and your children’s daily lifestyle more eco-friendly. There are a variety of ways to turn your everyday household items into greener alternatives for your kids.
Natural, Cleansing, Light Shampoo
Finally, a non-traditional means to clean children’s hair! For most children, you need something that’s easy on the eyes and fun for bath-time routines. This is a simple recipe to create a gentle shampoo that is cost-effective when the ingredients are bought in bulk and fun to make with the kids, as it requires just a little shaking. It also replenishes the hair with essential nutrients for a healthy look!
• ¼ cup coconut milk (homemade will be better if your child’s hair is non-oily/dry)
• 1⁄3 cup liquid soap (Castille soap)
• ½ tsp olive oil (or almond oil)
• Optional: ½ tsp Vitamin E oil (for shininess)
• Optional: 15-20 drops of essential oils (combination of lavender and rosemary or preferred combinations that smell good for the kids)
1. Combine ingredients in a container (or old shampoo bottle).
2. Shake well.
Note: This recipe lasts for a month and, before each use, shake well. Also, make sure to use just a teaspoon-sized amount for each application.
Cloth Baby Wipes
Using water to clean your baby is the best way to go about saving on baby wipes and reduce the waste we accumulate. However, a neat and recyclable way to clean up after your baby is to make your own baby wipes!
• Cut up flannel pieces or wash cloths
• 1 cup water
• 1 tbsp baby wash, shampoo or soap shavings
• ½ tbsp baby oil or olive oil
1. Mix all the liquid ingredients together in container.
2. Put cloths in a large mixing bowl and pour liquid over the cloths.
3. Let them sit on one side for at least 10 minutes and then turn the cloths over and let their other sides sit for 10 minutes.
4. Store these cloths in a large plastic bag or plastic container.
Note: These cloths can be hand washed and reused, cutting down on the use of harmful substances often found in store-bought wipes.
Eco-Friendly Bubble Bath Mixture
A fun recipe for the kids and completely natural! It cuts costs and is a natural means to make a whole lot of bubbles and make bath time fun. Have the kids make it with you and it’s like whisking batter – the kids will love it!
• 1 cup soap/shampoo (organic preferred)
• ¾ cup water
• ½ to 1 tsp glycerin
1. Mix ingredients together with a whisk.
2. Run water and add a little mixture (or a lot) to cause frothy foamy bubbles to form in the bathtub.
Note: Glycerin can easily be found at your local health or pharmacy store. Also, shampoo can be used when in dire need to create bubbles – this recipe can be stored for future use and a little goes a long way.
It is important to note that if irritation or discomfort arises, use more familiar products. These sort of recipes are a great way to make inexpensive products that reduce chemical excess and waste and come from natural sources. Educate yourselves about the manufacturing processes of products and try to use organic products to reduce the environmental impact.
Explore different recipes and combinations of ingredients that best suit your family and lifestyle and, most of all, have fun!
“O children of Adam! … eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Al-A’raf:31)
Alizeh Khan is an active member within her local community at the masjid and within her university as an executive member for the Muslim Students Association. Her focus remains to come closer to Allah (SWT) and aid others on their journey to do the same.