A Healthy Home: With Mark and Nicole from Abode Healthy Home Products

Here at The Organic Place we don’t only provide fresh fruit and veg but we also have a wide variety of other products too. We put in a lot of time researching a product before we decide to include it in our online store. We like to make sure it’s the real deal and so when we came across the Abode Healthy Products range we just knew it was the perfect product us and our wonderful customers. It wasn’t only the fact that the products are Australian made, free from nasties and not tested on animals but it was also the story behind how and why the products were developed that really got us. Tonight we’ve invited Mark Netherway and Nicole Bijlsma, creators of the Abode Healthy Home Products range, to tell us that story.

Nicole and Mark with their 3 young children.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

We are Mark and Nicole, the husband and wife team behind Etheco Australia, Abode Healthy Home products and the Australian College of Environmental Studies.

Nicole has been in clinical practice since 1989 and is an accomplished naturopath, acupuncturist, building biologist and accredited IICRC mould remediation specialist. She is a woman of passion, and is on a mission to educate and empower people around the world on environmental medicine. Nicole is also an author, having written the bestselling book Healthy Home, Healthy Family (3rd edition due early 2017), and columns for Body+Soul (Herald Newspaper). Nicole has featured multiple times on every major television network including the 7PM Project, Sunrise, the Today Show, The Circle, Channel 7 News, Today Tonight and Channel 74.

Mark is the one person steam train boss of Etheco Australia, and the man behind the success of Abode. He is responsible for Abode’s cutting-edge formulations, sourcing quality ingredients, product development, research, manufacture, sales, marketing, processing and distribution of the Etheco brands and Abode Healthy Home products (phew, that’s a lot of work!) Mark’s inspiring hard work and passion is evident in the success of Abode and the brand’s massive sales growth around Australia since launching in 2005.

Our story begins back in 1999 with the establishment of the Australian College of Environmental Studies (ACES) when we began to realise the extent to which homes were the underlying cause of many illnesses. We went on to create the Abode Healthy Home Products.

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What inspired you to create your own products and start Abode?

We couldn’t find products we would recommend, so we made our own.

Nicole first became involved in healthy homes as a result of two events in her life. Firstly, she experienced ten miscarriages after moving into her first home. We now know this was caused be exposure to a high level magnetic field from the meter box positioned near our main bedroom. Secondly, she began to notice the extent to which the environment was causing illness in many of her patients, particularly children. Whilst researching subject material for the Building Biology course at the ACES, Nicole realised early on that there were a lot of discrepancies with cleaning products marketed as ‘natural’. For a start, most of them do not live up to their claims, they are considerably more expensive than supermarket brands, and they contain toxic chemicals that are known lung, skin and eye irritants.

So together, we set out to create a range of products that would revolutionise the industry and set a benchmark for cleaning products in the Australian market. In 2005 we created.

What makes Abode products different?

No one makes cleaning products like we do. And we are dedicated to developing Australia’s healthiest cleaning products. At Abode, our priority has always been on the health of you and your family. Our range was originally developed for people sensitive to the commonly used commercial cleaning products filled with toxic chemicals and ingredients known to be irritant and harmful to health. We made our products and road-tested them to work as effectively as the commercial market leaders.

Abode only use food and pharmaceutical grade ingredients in their products, which mean they are 99.99% pure, no fillers and nothing hidden. Many other companies source only industrial grade ingredients, which is only 72% pure….so who knows what else is in there?

  • Abode Healthy Homes Products:
  • Contain no nasty chemicals or harsh detergents
  • Not tested on animals
  • Vegan friendly and cruelty free
  • Biodegradable and grey water safe
  •  Phosphate free
  • No synthetic perfumes
  • No optical brighteners
  • Environmentally friendly
  • derived from plant and mineral based ingredients
  • No genetically modified ingredients

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What are some key things you wish more people understood about having a healthy, clean home?

Whilst personal care products list their ingredients on the packaging, manufacturers of cleaning products are not obliged to. As such you don’t know what you are really being exposed to. There are many so called ‘green’ cleaning brands that are environmentally friendly, but few have been developed to consider the health of your family.

Nicole’s Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Home

  1. Shoes off inside! This will significantly reduce the levels of dust, dirt, germs, pesticides and other unwanted things coming into the house.
  2. Invest in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter and motorised head. Without a quality HEPA filter, up to 80% of contaminants will recirculate back into the indoor air.
  3. Bring in the fresh air! Open windows and doors regularly to allow good air flow through the house
  4. Clean Green. Replace harmful chemical cleaners with non-toxic alternatives from the Abode cleaning range. Damp microfiber cloths are great for dusting and to reduce the microbial load in the home
  5. Use the sun to regularly air out doonas, mattresses, pillows, rugs and other fabric furnishings, soft toys, pet bedding and even chopping boards.
  6. Avoid air fresheners and artificial fragrance in your home as many are lung irritants that may also contain hormone disrupting chemicals
  7. Keep electrical appliances at least 1 meter away from the bedhead and family couch to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation. WiFi and mobile phones should always be turned off at night.
  8. Filter your water. Tap water is treated and disinfected with chlorine and fluoride, both associated with health risks. Water and shower filters are now a necessity, not a luxury.
  9. Store food and beverages in glass, stainless steel and lead-free ceramics. Avoid plastics (#1-3-5-7) coloured & glazed ceramics and leaded crystal.
  10. Read the labels. The first 1/3 of the ingredients (usually the first 5) listed make up over 95% of the product. Many chemical ingredients available have never been tested for human safety or long term health effects.

One final thing…

Being parents ourselves we understand what you expect from the products you buy. We have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that our products work as well as the leading brands, comply with the new European REACH Directive, without the use of nasty chemicals. They are made in Australia to stringent standards using the best natural ingredients that money can buy.

If you would like to purchase some Abode Healthy Home Products just click HERE to add them to your Organic Place order this week!

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