Wow, this post is long overdue! I was busy moving and settling in in April, and things are definitely not slowing down at work as summer approaches. I've been doing my changes each month, just not blogging about them. So here is a quick rundown of the past few months:
March - The change to the family cloth went really well. I'm still keeping up with it at the new house. I didn't say anything to the roomies, just quietly put my two little boxes in the bathroom and went about business as usual. I love it! So clean and comfortable.
April - I switched to 100% renewable energy on the electric bill. Believe it or not, this is actually the first time I've had a utility in my name. Every other house I've lived in, I just paid utilities to the owner, and not directly to the power company. It adds about $7 to the bill monthly. Not bad!
May - This is a big one; so big that I will be carrying it into June. I decided to tackle my personal care products. I consider myself to not use that many, by normal cultural standards. Here is a picture of the products I used on a regular basis:
In the past I've tried to use natural products as much as possible, as well as keeping it cheap. I'm on an Americorps stipend, after all. I also just plain don't use very much. I've had that deodorant and face wash for about a year and a half now. Anyway, a quick rundown: natural shampoo and conditioner, handmade natural soap, St. Ive's facial scrub, Neutrogena face wash, mascara, eyeliner, powder foundation, mousse, facial lotion, and Tom's toothpaste/deodorant.
My May challenge was to use even less of these products, and to try replacing them with homemade/more natural alternatives when they ran out. For one, I wanted to stop rubbing hormone-disrupting, cancer-causing chemicals in the form of pthalates (or "fragrance") into my face and scalp. I also wish to cut back on my consumption of plastics. Check out this link for more info: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/31/chemical.dangers/index.html I figure that the extra money I will probably spend on natural products will even out with the money I save on making some of the other products at home.
My first change was to go no poo, which I've been doing for about three weeks. I'm doing the baking soda/apple cider vinegar combo, and it's working great! I don't find my hair to smell like salad, and I only use it about 3 times a week. The other times I just rinse my hair. My only complaint is that I have naturally wavy hair, and I feel like it doesn't curl as well with the baking soda/vinegar.
I've cut way back on how much makeup I wear. I mean I don't wear that much normally, but I used to feel compelled to wear makeup every day. I'd feel naked/ugly without it. When I was in college, I might roll out of bed and go to class in my sweats, but I always took a minute to swipe on some concealer and mascara first. Now I am very happy that I feel comfortable with a bare face. I think living in Portland has helped with this. There are many women here that I think are beautiful that don't wear a bit of makeup. It was just how I grew up that made me think I had to cover up my face every day. Now I wear it maybe half the time?
Now here is my question for you: Do you have any tried and true recipes for homemade products like deodorant, face washes and scrubs? Please do share! And if you can recommend some natural/organic makeup products, that would be great as well... I need to do more research in this area.
One other change I've made is my toothbrush. My old one was getting nasty, so I switched it out for an Ecodent toothbrush, which saves money and plastic over it's lifetime because you only have to replace the head, not the whole handle. Genius!
And here's a bonus for making it all the way to the end of this post: one of my fierce little hens. She has so much sass.