Here I continue on my journey to live a more sustainable life. It started with my building disgust at the signs all around me of how wasteful our society is. And sometimes even trying to imagine how baffling it would look from the perspective of someone from an impoverished country. Then I stumbled upon the Buycott app which I began to use as a tool to assist me in my buying decisions. I was done supporting companies not working for the greater good of this planet and also the beings that occupy it.
I need alternatives to the stuff I refuse to buy now that I know a little more on this subject. I will provide links to some of the websites where I found my inspiration. People are wary about acquiring knowledge from the internet for obvious reasons. What I have done is consult a variety of blogs, and read through the comment sections. Ultimately, in the case of learning about how to make my own natural products and live a green life, I think trying it out myself is the best way to learn. I am also excited about a couple extra gems of information I came across during my research that I will share as well. Now let’s start with my armpits…
I have been noticing for some time now that my arm pits seem to emit an unpleasant smell sort of like a combination of stale cat pee and the brand of deodorant I have been wearing for most of my life. It seeps into my shirts and seems to cling to the fabric even after they are washed. I was trying to fix that problem by soaking them and putting them through a wash cycle with vinegar. But while researching DIY deodorant, I came across an interesting bit of info: my pits could use a detox.
One tbsp bentonite clay, 1tsp apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tsp of water (I found that 1 made a nice paste, but when I tried 2 it was drippy). Mix into a paste, smear all over armpits, and leave on for 20 minutes
I have applied the paste twice so far and can’t report anything life changing yet, though after I rinsed it off the first time, my armpits did smell fresh. I also found out that one of my options for deodorant is lemon wedges, (which I would love to work since that would be so simple!) I figure it’s worth a try, but my hopes are low on that one. Everyone has different body chemistry,and some of these people who have successful results are on strict vegan diets. They will have different ph balances and odours in their sweat and stuff. (I’m not an expert if you couldn’t tell.) I am also phasing into a healthier diet, but maybe more on that later, (or not because there is already a ton of foodie stuff out there.) I do know my deodorant will not come from a store, (at least not in its whole form), so the making of that will be for another day. And by then my pits should be nice and detoxified, and ready for something new.
Seems like a bit of a veer off topic, but I needed something to put my homemade products in, and whatever I could find that was around, preferably glass. I even considered my pill containers, (no shortage of those around here!)
The food processor I nabbed from the thrift store for $5.
However, I worried about storing anything in plastic containers, so did break down and buy these three lovely little jars from Dollarama for $1.50.
I came across an idea on a blog where some clever woman had crafted together her own glass spray bottle. Using a pickle jar and an old plastic spray container I had, I followed the instructions to make my own.
I did not have an exacto knife so used a wood carving knife instead. The blade bent a bit as I struggled to cut off the top of the plastic bottle. Well it wasn’t that trying. I was standing there topless with my second round of pit paste slathered on, so felt very liberated and cave womanly. I know T.M.I, (just have to sometimes.) The only drill I own is broken so I punched out the hole using the old nail and hammer technique. The extent of my decorative flourish was to color in the lid with a black Sharpie and add my own label.
All Purpose Cleaner
I will not be able to put the solution together until two weeks from now when my vinegar has been fully infused with the disinfecting properties of the citrus fruit peels I put aside for that purpose, (I imagine you can skip that step.) The final steps will be taking the 1.5 cps of infused vinegar and adding another cup of new vinegar along with about 30 drops of essential oil. I will most likely be using 15 drops of tea tree and 15 drops of lavender in mine.
Here’s a couple other natural cleaners I put together using containers I already had on hand to store them in.
2 cps water
1.5 cp white vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon.
*I doubled the recipe to fill the bottle to the top, (only using another half of a juiced lemon.)
1 cp peroxide
1 cp of water
10-20 drops essential oil
* I added about 20 drops of lemon grass. Lemon oil is recommended but I figured… try something else? Next time I will most likely do 10 drops lavender and 10 drops lemon grass.
So I hit the local nutrition market for some of the basic ingredients I required. Whenever you go into one of these stores, prepare to not be cheap. I say this because of some of the prices I want to introduce you to before you venture out and end up checking out your items in a state of shock. (If you’re poor like me and sometimes jump into things head first that is. If you have lots of cashola to throw around, you probably shouldn’t be as worried.) I am going to introduce you to some of the costlier ingredients I needed. You may want to look online for deals or ask people you know if they have some to spare.
This tub was $39.99 for a 1.6 liter tub, though it happened to be on sale so I got it for $10 less. It seems to be a very popular ingredient these days, so maybe all the coconut trees will be gone soon. Anyhow, it goes into a lot of these things I am making and works as a carrier oil.
This cost $16.99 for a 263 gram jar. It is required for the pit detox and remineralizing toothpaste. It will also be a key ingredient in my deodorant when I get to that.
A 454 g bag of this was $11.69. I had never heard of before. It’s a natural sweetener that strengthens your tooth enamel and reduces bacteria. It is also 100% pure. And DO NOT put it in anything your pets will be eating because it is poison to them. AND if you consume too much you might have diarrhea. Heck, maybe it’s carcinogenic like Aspartame, but too late, I must use it all now.
Yikes! I almost did not purchase any essential oils because the less costly brands were out of stock. But after I debated for a bit, I hurried back to the section where they were and treated myself to two: lavender and lemon grass, because both the smells are like heaven to me, and they are pretty diverse in their uses. The lemon grass cost me $9.49 for 15ml and the lavender cost $14.49 for the same amount. A friend gave me a big container of tea tree oil recently which is a great natural disinfectant, and I will be using it in a lot too. Saved me some money there. Oh, if you come across a recipe requiring a mysterious Melaleuca oil, that’s another name for tea tree oil.
Finally… my grand opus! Toothpaste!
I took 1/4 cp bentonite clay, 1 tbsp of a 1:1 calcium/magnesium supplement, (the most affordable was the two combined in capsule form so I just opened up the capsules), 3 tbsp coconut oil, 1/4 tsp baking soda, (I forgot that I meant to use sea salt instead which cleans by scrubbing, baking soda is said to erode enamel), 2 tbsp Xylitol, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, (peppermint oil is suggested, and I was going to use some peppermint extract I already had in the cupboard. But in the one blog post she mentioned how cloves could stimulate the gums and that sounded good to me.) I put it all into my great find of a food processor and kept that going until it was a well blended paste.
I tried this once so far, put just a trace of it on my toothbrush. I found the taste very refreshing, and my teeth had that after- the -dentist- kind of clean feeling..
I will be concocting a version of this soon for my nine-year old daughter. I won’t include the tea tree in hers, because I can already see the soured expression on her face upon tasting it. I will use sea salt instead of baking soda, and find an essential oil to flavor it that she will be satisfied with.(She’s a picky kid to begin with.)
I also found out there is a way to detox your teeth and mouth called oil pulling. You take a tbsp of oil and slosh it around your mouth pushing and pulling it through your teeth for 20 minutes. Sesame, sunflower, coconut, and olive oils are recommended. I used virgin olive oil because it is what I had on hand, and lasted about 5 minutes at it. Next time I will try it on an empty stomach with coconut oil. I can say that when I spit it out, (into my organics bin, not to go down the drain), it was not looking so pure anymore, so it must’ve done something. Also, my teeth did feel smoother.
I really enjoyed an afternoon putting these natural products together. Then I had to go shovel the driveway because I live in Canada.
I hope you found this post helpful in some way and please comment below to add your input!