Monday, July 19, 2010

"Green" living

I love this new craze of green living. Basically it's frugal living and building home skills, and everyone benefits including the earth. I think it is hilarious that it's so popular now to be cheap, I mean "re-use" everything. Hanging your wash out on the line is the "in" thing to do now. Cloth diapers are also the thing to do, and we made the switch about six months ago. Going back to the "old way of life" is what society is encouraging. Hey, this is something I've always gravitated towards and if that's what is popular right now that's great.
I've experimented with a making my own toothpaste. I've tried a few different recipes and finally combined knowledge and created my own that I think works quite well. The first recipe I tried used a pure castile soap and so it left a slight soapy taste. Nobody in my family was in favor of this one. Next I tried a baking soda based one and tweaked it to be more tolerable. The ingredients you need are baking soda, virgin coconut oil, xylitol, and peppermint essential oil. The xylitol is actually a natural sweetener and is really good for your teeth. You can go to to check it out. Xylitol helps to prevent cavities and tooth decay. It can be found at a health food store. So can the essential oil.

The recipe:
4T of virgin coconut oil. You may need to heat this in the microwave for around 30 seconds to soften it up.
6T of baking soda. Mix this in with the coconut oil.
8T of Xylitol. Mix in.
80 drops of essential oil. Sounds like a lot but it really isn't. Mix it in.
A nice paste should form.
*if you don't want to add the essential oil (which a lot of time I don't) that is perfectly fine

The thing about "green" living is that it's frugal but also it is what is healthiest for your body. Commercial toothpastes contain glycerin which coats your teeth. It takes about 20 rinses to get rid of the glycerin. When the glycerin remains on the teeth, they can't re-enamelize. This actually causes decay. Plus there are a lot of scientist out there against the use of fluoride. Also a lot of commercial toothpastes contain some form of whitening agent that is horrible for your teeth and causes them to be brittle. Most dentist will tell you that a homemade toothpaste is far better for your teeth than commercial toothpaste.
I put it in a glass jar, and dip my toothbrush in it and just get a dab. You don't need a lot of it and this jar should last you a long time. The baking soda also disinfects your toothbrush! How often do we actually remember to clean our toothbrushes.
I thought I would also do a quick post on the laundry detergent I make. I felt like I was always buying laundry detergent and I hated the idea of all the chemicals in the store bought versions. So, I've been making my own for a while now and I absolutely love it. You can tell I will soon need to make more. I prefer the powder version because it's easier to make and not so messy.

The recipe:
2 cups of washing soda---I have to get mine from because I can't find it in the stores here. The shipping is free.
2 cups of borax
2 cup of baking soda
1cup of Epsom salt
1 whole bar of fels naptha finely grated. I also can't find this in the stores around here. I bought mine on sale from a soap making company for one dollar a bar and ordered a whole case.
I use 2T for a large load and I absolutely love it. I wash in the warm/cold cycle for the fels naptha to dissolve.
*I've used this recipe for 4 years now and still love it. Plus Wal-Mart now sells all of the ingredients to make this so it has become much easier.
I also make my own body moisturizer with beeswax, coconut oil, and olive oil that I absolutely love as well. I can't give out this recipe because I don't remember. I did it by eye and didn't write anything down. When I have to make some more I'll write it down.
My next venture is deodorant. I have all the stuff I need to just put it together. If you make the toothpaste you will already have the ingredients. Deodorant is something I've wanted to do for a long time because of all the health risks in the aluminum that commercial ones have. But, this is the south and it is hot and sticky. But, I hear the recipe that I have works really well, so I'll have to give it a try.

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Trish said...

sounds interesting, laurie. way to go! i love fels naptha too and use it on our clothes, directly on major stains, and buy ours at our regular supermarket Von's (aka Safeway). they're often on clearance for 75 cents. that might save you on shipping. do you use a fabric softener in your wash? how soft are your towels after washing with your detergent and line drying? also, if you buy plain deordorant, not anti-perspirant, you shouldn't have to worry about the aluminum. can't wait to see what you experiment with next. :)

Tar Heel Freemans said...

We don't have safeway around here so that's not an option. i do keep my eyes open though. i also use it on stains and it's great. no i don't use a fabric softner because they are filled with chemicals. if you put in a few tablespoons of vingar during the rinse cycle it's supposed to help but i've never tried it. if i line dry they are stiff, but i'd rather have that then the chemicals. as far as deoderant i use the non anti-perspirant in the winter but it just doesn't do it for me in the summer. plus those are still filled with harmful chemicals--anything that has a scent in it has pthalates that are very harmful--deoderant, lotions, shampoo, cleaning products, detergents, etc. each product meets the saftey qualifications but when every product you use has these chemicals they build up in your system. This is also the same chemical that is in most plastics, so it gets into your system that way too.

Micah and Melinda said...

I'm jazzed for the deodorant and the moisturizer! Post those soon!! We are slowly gravitating towards living greener (cheaper!lol) At least now its instyle!

Trish said...

laur,you should post links to your favorite blogs on your blog. i'd love to see what other things you've found out there.:) plus, have you considered selling your "green" family friendly stuff? there might be a market out there for a great stay-at-home mom like you! i'd rather try your stuff before investing in the ingredients and finding out the thing just isn't going to work for me. it's worth thinking about! :)