This past week has been ‘Zero Waste Week’, something which in theory I’d just love to be able to do, but find an up-hill struggle. It’s hard to go against the grain of ease and go that extra mile when society offers you an easy throw-away lifestyle. It’s so tempting to be honest, but actually I get a huge sense of satisfaction when I see fewer plastic bags mounting up, a recycling bin double the size of my landfill waste, bulks of food stored in my cupboards and most of all the joy of no longer having £20 ‘Superdrug’ bills that consisted only of personal care products – I’ve even saved money! Some of the other things that I have done to reduce my environmental impact are:
- Take my rucksack and other re-useable bags to the supermarket
- Re-use jars for food packaging, cosmetic packaging and the odd pen pot on my desk
- Buy ingredients in bulk, such as rice, lentils, nuts, raw cacao, aloe vera gel, shea butter, coconut oil etc.
- Make my own cosmetics to avoid buying more packaging
- Bought a BPA-free plastic water bottle to reuse
- Bought more clothes from Traid, a charity shop.
- Re-used furniture handed down from my family
- Reduced food waste by freezing fruit, vegetables, bread, garlic, ginger etc.
- Using the mooncup, instead of tampons.
- Bought fewer clothes
- Recycled more – aiming only to throw away perishables.
I’ve found it to be a really rewarding, eye-opening and even money-saving challenge and I hope that this post might inspire more people to give it a go. This Ted Talk shows you how far and successfully you can go.
If you feel compelled to do something, why not make a pledge in the comments below? I’d love to know what they are!
So to follow this post I thought I would share my handmade deodorant and face wash recipes! I plan to add more in the future, so keep an eye out for homemade toothpaste, lip balm and household cleaners.
Handmade Deodorant Stick:
I’ve used this recipe for nearly 2 years as a cream. However I did feel the need to modify it with beeswax to work in a twist stick format. I’m so excited to see it working in a more sophisticated way now, as this really relieves the need to buy from the shops. The product itself is brilliant. It works better than store-bought for me. However there are two things you should note: You may react to the bicarbonate of soda, if so, stop using for a few days and then reintroduce as your armpits will still be detoxing from your shop bought. Or make another with reduced amounts. Also past batches have marked my clothes slightly. On the whole it washes out, but some marks may remain particularly on black T-shirts, so take care with your posh frocks and shirts.
1/3 Cup Coconut oil
3 Tbs Beeswax
2 Tbs Shea Butter
1/3 Cup Arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
2 Tbs Bicarbonate Soda
10-15 drops essential of your choice (Tea tree is anti-bacterial).
Gently melt the coconut oil, beeswax pellets and shea butter in a saucepan.
Take off the heat and add 10-15 drops of essential oil
Add the bicarb and arrowroot powder, stir thoroughly and quickly
Pour into sticks / tube packaging and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
Calming Almond & Aloe Vera Face Wash:
This is so nourishing you can rub it in and leave it on! However, if I have worn make-up then I will actually wash my face twice with this and use a flannel to make sure it has been removed properly.
Fills 100ml bottle:
5 Tbs Aloe Vera Gel
2 Tbs Sweet Almond oil
1 Tbs Castile Soap (I use Dr Bonners)
4 drops of Essential oil of your choice
Stir ingredients together to saponify and place in a jar.
Wet face with warm water. Massage face with the cleanser in circular movements. Rinse flannel and wipe face. Pat dry with a towel.
Avocado & Castor Oil Cleanser
1:1 ratio of each oil for normal to dry skin. Use more castor oil if your skin is oily or more avocado oil if your skin is dry. You can also use other oils such as: olive oil or sweet almond oil.
Pour a small puddle in the middle of your palm. Rub your hands together to heat up the oil and gently massage your face in circular movements. Really enjoy this process moisturising your skin at the same time.
place a flannel / cloth under warm water and hold over your face for 10 – 20 seconds while you open your pores. Rinse and gently rub and then pat dry with a towel. If your skin feels dry or tight again, use a few drops to re-moisturise your face.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below…