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On Wed, 17 June, 2015 - 17:04
Momtaz's picture

Here at Taraloka Buddhist Retreat Centre for Women, we try to ‘tread the earth lightly’ by leaving as little impact on the land and the environment as we can.
As housekeeper, I look for alternatives to the harsh chemicals that are often used for cleaning – particularly when more natural substances do just the same job!  An example of this would be harnessing the anti-bacterial properties of a few drops of Tea Tree oil in water to sanitise various surfaces such as light switches, door handles, taps, dining tables, etc.  Due to Food Hygiene legislation, we are forced to use some HSE recommended products for cleaning surfaces that come into direct contact with food (such as the food preparation surfaces in the kitchen).  However, we mainly use more eco-friendly products for washing up, cleaning floors, toilets, sinks and for doing our laundry. We buy 5 litre bottles of most of these and re-fill the smaller bottles as they become empty, thus reducing the amount of plastic we use.  Vinegar (in various strengths of solution) has myriad uses from cleaning windows, removing bathroom mould , lime deposits, hard water deposits, to cleaning ovens, chopping boards and pans….I could go on and on!
Since Taraloka is run on a ‘dana-economy,’ (where we rely on generosity) as well as the environmental impact, we also have to carefully manage our economy.  Yet, we are always trying to find ways to increase our ‘eco-friendliness’.  It is a necessity for us to run two community cars, as we must always have one car on the premises during a retreat in case of an emergency (thankfully, very rare!).  However, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, we combine our car trips wherever possible for example, taking the laundry to our local launderette, taking recycling to our local depot, paying money into the bank and perhaps collecting a volunteer from the railway station. If anyone wishes to contact me to find out more my email address is Trish [at]
Trish (Housekeeper at Taraloka)

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