I’m going to skip past any explanations for why I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like. I will say that I appreciate my peeps that have stuck with me even during my periods of inactivity. I really appreciate you coming over to my little corner of the internet and taking the time to ready my content. Lets get on with today’s post.
My conversion to a more natural, eco friendly and self sustaining life has been a slow and ever-evolving one. However, I think it is important for people to start making changes in the areas of their life where they can manage to make them. For me, being able to save money, even if a little bit of investment was required up front, was a great motivator.
If you are interested in seeing what changes I made, just keep scrolling 🙂
1. Making my own Deodorant
This was probably the first big change I ever made to living a more natural life. I was motivated by the links between Aluminum and mental illness (which runs in my family) and the connection between breast cancer and impaired lymph nodes in the underarms.
Feel free to do your own research and find your own reasons. If you are interested in my tried and true recipe for a deodorant that works, click here.
2. Making my own Beauty Serum
I’m such a sucker for retail packaging and find it hard to resist on a product that looks pretty, smells pretty and claims to make my skin pretty. Unfortunately, all of the really good quality serums on the market are extremely expensive. I decided to make my own a couple of years back and have been loving it ever since. I can customize it for whatever my skin needs at the time. This is one of those products that requires investing up front to buy good quality oils, but it is so worth it. Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to post recipes for different skin concerns.
3. Using Coconut Oil for multiple tasks
This is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t use coconut oil these days? I like to buy mine in bulk and always make sure to buy it organic and unrefined. Here are some ways I use it.
-removing makeup: I just take a dab and work into my face, paying extra attention to the areas with heavier makeup (lashes/eyelids). Then I either wipe it off with a reusable wash cloth or wash my face with a natural soap and water.
-moisturizing (face and body): Coconut oil was the first oil I ever dared to put on my face for fear that it would make my acne worse. Over time, it actually improved my acne and helped reduce excess oil production. Now I use it all over to lightly moisturize my skin.
-cooking: Organic, unrefined coconut oil has many benefits inside the body as well. I use it keep food from sticking to my pans but also use it a lot in baking.
-seasoning cast iron- I have recently gotten into trying to restore vintage cast iron. After doing the proper steps for cleaning and removing rust, I use coconut oil to re-season the pan for future use.
-soothing skin irritations- If I ever develop any kind of rash or irritation on my skin, I just dab a light layer of coconut oil on the affected area. Because of its antibacterial properties, it usually does to the trick to heal and soothe whatever is irritating my skin. Especially useful for a sore nose from dealing with sinus congestion, etc.
4. Using multipurpose cleaners like OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate
Even though I have been known to keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water around for cleaning, sometimes you just want to clean with something that can still disinfect but smells nice. Enter On Guard’s Cleaner Concentrate. Yes, it costs $20 a bottle but it can be diluted and used to clean toilets, showers, countertops and floors. It is non-toxic and safe to use around pets. I keep a spray bottle in my kitchen as well as one in my bathroom. Works beautifully and I don’t have to worry about nasty ingredients to get things clean.
5. Making my own Facial Toner
One of the simplest items to make more naturally that is actually more effective than store bought. At least, it was the case for me. I just mix apple cider vinegar and filtered water and keep it in a spray bottle. The dilution depends on my skin and time of year. For example, if it is the summer and my skin is more oily, I use a 50/50 mix. If it is winter and my skin is drier, I use a 25/75 mix. Pro tip: If you use raw apple cider vinegar with the mother (which I highly suggest for all the added enzymes), I suggest using a small lotion bottle where you can pour the toner out onto a cotton round instead of a spray. Over time, protein strands develop in the vinegar and these can clog the sprayer on spray bottles.
6. Reusable Menstrual Products
If you peeps have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I made a menstrual series discussing different products that are reusable and therefor more inexpensive and eco-friendly than disposable pads and tampons. So far, I have used reusable menstrual pads (more info on those plus a free product offer here ) and the Lunette Menstrual cup (review on that is coming soon!).
