"We have always considered ourselves to be animal lovers, and as having a keen eye for the environment and being attentive to recycling. We both come from the North of Italy and we grew up enjoying the natural beauty that the Italian Alps have to offer. Both of our families love trekking, climbing, skiing and hiking, and we had the good fortune to experience nature close-up from an early age (we even rescued animals in trouble on a few occasions). Our parents gave us a strict education regarding the respect that we owe to Mother Earth, so we were always the kind of hikers or tourists who never left rubbish behind.
But a few years ago we started to realise that "this little attention" wasn't enough and was as nothing compared to all the other bad habits in our lives. Like "normal" people we were using commercial, branded products - sometimes just because they looked familiar or appealing, sometimes simply because the commercials insisted that we needed them. Like everyone growing up during or after the '80s, we were exposed to the powerful influence of TV hype and conditioning. Commercial channels lived off advertising that was, in effect, propaganda for creating a generation of people attached to brands and goods. Because of that, we, as a couple, found ourselves detached from reality - a gloomy, submerged reality - consumed as we were by too many possessions that we lacked the sense to control, and struggling whenever we tried to declutter.
Our disillusion was complete once we understood that we had been willing members of a society where it was normal to buy things only to throw them away. Just consider - as among the worst excesses - packaging: so often made of indestructible plastic, used just once and then tossed - out of sight and out of mind!
In the UK we throw away an estimated 295 billion pieces of plastic every year, and most of those are packaging. When Jo and I finally awoke to the gravity of what lay before us, we decided to be part of the solution, not the problem. We therefore committed to reducing our waste by avoiding unnecessary packaging, finding alternatives to single-use plastic products and switching from disposable household items to reusable substitutes.
I believe that small personal choices can have a considerable impact on our surroundings and that small acts, if multiplied, can transform the world."
"A few years ago I decided to stop buying almost all the cleaning products sold on the market - a terrible experience of toxic reactions following cleaning prompted this decision. Subsequently, I began to research all the products I was using in my home (and on my body too) and what I discovered was quite alarming.
Household products are very harmful, both to the environment and to our health. I learned that everyday household cleaners (not just bleach) have a toxic effect on our bodies and contribute to respiratory problems, skin irritation, nervous- system damage and other health issues. And the sources of toxicity are common: for example, the average woman on a typical day wears 515 Chemicals, many of them for purely cosmetic reasons; then, more broadly, there are harmful substances that we breathe, or continually eat and use for cleaning our home.
So, I started thinking that maybe I could adopt a different approach to my beauty and cleaning routine, that not all applications and jobs require different products and that perhaps I could throw out the expensive and toxic agents and clutter up the space under my kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Our default view of marketing campaigns and their bold assertions - that a household or beauty product is good for us - should be one of scepticism. We know the ulterior motives behind these campaigns, but we allow them to seduce us anyway. We need to wake up and resist.
My different approach was to start my own household and cosmetics DIY based on natural, toxin-free and biodegradable ingredients.
It has been a long journey. Over the last five years I have studied the subject-matter intensively, reading myriad books and blogs from reputable sources and experimenting with scores of recipes. Some time ago, I took a bachelor's degree in philosophy, an ideal grounding for the analytical way in which I now pursue my interests - I love the process of examining a problem in search of the truth. For that reason, whenever I undertake research my priority is to identify trustworthy sources. Obviously, the web today is full of tips and tutorials of questionable value, and it's a challenge to find the right path: a classic case concerns sodium bicarbonate, which is a useful compound, certainly, but one quite wrongly recommended as a softener or limescale remover.
Now I feel confident enough to share my knowledge with you: on this website and in my book you will find everything that you need to make your home a healthier place to live in.I hope you find your own right path. Always remember...
THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH ONE STEP (Lao Tzu)"
JO & DANI
"Our DIY journey was not easy - it required a lot of commitment, time and passion for managing all the challenges we faced, especially at the beginning.
That's why we had the idea to write our book 'My Sustainable Cleaning Guide' and create 'The Green Kit'. It's definitely the easiest and quickest way to start making your household cleaning products. It's actually easier than cooking, and it will reduce your footprint to a minimal waste level and improve your family health significantly."
SO... HAPPY DIY!