This past year has been a real learning experience for me. I thought I was eco-friendly before, buying all-natural cleaning supplies, natural shampoos and deodorants… and now, a year later, here I MAKING my own products. So if I was green then, what am I now? Good question. I’d like to say sustainable.
For most of my life, if I ran out of dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, bathroom cleaner, deodorant, shampoo etc., life would go on hold until I ran to the store to buy some more. It never crossed my mind that I should make it myself. In fact, because of the chemicals used in most of these products, there is no way I COULD make them myself. It wasn’t until I became aware of the dangers in those chemical-based products and started using all natural products, that I realised that these ingredients are actually ones I could get my hands on, and I could make myself.
Talk about enlightening! Talk about liberating! Talk about sustainable! I don’t actually HAVE to run to the store as soon as I run out of something. I can actually make it myself, and chances are, I will even have the ingredients in my own kitchen or laundry room already! The clouds have cleared. I see the light.
I have been cleaning for some time now with baking soda and vinegar-water. They work perfectly. They don’t kill every last bit of bacteria in the house but I am OK with that. Bacteria isn’t always a bad thing. But it did take me a while to let go of my 7th Generation cleaners and head to my cupboard for the baking soda. Chemical conditioning, I call it.
For a few months now I have been washing my hair with baking soda-water and rinsing with apple cider vinegar-water. Fantastic results. Chemical-free, cheap, safe and available. I had read about doing it for literally YEARS but I couldn’t put down the shampoo bottle. Because I was chemically-conditioned to that chemicals work better. But they don’t. My hair is shinier, healthier, and much less dry than it has ever been in my entire life.
Today I ran out of dishwasher detergent. Today I looked up how to make my own. Today I realised that I can easily make my own from ingredients I already have. Salt. Baking Soda. Borax. Vinegar.
Next I ran out of laundry detergent. I looked that up too and have discovered how to make my own. I did pick up a few ingredients for this one… washing soda (cheap!!!) and pure glycerin soap (also cheap!). And tomorrow, when I wake up, I am making my own laundry detergent.
Up next will be deodorant. I fell in love with an all-natural, baking soda-based locally-made deodorant that I picked up at a farmer’s market last summer. It worked so well I bought some for my husband. We put it to the test on hot summer days. It worked perfectly for both of us. No aluminium. No preservatives. No color, or chemicals. I could keep supporting the local supplier, but once I read the ingredients, I thought “I could make this!” The ingredients are great and I already have them in my cupboards. I can MAKE my own deodorant!
I feel as though a whole new world has been opened up before me. What an opportunity! I don’t need the chemicals. I don’t need the preservatives. I don’t need the beauty isle at the store. I can make my own from basic ingredients that most stores carry. And I can feel good about using the products because I can actually pronounce the ingredients. My family is safe from unknown, harmful chemicals. No longer do I have to buy the all natural but expensive supplies. I can make my own. Have you lost your chemical-conditioning yet? Come try it with me!
This post has been linked to Common Sense Homesteading’s Living Well #27, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #13, Homesteading Trading Post Link Up and The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barnhop #48.