July 11, 2011
It’s no secret I like to make things. My line of botanicals and apothecary items did not stem from a desire to make money. It grew from my ever-growing love of becoming one with nature, living clean and being as friendly to the Earth as she is to me. And from my constant itch for creativity. My sister-in-law used to call me Martha Stewart. As I painted and cut, chopped and stewed, I filled an innate calling. I learned, by hits and misses, successes and utter failures. I laughed and danced, cried and sent things flying. Through it all I fell head over heals with natural products made by hand with love and consideration. In love with knowing my family wasn’t being bombarded by harmful toxins.
As the years went on I realized not only was I happy doing these things, my family was healthier! While everyone around us was hacking and coughing, we were enjoying health. As time progressed further and I watched the people around me age and ail, it seemed we weren’t! My husband has just one grey hair on his chin. Her name is Macala in honor of our gorgeous daughter, who at 14 is so stunning he is sure to have an ulcer next. I still get asked at my children’s school if I am their sister. I still hear I look just like I did in high school. I still feel as I did in my 20’s. I say this not to float my own boat, rather to explain my love for choosing a life filled with herbs and natural oils versus cans and bottles filled with chemicals and things I can’t even pronounce. I firmly believe that clean living has kept us young.
Not all is perfect however. I am a product junkie. I admit it. My closets and cupboards have seen nearly every item lining the shelves of a salon. At times I have even substituted my much-loved home-made products for a flashy bottle or pretty wrapper. Although I have made nearly anything needed to clean us and our home, I have often fallen to the whim of big box stores and purchased those chemical filled pretty bottles screaming CLEAN.
All this leads me to my next venture. Using NO (or as little as possible) store-bought products. No shampoo or soap, no cleaners, no detergents. No chemicals, no packaging, no cans and bottles piling up in landfills. Of course there will be some things purchased, such as baking soda and vinegar. But my goal is to make all of my products completely Earth friendly and chemical free. My hope is to chronicle this madness. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I want to find ways to have as little impact as well. Composting, which I have done for years, however not religiously. Recycling and reusing whatever I can. Shopping more often so as not to waste. Little things here and there that will not only add up to a small carbon footprint, but will also add up in my savings account! Think about this… one box of baking soda can wash your hair for approximately 3 months. That’s 50 cents versus, what? $8? $20 with a salon product? That same box can clean your bathroom say 8-10 times. One can or bottle of bathroom cleaner will last 2, maybe 3 cleanings and run you somewhere around $4? Though not my main goal, saving money is certainly an added benefit.
A couple of days ago I started at the top… with my hair. Although I had switched to natural shampoos and conditioners some time ago, I decided to try to take it one step further. Baking soda and vinegar. You can read the reason in my post STOP Washing Your Hair. Now I have used this method over the years, but never consistently. I would wash my hair with baking soda here and there, but always using conditioner after a day or two. Would use a vinegar rinse, but never continuously.
A few days have passed now and I have to say, this might just be my biggest challenge! The film of mineral oil that builds up takes some time to remove, leaving my hair feeling like straw with greasy, gritty bits. Getting the recipe correct for my hair type, a challenge. My will, weakening.
Update… (July 20, 2011)
Did I say the good, the bad and the UGLY? Well, after 6 days of baking soda “shampoo” I clearly resembled a Chia Pet! Ugly is certainly the proper description. It was not pretty friends. Not pretty. Needless to say, I have resorted to my natural shampoo and conditioner again. And my soft, lovely curls are back. Much to my husbands admiration.
As with life, not everything is going to go as planned. What will work for one, may not for another. We do our best. We try and we choose. As long as we are making an effort to create something better. So my wage goes on. Perhaps I will revisit this baking soda shampoo business another day. I AM a glutton. In the mean time, I will substitute with baking soda and vinegar here and there as I have and continue the pursuit of natural, chemical free, hand-made, dollar saving, Earth friendly goodness.
Next up…. Napkins.
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