What is Limonene and is it used in Bio-D products?

You may have heard of the chemical limonene.

Some of our products contain a small amount of citrus-based, natural essential oils – orange, lime, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit and lemon – which each contain naturally-occurring limonene.

The amount of limonene that occurs in our products is minimal, and not enough to be transformed into respiratory irritants or harmful chemicals.

We are proud to produce the UK’s only 100% hypoallergenic range of household detergents, which gets the seal of approval from our customers who suffer from allergies.

“I’m a vegan with eczema, and my previous brand of laundry liquid that didn’t upset my skin was non vegan, which I hated. Other natural brands I was allergic to, or they just didn’t work. Your Laundry Liquid is great, and the Lavender Fabric Conditioner smells amazing. Best of all, within a week of using your Geranium Hand Wash, my hands are no longer dry and cracked and sore.” Bryony Large

 “Your Laundry Liquid is literally the only product on the market which actually gets clothes clean, without upsetting my daughter’s eczema and my son’s asthma. The Glass and Mirror Cleaner is the only one we’ve ever found which gets windows and mirrors clean without upsetting my son and daughter’s breathing, we use it on the car windscreen as well as in the house.” Jan Loxley Blount

Did you know next week (25th April -1st May) is Allergy Awareness Week? Our fragrance free laundry products are accredited by Allergy UK; find out more about their Allergy Awareness Week activity here.

An update on our packaging

You may have noticed that some of our products have a slightly different look at the moment…276424-BIO-D-WASHING-UP-LIQUID-750ML

We’re experiencing a temporary issue with our bottle supply, which we hope to resolve quickly. Rest assured that the change is aesthetic only! These temporary bottles are still recyclable and the quality of your favourite Bio-D products is not affected.

#CleanGreen16 – easy tips for being greener at home

Our #CleanGreen16 campaign aims to get everyone cleaning greener at home this year. As part of the campaign, for every order placed on the Bio-D website in 2016, we’ll donate 50 pence to The Wildlife Trusts, a fantastic group of charities that works to recover wildlife across the UK.

Need some motivation to kick-start your own ‘CleanGreen16′? Check out these easy top tips for being greener at home:

1) Buy refillable bottles and refill products - you’ll buy — and dispose of — fewer containers over time

2) Don’t use more product than the directions indicate using extra laundry liquid or fabric softener won’t get clothes cleaner and fresher! Simply follow the instructions for best results.

3) Look for concentrated cleaning formulas – it’s a cliché but it’s true: with Bio-D products, a little really does go a long way. Our concentrated products are highly effective and use less packaging than other products.

water-running-tap4) Does that tap really need to be on? Turn taps off while brushing teeth – and teach children to do the same. Two minutes of unnecessary water usage each day can waste up to five gallons of water. Fix any leaky taps too.

5) If using a dishwasher, run it full when possible - it uses half or less of the water and energy used when washing the same dishes by hand. And don’t waste water by rinsing before loading – it’s not usually necessary with newer machines.

6) Cold wash where you can – unless items are very dirty, switch to below 40 on your washing machine to save energy and money. You’ll use up to 40% less electricity over a year than washing at higher temperatures. All Bio-D washing products are effective at lower temps!

7) Eat organic – start with organic versions of items known to have high pesticide levels: they include tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, apples. Better still, consider growing your own! (See below).

compost-pile8) CleanGreen composting – starting a compost pile in your garden is easier than you think. Buy a compost bin and get started – check out this guide here. And be patient – the process won’t happen overnight but it’s worth the rewards.

9) Energy-efficient lighting – opt for super-efficient LED lighting where possible, and consider installing dimmer switches for energy saving of up to 30%

10) And a general rule for a clean and green 16: switch off and turn down! Not rocket science – if electrical appliances aren’t in use, switch them off. And grab a jumper or a blanket instead of hiking up the thermostat.

Happy #CleanGreen16! Tell us on social media how you’re cleaning greener at home this year – don’t forget to use the hashtag #CleanGreen16.

Will you clean green in 2016?

WTrusts_logo (2)

We’re thrilled to announce a new charity campaign for next year, encouraging consumers to be greener around the home in 2016.

Our new ‘Cleangreen16′ campaign will raise money for The Wildlife Trusts. There are 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK whose goal is the recovery of nature on land and at sea. For every order of Bio-D products placed online through www.biodegradable.biz in 2016, Bio-D will donate 50 pence to The Wildlife Trusts.

The overall donation will benefit Wildlife Trusts based across the UK, including Yorkshire Wildlife Trust which encompasses the city of Hull, home to Bio-D and Pearson Park Wildlife Garden, a popular and invaluable urban nature reserve.

Lloyd Atkin, Managing Director, Bio-D said: “It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions and think about things we want to do differently – it feels like a good time to consider whether we’re all ‘doing our bit’ at home and about the impact of everyday household products on the environment.

