Anyways, In 2013, I made the resolution to reduce my toxic load. And to save money. Well, guess what! I found a way to do both!
As a graduate student supporting myself working an entry-level job part-time... you can imagine how tiny my weekly budget is! When I used to think about how much I wanted to use natural, plant-based home cleaning and bath/body products, the dollar signs just started to add up... I mean, we all walk through the store and see the price difference between "traditional" and all-natural products! Well, I will give you a hint. I used "quotation marks" around the word "traditional" because the solution to this problem is the old, tried and true methods that your grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to clean their homes.
Baking Soda and Vinegar.
These products are ubiquitous. You can use them to clean your kitchen, your bathroom, and you can even use them to wash and condition your hair. You can use vinegar to kill mold and to kill pests on your houseplants. If you do a little more research, you will find all sorts of other solutions; like coconut oil, essential oils, washing soda, borax.... etc.
I have been making my own all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, hair cleanser and conditioner, and toothpaste, and have been using virgin, organic coconut oil in place of lotion. I also purchase an inexpensive coco-castille bar soap to wash with, which I also use as a base for the laundry detergent. (I buy Kirk's Coco Castille brand at Walmart for about $3.15 ish for 3 bars. There are other, cheaper bar soaps, but they have chemical additives, and you save so much money buying baking soda and vinegar instead of chemical spray cleaners and air fresheners anyways!!)
I have one caveat. I still use regular deodorant. I feel some guilt about this, but the few times I have tried to transition, the detox period has been toooo stressful. As in, I was stinky and I work with the public. I do try to use fragrance-free deodorant- but maybe if I get a chance to have a week or two off I can successfully sweat out all the aluminum clogging my armpit pores!
I plan on using future posts to list out each individual recipe that I use- this will keep me honest and help keep me on track with the blog! But, if you're ready to start making the transition, the easiest thing to do is to purchase some distilled white vinegar, re-use an old spray bottle, and fill up about 1/3 vinegar and the rest with water- then just spray and scrub! You can't pass out from mixing baking soda and vinegar. too much vinegar won't cause you to feel lightheaded. If you don't like the smell, you can make a more diluted concentration. That's it! (Also, check out my previous post on making two-ingredient citrus cleaner!)
While natural cleaners require more elbow grease, it is important to remember that you are saving money AND you are removing toxic chemicals from your environment.
I will leave you with this: The road less traveled is often the most rewarding. I am proud of the small accomplishments that I have made, and I have made these changes a normal part of my routine. It's normal for me to just mix up a baking-soda and water solution to clean my hair really quickly if I've run out... and one $2 box of baking soda will last me AT LEAST several months, depending on what all I am using it for.
How much do you spend on one bottle of shampoo?
Thanks for reading, friends!