The Green Housekeeper Ltd is a family owned and operated business. There are nine of us in total including seven wonderful children.
We have strong family values which we wanted to maintain throughout the business but we do not mean to preach, just explain our beliefs and principles.
Loving life and where we live, we want to protect, preserve and respect ourselves, each other and our surroundings. In order to do this we have to know what we are putting into, onto and around us. Okay so far?
We are blissfully based in the heart of the English Lake District; the scenery around us is magnificent, uplifting and inspirational. It has inspired artists, poets, authors, philosophers and the general public for generations – it inspired me to create…..cleaning products!
Perhaps not quite as daft as it sounds. Our products are entirely natural
The Green Housekeeper was borne out of sheer frustration. I am passionate about my family; they mean the world to me. I am careful about the food we eat, cooking from scratch each day, using locally sourced seasonal ingredients wherever possible. I know absolutely what goes into my family.
I am knowledgeable about skin and skincare and so have long used natural personal care products for myself and family, on occasion whipping them up ourselves – bath bombs, great fun! So I know, to a large degree, what goes onto my family too. When the children, certainly as they reach teenage years, experiment with new mass produced products, I can still read the ingredient label and Google if necessary, for example in the case of a reaction – so still this seems relatively safe.
Then there’s cleaning.
The last thing I want to do is be negative – I am naturally a positive, happy person, but the labels on commercially produced cleaning products frighten me. Look for yourself. I had no idea what I was spraying on the surfaces and into the air around my family, I had no idea what they may be bathing in after I had cleaned, I didn’t know what each product contained – and please believe I have tried so many different cleaning products – I am occasionally described as being a little obsessive about cleaning – but I enjoy it!
Before I go on, I must stress that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is safe, for you or the environment. I absolutely know this to be true. All cleaning products must be used for the purpose for which they were intended and in the manner described – but wording on labels such as ‘amongst other ingredients’ for me, for my family, is unacceptable.
I will not go into what those other ingredients are likely to be and nor will I go down the route of talk of carcinogens, rise in asthma, eczema, psoriasis. Plenty of information is readily available on these subjects, I think here would be inappropriate - although of course I am happy to discuss any fears you may have.
I needed to know absolutely what I was putting into my home, into me and onto and around my family. I couldn’t find out (remember ‘amongst other ingredients’) so I researched old fashioned, traditional methods of cleaning. I remembered how my grandmother would clean – laundry days, baking days – oh how I loved my childhood!
Please remember that if a product gets onto the skin, it goes into the skin - so if that product contains harsh chemicals over time and use so will you, so will your family – before we start with airborne particles!
We use traditional methods (by hand) and some well known ingredients, we work from formerly redundant farm buildings which have been sympathetically upgraded by local tradesmen. We walk to work; life is simple, slow - and as uncomplicated as possible. We are happy. Simplify your life - housekeeping isn’t just about cleaning and we have plans for the future to incorporate different aspects of Household Management, but let’s make a start with cleaning – which we all have to do!
Goodness me, not so much about us as about me – I do apologise, I just have so many messages I want to convey. In a paragraph we are a large family with a tiny company which makes natural cleaning products by hand to order. We are really happy to do this and believe we offer a genuine alternative to mass produced products. We love our family, our home, our business and our surroundings and hope to preserve and protect this for future generations.
If you are reading this then chances are you care about the environment.
Of course we do too but I would like to make a full and frank admission here. My main thrust for starting The Green Housekeeper was not of one of concern for the impact on the environment caused by cleaning products. I am just being honest. My primary concern was (and is) for the immediate user and the inflicted upon (family, guests) in the immediate environment. If this news has horrified you may I just go on to say that The Green Housekeeper makes environmentally friendly cleaning products. Our products do degrade rapidly into harmless components, they are safe to use with all forms of sewage treatment including mains, septic tanks and cess pits. We have an eco-digester here and couldn’t use proprietary branded products as they would kill the essential organisms necessary – we know this to our cost, long story involving me being on holiday and my mother and a her bottle of bleach – enough said – well no, actually after spending 4 hours rodding and then digging a field in Cumbria with my tiny garden spade at 10.30pm perhaps more could be said…… sorry, breathe, breathe!