“Bio-D hopes to incentivise customers to get ‘cleaner and greener’ by making a donation on every online purchase in 2016 to The Wildlife Trusts – a fantastic organisation making a huge difference across the UK. We’re very pleased to be working with them on our ‘cleangreen16’ initiative this year.”

Janel Fone, Director of Marketing and Development for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Bio-D gives consumers the choice to be the very best they can be for wildlife in their purchasing decisions.  We’re delighted to be working with them on this initiative which will help us to protect the places that are so important to people.”

Jonathan Leadley, Director of Development for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said:  “The impact of cleaning chemicals can be catastrophic in the marine environment and also our rivers and wetlands. It is great to work with a company that shares our vision for a healthier environment and a more wildlife-rich future.”

All Bio-D products – from washing up liquid and laundry liquid to furniture polish and all-purpose surface cleaner – are made in the UK from sustainable, naturally-derived raw materials and are free from synthetic chemicals, phosphates, preservatives, enzymes and synthetic perfumes.  They are hypoallergenic, making them suitable for sensitive skin, and are Cruelty Free International and Vegan Society approved. All packaging is made from recycled materials and is recyclable.

Follow the #cleangreen16 campaign on Bio-D social media (Twitter: @thebiodcompany / Facebook: The Bio-D Company Ltd.)

Last-minute eco Christmas tips!

biodxmas3 (2)With just a week to go, we’re getting excited for the arrival of friends, family and big Father C himself. Here are a few easy tips that we’ll be following over the coming days for a lovely green Christmas…

  • Run out of wrapping paper? Before you hotfoot down to the shops for more, consider wrapping gifts in fabric or in keepsake containers that won’t be thrown away as soon as the present inside is revealed
  • Keep an eye on electricals left on throughout the holiday season – tree lights should of course be switched off when you’re out for safety reasons as well as energy-saving ones. And don’t leave house lights, phone chargers or other appliances on unnecessarily
  • Buy big bottles of drinks rather than several smaller ones to reduce waste
  • Christmas dinner has got to be our favourite meal of the year. Choose organic, locally-grown, free-range produce where possible, and serve on your finest china and napkins (ditch the disposables!)
  • Make the most of all leftovers for buffet food and other recipes, and compost anything that doesn’t get eaten (or give to your dog/cat if appropriate!)
  • The big clean-up: Cleaning and washing-up after Christmas parties/dinners is never that fun (or is it just us who uses every single pot and pan in the house on Christmas Day?!), but Bio-D products make it that little bit easier – and they smell rather delicious too :)

‘Synbio’ and SMOs – the debate

o-MEDICAL-LAB-facebook_064505The latest issue of Ethical Consumer magazine includes a feature on synthetic biology (‘synbio’) and synthetically modified organisms (SMOs) being used in detergents and household cleaning products.

It highlights one of our competitors’ use of algal oil, which is ‘virtually’ the same as the ingredient it derives from – palm oil. But with one big difference: it is synthetically created in a lab.

There are some arguments that using synbio methods provides a more sustainable option, that these new techniques are a response to problems associated with unsustainable ingredients like palm oil – tropical deforestation, biodiversity loss and poor working conditions to name some. There is specific controversy over this particular synthetically-modified ingredient of algal oil, however, as it is claimed that sugar is needed for it to grow – with the main source of that sugar coming from Brazilian sugarcane. And it is argued that many of the problems associated with palm oil are present in the harvesting of sugarcane, so that in this particular case, the problem ‘is being shuffled around’ rather than a more sustainable alternative being sought.

(The article highlights Bio-D’s use of coconut oil which requires little use of pesticides in harvest and has a higher level of farm bio-diversity.)

Still, in an era where alternative products such as ‘vegan eggs’ and cow-free milk are being developed in labs, should we consider synbio methods if they are more sustainable? Are synbio methods safe, and how will they be regulated? What about the knock-on effect of synbio production on the livelihood of farmers across the globe who produce agricultural crops, the need for which could be wiped out? There are lots of different arguments on the subject of synbio, as covered in the Ethical Consumer feature, and the debate is set to continue.

Here at Bio-D, we will be watching developments closely, yet we are 100% committed to creating products that are 100% natural; Bio-D products contain no SMOs.


Meet Nicole, Bio-D’s newest team member

We’re very pleased to announce that the Bio-D team has expanded once again. We recently welcomed new Finance Manager Nicole Morrell to Bio-D HQ – here she tells us a bit more about herself. Over to you Nicole!

Q: What does your newsletter photorole involve on a day-to-day basis? Money, money, money, as the song goes! It’s my job to ensure that everyone – our suppliers, the Bio-D team -  is paid on time, and that customers pay in a timely manner. I’m also responsible for monitoring day-to-day cash flow and reporting any changes. Then once a month, I’ll produce the all-important accounting reports that are used for discussion at board meetings.

Q: What’s the best thing about working at Bio-D? The variety of my work, and the friendly team! (I presume they are going to be reading this?!)

