In most households, it is very simple to just turn on the tap and have an endless supply of water. It just happens automatically, without having to think about it, or to really have to consider how much you are using. It seems like an unlimited resource, but is it? When Neil and I moved from the city to the country we were quickly jolted out of our comfort zone.
For the first 18 years at Mount Zero we lived entirely on rain water, collected from the roof and stored in our water tanks. This was sufficient to meet our requirements for the olive grove and our domestic needs. However our water demands changed when we opened the Mount Zero café. Suddenly 30% of our precious water was being turned into waste water in the bathroom for washing hands! We could no longer survive on our own reserves and needed regular refills brought by water tankers – a costly exercise.
Carting water was not sustainable, and goes against our values, as we are committed to living as sustainably as possible. Caring for the environment and making the most of our scarce natural resources is something we are truly passionate about. There had to be an alternative! This led me to start researching water saving yet hygienic alternatives for hand washing. I found the Victorian government recommendations on hand washing - 10 seconds with the tap running to lather up, then 10 seconds for rinsing. I worked out that this equates to at least 4 litres of water! I also found some clinical tests that showed that hand washing can actually cause a buildup of bacteria and microbes, which seems to defeat the purpose. I wanted to find a way to reduce water consumption as well as find a healthy, environmentally sensitive solution, so I set about investigating how I could create a natural hand sanitizer that was effective at killing bacteria and microbes. As usual, nature had the perfect solution. After months of painstaking research, I discovered that a combination of Grampians Thryptomene and Lavender oil has natural broad spectrum antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. And I didn’t have to look far to find it. Grampians Thryptomene grows amongst our olive trees. We could simply harvest and distil it on the farm. The Lavender is grown and distilled locally.
So after months of research, installing a new still to distil the Thryptomene flowers and leaves from our property, and experimenting to get just the right combination, I was finally successful in developing a formulation for an organic, chemical free, hand sanitizer. The bonus is that the Thryptomene has a unique, refreshing fragrance and because this product is totally natural and contains organic alcohol, it does not dry out your hands like commercial hand sanitisers.
This new hand sanitiser is now being released under a new brand -The Girl and the Olive.
I am excited and proud to announce that this is the first of five new natural skin care products about to be released, all of which utilise our biodynamic extra virgin olive oil and the beautiful Grampians Thryptomene that grows wild on the Mount Zero Olive Grove.
Check out the new products here