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A fun, creative and easy way to be green, stay natural, and save some bucks is to make your own products!
How can you make natural products? You can easily make your own personal care products with pure ingredients, which are are often easier to find than specialty products, are vegan and cruelty-free, less expensive, less toxic and have little or no packaging (many can be purchased in bulk at natural shops).
Making your own products with a just few simple ingredients makes it easy and fun to be zero waste while at home or on the road.
A pure soap with a million uses. Cleans and deodorizes. Great hand, face, body, baby, pet, and produce wash. Castile soap is made from plants, instead of animal fats, so it's safe to use in most anything including grey water systems, septic systems and HE washing machines. I love Dr Bronners because it comes in so many great fragrances like almond, hemp and rose. Castile soap can also be a great zero waste gift since it's multipurpose and great for traveling.
A natural antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, organic coconut oil also be used as a moisturizing lotion, hair conditioner, lip balm, and more. And you get to smell like coconuts! Add to smoothies or use for cooking or baking for an excellent source of heart-healthy essential fatty acids (for pets, too)! Bonus: can be also used to tell the temperature since it's a solid that turns liquid above 76° F or 24° C.
Plain old sodium bicarbonate is a natural ph-neutralizing cleaner and deodorizer that has so many uses. Baking soda can be taken as an antacid, and also used as a cleanser, exfoliator, shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, produce wash, household cleaner, laundry detergent and much more.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A natural antimicrobial. Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar can be used both for cleaning and as a diet supplement. Apple Cider Vinegar is thought to have many health benefits, including reducing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol and helping maintain a healthy weight. Drink 1-2 teaspoons in water as a health tonic.
The liquid from the seed of the jojoba plant, iodine-rich jojoba oil mimics our natural sebum and also stimulates collagen. It has many uses such as as a facial moisturizer, makeup remover, anti-wrinkle treatment, anti-acne treatment, anti-dandruff treatment, hair conditioner, cuticle balm, lip balm, and can also be used to help heal wounds, treat rashes, and fight infections since it's a natural fungicide.
Pure Essential Oils have many aromatherapeutic and health benefits. Because of their potency, usually only 5-10 drops are needed per mixture. Use sparingly at first until desired scent is reached. These are some of my favorites because they're so versatile.
Lemon: uplifting, detoxifying, anti-depressant, can improve mental clarity.
Orange: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, natural insecticide.
Lavender: mood calming, anti-inflammatory, natural insecticide.
Peppermint and Cinnamon: purifying, can assist digestion and increase mental alertness.
Eucalyptus and Tea Tree: antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory.
1 part castile soap
These are just some of the recipes I've experimented with, but they're really just ideas and guidelines. You can experiment, change or adjust them however you want! I'm no expert, just an eco-conscious traveler who likes to travel ultra light and liquid free, plus save some bucks and smell good while doing it!