Q: If you weren’t working at Bio-D, what would you be doing instead? I’d be working in partnership with my sister and helping her catering business grow.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I enjoy baking, cooking and running. I did a 10K run this year dressed as Wonder Woman – to raise money for local charity Hull and East Yorkshire Mind.

Ask Nikita: What is methylisothiazolinone and is it used in Bio-D products?

ask nikitaIn our first ‘Ask Nikita’ blog post, we’re asking our resident super-chemist Nikita all about methylisothiazolinone – known as MI or MIT – which has been in the headlines a lot, for all the wrong reasons.

We’ve received numerous enquiries from customers about MIT – there are concerns that it causes and exacerbates contact dermatitis (the nasty condition which can make skin red, itchy and blistered.)

Here, Nikita explains more about MIT and if it is ever included in any Bio-D products. Over to you Nikita!

Nikita says: “Methylisothiazolinone – known as MI or MIT – is used in a wide range of personal care products: shampoos, hand washes, baby wipes and more. It is a preservative and a powerful biocide, capable of killing living organisms (germs).

Dermatologists warn that people are being exposed to much higher doses of MIT than ever before, which has led to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis, where the skin becomes red, itchy and blistered. One in 12 adults and one in five children in the UK now have eczema, of which contact dermatitis is one of the most common types.

It’s been said that MIT is second only to nickel in causing contact allergies. MIT was previously mixed with another preservative, Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI). But concerns about MCI causing allergies meant that some manufacturers started using MIT as a single agent. Used alone, it has been included in products at a much higher concentration. And experts say that since its concentration in products increased, there has been a serious rise in cases of contact dermatitis.

geranium handwashAt Bio-D, we aim to avoid adding unnecessary ingredients to our products; where appropriate, we use the scale of pH to help us preserve them. Most bacteria cannot function in lower or higher pH ranges, and our products that need to be mixed with water before use (Washing Up Liquid, Hand Wash) become neutral in pH when used. There is no need to add any extra biocides.

In our disinfectant and sanitising products (All Purpose Sanitiser; Home and Garden Sanitiser), we use lactic acid, which is derived from corn and occurs naturally in the body; it’s a very effective preservative. And these products tend to be at the lower end of the pH range anyway, because of the inclusion of lactic acid – so again do not require any additional, unnatural preservative.

Where we DO require a preservative – in products such as Furniture Polish and Bathroom Cleaner- we use food grade preservative with the lowest level of risk attached to it, avoiding the need for ‘nasties’ such as parabens and MIT.

Got a question for Nikita? Get in touch via Facebook or Twitter, or email us at enquiries@biodegradable.biz .

Tips for an Autumn Clean!

Autumn_1405605211October feels like the perfect time for a refresh of the home and to get everything in order for the cold months ahead. Here are our steps for a good autumn clean:

Clean your windows

It’s not always a job at the top of the priority list, but thankfully Bio-D Glass and Mirror Cleaner makes light work of giving windows the wow factor. Tip: don’t use newspaper to clean windows! Newspaper ink usually has a latex base that will leave smear marks.

Re-order furniture

You may want to move furniture around post-summer to block any air passages and minimise drafts, ready for the cold weather. Give furniture and shelves a spray with Bio-D Furniture Polish, and get rid of any books and clutter you don’t need by donating to charity.

Organise your wardrobes

Pack away summer clothes if you’re short on room, and be ruthless with throwing out anything that’s been unworn for a long time. (Yes including that one item you just know you’ll squeeze into again, even though the fashion police have had a warrant out for it since the 80s.) Freshen up clothes and bedding that have been stored for a while with Fabric Conditioner.

Throw out old food, medicines and bathroom products

Clear out kitchen and bathroom cupboards, checking sell-by dates on old products and throwing out anything you don’t use. Give cupboards a spray with All-purpose Sanitiser and keep bins germ-free with Home and Garden Sanitiser (formerly Disinfectant).

Don’t forget the garden

Say goodbye to the garden for another summer (sob!) by cleaning any outdoor furniture, decking, drains and guttering – our Home and Garden Sanitiser is great for this too. You’ll be back outside again before you know it!

Top Laundry Bleach Tips

Thought Bio-D Laundry Bleach was just for whitening clothes and removing stains? Think again! Here are three uses for this Allergy UK Allergy Friendly Product that will offer a helping hand in other areas of the home too…

1) Remove stains cups and mugs – if your mugs are tea- or coffee-stained (we’re guilty as charged), dissolve a small amount of Laundry Bleach in hot water and soak for a while. For tough stains, scrub gently, then wash and dry as usual.laundry bleach

2) Remove mould from tiled areas – dilute a small amount into hot water and pour into a spray bottle. Apply to surface and leave for 30 minutes, then gently scrub and rinse clean for spotless bathrooms.

3) Sanitise chopping boards, bottles, toys and more – dilute a small amount in a sink of hot water and leave items to soak for 20 minutes or longer, then wash as normal. (Note: do not soak wooden items.)

If you’re a fan of Bio-D Laundry Bleach, head over to our Facebook page to check out our competition to win £100 shopping voucher!