Back to Basics: Cutting the chemicals from your household

This week our columnist Lydia Harvey shows us that we don't have to buy every cleaning product on offer to keep a clean house.

Lydia's home made cleaning products.
Lydia's home made cleaning products. Source: 1 NEWS

From personal care to home care, every day we are bombarded with huge assortments of chemical laden cleaning products for every surface in our homes.

We are filling our homes with unnecessary products which mean excess waste for our environment with packaging and not to mention a waste for our pockets. Even with a great range of plant based products now available there are some simple steps you can take to make, replace or extend everyday items.

DIY products
To make your own homemade products you don't have to start big. Start with a few easy to do products such as laundry liquid or toothpaste. It won't be long until you will want to try other products.

Minimise your products
Use a little less of everything you need. Even if you aren't ready to make all your own products simply start with an empty bottle and a 30/70 mix of water and disinfectant as a replacement spray for toilets, sinks etc. Not only does it keep costs down, it keeps waste down. This can also be used for dish washing liquids and pump soaps.

Upcycle your products
Handmade household products can make great gifts. Bottle up homemade laundry liquids for gifting or even extend the life of old towels, tea towels etc. cutting them into dishcloths and storing in a basket or glass jar. They are also perfect for sticky fingers at dinner time.

Simplify your products
Make fewer products that do multiple jobs. This could be anything from a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water to remove mold or wipe bench tops or clean toilets. You can even ditch the window cleaner for hot wet newspaper.

Involve the kids
Seeming as you are cutting the chemicals you are offering the kids a safe experimental space where they can mix, pour and measure until their hearts content.

Lydia's home made cleaning products.
Lydia's home made cleaning products. Source: 1 NEWS

From Lydia's kitchen: DIY liquid laundry

10 litre bucket
Lemon scented
1 cup of baking soda
1/3 cup of washing salt
1 cup of grated soap (we use eco stores lemon one)
10 drops of lemon essence
Combine all ingredients together in a large 10 litre bucket before funnelling into glass bottles. Some separations will occur so just gently shake before each use.
Also makes a great gift idea.

New Zealand retains triple A credit rating

The credit agency Moody's has today maintained the government's credit rating and expressed confidence about the future of the economy.

The rating remains at triple A, with the outlook described as stable.

Moody's analyst Matthew Circosta said the international ratings agency expects the coalition government will remain committed to fiscal discipline, with the Budget staying in surplus.

But it says the government has the flexibility to increase spending in areas such as education and housing.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the rating was very pleasing.

"What they've said is that the underlying fundamentals of the New Zealand economy are strong, that the approach that the coalition government's taking to being responsible with our budget management.

"But investing in areas like infrastructure and improving social supports are the right thing to do, that we can manage to do that within the finances we've got."

Moody's said the very high strength of New Zealand's institutions was a key factor in underpinning the credit rating.

The assessment comes just days after official figures showed growth in the economy increasing to 1 per cent in the three months to June.

Shot of New Zealand twenty dollars.
New Zealand $20 notes (file picture). Source:


American tourist dies in skiing accident on Mt Aspiring

An American tourist has died while skiiing on Mt Aspiring this afternoon.

Police say the skiing accident at Mt Aspiring happened at about 1.30pm today.

Two visitors to New Zealand were skiing from the top of Mt Aspiring, downhill toward the Bonar Glacier.

One of the skiers got into difficulty, has fallen on the slope and was fatally injured.

The other skier gave first aid to the injured man, but he unfortunately died at the scene.

The Rescue Coordination Centre were advised of the beacon activation just after 1.30pm today.

Police and Search and Rescue teams have been working to locate the skiers this afternoon.

Emergency services are now at the scene and an investigation is underway.

The victim is a 35-year-old American citizen.

Police are currently in the process of talking to his next of kin.

Mount Aspiring towers over the southern alps in New Zealand. Source:


Man charged with multiple assaults in Invercargill

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in relation to several assaults in Invercargill today.

The man, who has been remanded in custody, is due to appear in Invercargill District Court on Tuesday 2 October.

The man has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault. Further charges are likely.

Between 1.30 and 2.30am today, the man allegedly assaulted four people at two different properties.

A 17 and 23-year-old man, and a 26-year-old woman sustained minor injuries from the incident at the first property, while a 30-year-old man sustained serious facial injuries at the second location.

Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to either incident.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

First images of wreck believed to be Captain Cook's Endeavour revealed

Researchers exploring whether a shipwreck off the coast of Rhode Island could be the vessel that 18th-century explorer Captain James Cook used to sail around the world have released images of the vessel.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which is leading the search effort, and the Australian National Maritime Museum identified the vessel.

It's one of 13 shipwrecks that have been known for years to be in the harbor near Newport, Rhode Island.

Archaeologists were meeting today in Newport to talk about their recent fieldwork.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project also described the site as promising but said it'll still take a lot more work and money to identify it.

Nearly 250 years ago, Cook ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef during a voyage to the South Pacific.

His ship was the Endeavour, an awkward little vessel that improbably helped him become the first European to chart Australia's east coast.

It was the ship in which the explorer charted New Zealand and Australia between 1769 and 1771.

The Endeavour was also part of the fleet of 13 ships the British scuttled during the Revolutionary War in 1778 to blockade Newport Harbor from the French.

It was listed in the records under a different name, the Lord Sandwich.

The nonprofit Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project located documents in London identifying the groups of ships in that fleet and where each was scuttled

Archaeologists are almost certain they've located the scuttled ship. Source: 1 NEWS