This whole ridding my house of chemicals thing is wonderful. I feel better, have more energy, generally sleep better, and I've become aware of my body and its processes. I has really allowed me to recognize and respond to situations I never would have given a second thought about. I love it. I would probably have more trouble adjusting if I jumped in to everything all at once, but taking baby steps has made this an easy, and quite pleasant, journey. This has also saved me a great deal of money in addition to the physical and mental well-being aspects.
In mid January, I used a friend's recipe to make laundry detergent. It cost me a whopping $3 to make, and I'm STILL using it three months later with plenty more to go. My whites are whiter, my colors are brighter, and it has pretty awesome stain removal abilities (grass stains after mowing yesterday). It even worked on dried up cat vomit (the gross, hairy, slimy, dried kind...because you SO wanted to read that).
I used beet and carrot juice to "dye" my hair. It wasn't a noticeable dye job to anyone, but I noticed more depth to the color which satisfied my need to do something to my hair without actually doing anything drastic to it. Note: if using a home juicer, strain the pulp before putting it in your hair. Mmhmm...yep.
A couple of weeks ago I used up the last of my cleaning product so I began using equal parts water and vinegar. I'm not overly fond of the smell of vinegar, but it's okay. I kept reminding myself that it was essentially a salad dressing and that helped me mentally. The smell also goes away when it dries. Note for those who love hard core cleaners so you feel that your house is super duper clean: the acid in the vinegar is a natural disinfectant. No need to poison yourself with commercial cleaner residue (because I know you don't rinse everything with water after cleaning...and because water isn't enough to get rid of all residue). The body is made to fight off certain things. You're fighting bacteria at home, not cooties at the hospital. It'll be okay. Just do it.
I also stopped using shampoo months ago. I mix baking soda with my conditioner. Two in one, baby. Yes, I know the conditioner has chemicals, too, but my main concern was the stuff that makes shampoo lather. It's icky and harmful. How has my hair reacted? After getting used to my hair not being silky smooth after rinsing, it's been great! It's still super soft when it dries, it's manageable and pretty easy to style, even WITHOUT products to hold it in place, I have less dandruff and dry skin, my scalp no longer itches when I sweat, and it's super quick and easy....and cheap. Everything I mention here will be cheap...as if you hadn't figured that out.
I'm about to try a hand soap recipe...thing. I've got to find a recipe that doesn't simply water down a commercial bought bar of soap because that's defeating the purpose.
I'm going to start making my own loaf bread instead of buying the processed garbage from the store. I try to eat everything else minimally processed. There's no reason not to try the bread to given how much of it we eat.
Yesterday I made deodorant... as discussed in yesterday's post. It held strong ALL day, even through mowing the second half of the yard. It's marvelous! My commercial deodorant typically runs out of staying power less than half way through the work day. I just can't rave enough about this one. I still sweat, but that's tolerable. I just don't want to smell.
I haven't jumped on the tooth paste thing. My teeth are prone to cavities so I'm hesitant about replacing it, but it turns out that the glycerin in most commercial tooth pastes prevent your teeth from remineralizing so maybe it would be better to make my own.
I don't use a face wash anymore. It's coconut oil, or coconut oil with baking soda if I need extra oil control of exfoliation. It also, obviously, acts as my moisturizer.
Lastly, I went without sunscreen this evening when I finished mowing the yard. I went 30 minutes without any issues. I wore a hat and glasses to protect my eyes, but that was it. It was also evening and not the worst time of day to be in it. I obviously won't know if the coconut oil sun lotion will be successful until later, but I'll try to keep you updated and progress...or faults if it happens.
This isn't a chemical issues, but a lifestyle choice. We began recycling when we moved into this house. I never knew how much stuff we threw away until I started looking at the many things that can be recycled. There are weeks when I put two bins by the road. People who have recycling services offered to them, should take advantage of them.
Back to chemicals and mass market companies. I am baffled and appalled that they use the ingredients they choose and happily market their products to the public. They are truly dreadful and should be avoided at all cost. We are led to believe that these products are safe and beneficial, but they are most certainly not. We are slowly poisoning ourselves as a society, and most of us don't even know it because there isn't enough education about the issue at hand.
I realize that I have written about the improvements I've chosen to make, but haven't really discussed why. Aside from being cheaper, and not really all that time consuming, I started because I care about my health and watched too many documentaries to not want to make a change. I may pick topics to discuss, one at a time to help this purpose...things like aluminum in deodorant, fluoride in toothpaste and our drinking water, phthalates in fragrances, etc.
For now, though, I think I've rambled long enough. I hope you've had a good wednesday!