I have not needed to buy a menstrual pad for about 4-5 months now. I was never a fan of tampons because my body used to reject them and they would cause cramping, but the Lunette cup has worked really well and the combination of both those products has me having the most eco-friendliest periods ever! I know that sounds weird but your used pads and tampons are sitting in a landfill somewhere, waiting to decompose. If that isn’t enough to get you to switch, consider the savings. Yes, it costs money to buy the reusable products but you make the investment one time and never have to worry about spending money on those products again until it is time to replace them. Both the cup and pads are meant to be used for YEARS before needing replacement.
7. Reusable Panty Liners
TMI Alert: I am the type of girl that wore pantyliners all month long. I just hated the idea of getting cervical mucus or other vaginal discharge on my underwear and then wearing them all day. Between the costs of disposable pads and liners, I was spending around $20-$30 a month on products I was just going to throw away…that’s up to $360 a year! Then I learned about reusable liners and found these from the same Etsy Shoppe as the reusable pads. I have been loving them ever since.
8. Switching to Liquid Castile Soap
I first purchased Liquid Castile Soap as a more natural alternative to the chemical laden soaps I was using. I had no idea it was so versatile and served so many uses. Here are some of the ways I use Liquid Castile Soap:
-shampoo: Yes, even on my curly/frizzy hair, Liquid Castile Soap is a suitable shampoo that gets my scalp clean without damaging my hair. I do recommend using a good conditioner afterwards as it can dry the hair out a bit.
-body wash: It makes sooooo much lather! You can also find some really nice smelling ones that are still natural and not full of artificial fragrances. My favorites are this one that smells like Almonds and this one that is unscented for those with sensitivity to scents.
-hand wash: Great alternative to all the fancy hand washes that smell great but are full of toxic chemicals. Liquid Castile Soap can be diluted with water and used with a foaming pump for an awesome hand wash.
-dish detergent: Believe it or not, it is such a good soap that it even works well as a dish detergent. The only down side here is that you might need to keep applying some to your sponge to have a lot of suds (which is weird because it makes tons of lather on a loofa) but overall it works well.
-laundry detergent: Oh yeah…this stuff cleans in just about every way imaginable. You really only need a small amount too because Liquid Castile Soap tends to be very concentrated. A small capful is enough for a full sized load.
9. Making my own Hair Gel
Those of you who have been following my blog for a long time, you know that I experimented a while back with making my own gel. Though I don’t use it as much in the winter because I can’t stand the feeling of something cold on my head when it is already chilly outside, it is a great gel. It controls my frizz without making my scalp greasy and provides a good hold without making my hair stiff. For a very old blog (I’m a little embarrassed at the pictures if I am honest) on how to make it, click here.
10. Making my own Scrubs
As I mentioned earlier, I am a sucker for retail. A nicely packaged scrub that promises to make my skin akin to that of a goddess is hard for me to turn down. Until I read the ingredients, that is. Most companies use a lot of fillers to create large profit margins and, it turns out, you can make far better quality scrubs at home. Here are some of my favorites to make with items I already have in my pantry:
-coffee and coconut oil: Great for the entire body. The caffeine in ground coffee is said to help promote circulation which can improve cellulite and promote better elasticity. I just used my used coffee grounds from when I make cold brew (let me know if you peeps would like a post on that…it will change your life!) which is awesome since they would go in the trash any way.
-sugar and sweet almond oil: I don’t want to use a coffee scrub at night for fear that the caffeine content may affect my sleep. I know that sounds silly but your skin absorbs 70%-80% of what you put on it. I make this mixture when I want a scrub that is gentle but effective and moisturizing.
-epsom salt and olive oil- This is really great for the feet and because epsom salt is actually magnesium, it really helps with sleep so this scrub is great to do if you shower at night. Epsom salt is also great at relaxing the muscles which makes it awesome for soothing feet after a long day of standing or walking.
There you have it peeps! I hope that you have found my list useful and I hope you will give some of these items a try. Let me know in the comments if you use any of these already or if you are excited to try any of these products in the way I shared with you all. Have a wonderful weekend and remember…
Stay Awesome Peeps,