Perhaps you are concerned about your own carbon footprint and might like to reduce it. Maybe you just want to try something different. You might love the idea of a natural smelling home, you may be sensitive to certain smells, perhaps you suffer with asthma and some products can trigger an attack. Even just the nostalgia trip of how things used to be done - people choose our products for many different reasons. Whatever their reasons, whatever your reasons this really is about you and the choices available to you.
The Green Housekeeper offers a genuine alternative to mass produced cleaning products.
Ps I am green by accident, perhaps you are too! I have long re-used, re-vamped, recycled and indeed do try to reduce my consumption of resources. This to me is not being ‘green’ as such; rather it is plain common sense.
So what can you expect? Well should you choose to order from us (thank you) I am afraid you will have to wait a little while. Some of our products take longer to make than others. Every single product is hand made to order so we ask for one week please. Then your own parcel of goodies will arrive hand wrapped, delivered via Royal Mail.
Please note – we have never bought a box. All of our packaging is donated, reclaimed or recycled, our wrapping paper is donated too – you might receive something not quite to your taste, often it isn’t to ours – but we did have so much fun with the gnome boxes from the garden centre – these unfortunately have now all gone but I am hopeful that my next trip to the garden centre brings more, oh little things do amuse me!
It is slow, it is old fashioned, the devil is in the detail as they say, it is worth the wait! I take great comfort from the fact that the vast majority of our customers return again and again, and we have amassed a number of fantastic testimonials.
Them? Here I mean the products, details of each individual product are given at your command (click). I just want you to think what goes into them – I don’t mean ingredients, again these are all listed too – each product contains ethically sound ingredients from sustainable sources. These ingredients are skilfully blended by hand to your order. They are packaged by hand using packaging which is easily recycled and locally sourced. Everything to do with the formation and running of The Green Housekeeper Ltd uses other small independent companies as locally to us as possible, all but a couple from within Cumbria, none whatsoever outside of the UK. We are supporting other small businesses, if you choose our products, so are you. We do not export. We have been asked to a number of times and we refuse as we believe the transportation of our products would negate the environmental benefits. I know that this causes a lot of frustration for a number of organisations designed to help and support companies to grow and flourish and, not that I am ungrateful, simply I believe that by sourcing and buying locally we can ensure a good mixture of business within the UK.
Please do not misunderstand me, I love to travel and seek new experiences, cultures – I love to explore, enjoy different customs, foods, fashions, beliefs. Everybody in Belgium should use Ecover, everybody in America should use Method, everybody in Australia should use Bio-Logic – do you see what I mean?
Finally on this, I want to mention value, not values, value.
Do you remember the very first time you tasted fresh orange juice? I do (incidentally orange juice is damaging to the environment and shouldn’t be poured down the drain). I remember vividly the little tiny glass of thick bright liquid being put into my (probably sticky) little hand. I remember that first sip and the near explosion of taste in my mouth. I remember the sweetness and the viscosity (although of course at that age I wouldn’t know to call it that). Must be over thirty five years ago and I can still almost taste it. Fantastic.
Nowadays orange juice is incredibly cheap, so much so that we do throw a lot away, it now holds little value, it is everyday. To me it is still a precious thing, I rarely drink it – there aren’t any Cumbrian orange groves, and so it is still, for me, a real treat. If only we took the time to think of the journeys, not only our food takes, but also all of the other things we consume, and see how special they are - then appreciating and re evaluating even the little things becomes easier.
Goodness I wasn’t supposed to preach, sorry! I shan’t start on the Seasons, please do sign up for the newsletter!
A growing number of people recognise the importance of local sourcing. Food is the easy one. Future aspirations of The Green Housekeeper involve food, recipes, hints and tips so that you get the best for your money. Eating cheaply is not the same as eating cheap food, please do not compromise on quality. Love where you live! Come to Cumbria, eat Kendal Mint Cake, enjoy Cumberland Sausage, try Herdwick Lamb, it is all part of the fun, the experience – value it.
The UK has a large amount of fantastic small producers of just about everything you could need – support it, enjoy it, value it, share it with friends. Thank you.