Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Leaf: New Year's Resolutions

It's a new year, and time to make some much needed changes. I don't like making resolutions I know are going to be broken, like losing 10 pounds by March or giving up my solitaire addiction. Instead, I look for small steps I can take that will bring long-term change. Being someone who not only cares about the environment, but also about people, I want to align my spending habits with my convictions, supporting ecologically responsible practices, fair trade and companies that offer great working conditions to their employees. I'm tired of reading long, unpronounceable lists of chemical ingredients in the stuff I put on my skin. It's the biggest organ of the body, right? And while I'm pretty careful about what I put INTO my body, I've always been a slave to cute packaging, never giving ingredients a second thought.

So I'm going green for beauty in 2010. If it isn't homemade or organic, with an ingredient list that makes sense, it's not going into my bathroom cupboards. I'm kind of worried about what I'm going to do for hair conditioner, as I absolutely love what I'm currently using, but I'm sure there's an alternative out there. And I'm enjoying the process of researching companies, ingredients and formulations, which appeals to my nerdy side. Of course, because wasting things is wrong, I'll use up most of my current supply before I go on that organic shopping spree.

Well, everything except deodorant. To borrow a phrase from The Angry Chicken, "no, I'm not a dirty hippie." I'm just tired of having my clothes get sticky with that residue that won't come out even after a good washing, and I hate the sickly sweet smells that manufacturers are putting in their products. Who really wants their armpits to smell like peach ice cream? Not to mention the fact that anything antiperspirant contains aluminum...

I discovered some really interesting options out in cyberland, but they're also really expensive. Fifteen dollars for some of the "organic" deodorants, and no guarantee that they smell any better than department store brands. Plus, I have a horror of patchouli and lavender, both scents that feature heavily in the organic options. So today, with the help of my soap-making mother, who has a stock of aromatherapy and coconut oil, we made pots of homemade deodorant.

Yup.

I'll test it out this week to see how well it works, but so far, I'm pleased with the scent and impressed at the cost. A couple drops of oil, some baking soda, cornstarch and coconut oil in a recycled tin...probably less than $1 in supplies!

14 comments:

Americanising Desi said...

:) i think you make us all want to be like you !!

really!

happy New 2010

http://2short2sweet.blogspot.com/2010/01/turning-over-new-leaf.html

keiths ramblings said...

Well, if all fails you can always cook with it!

Tumblewords: said...

Good plot for the year! I remember using something called a French? crystal some time ago and it worked beautifully. Lasted forever, well, apparently not. But close. Happy 2010!

Stan Ski said...

Start as you mean to go on!

Nara Malone said...

What a great way to start the year, being kind to yourself and the earth.

Catherine Denton said...

You're inspiring. Keep us posted on what conditioner you find.

Lucy said...

Wow! you should slap a green label on that and affordably sell it! So many of us would love a 'healthier' deodorant.
Good Luck with your new leaf!

--jenna said...

Americanising Desi: Thanks! I really enjoyed your blog post, btw. Especially your "stopped and started" list. Good stuff!

keiths ramblings: True, though I imagine there aren't too many recipes that call for coconut oil AND baking soda!

Tumblewords: I've heard about the crystals, but it just seemed too good to be true. Plus, it's just more fun to whip stuff up in the kitchen :)

Stan Ski and Nara Malone: I'm hoping that little steps lead to big change down the road...thanks for the encouragement!

Catherine Denton: I'll be sure to keep a log of my findings and experiments. Stay tuned!

Lucy: I'm not ready to turn this into a business just yet, but I'll gladly send a few samples out to those willing to shell out shipping and handling! (of course, if I suddenly get flooded with requests, I may have to renege on that!)

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your blog I kept thinking "coconut oil" for your skin, your hair and deodorant. Glad to hear that was your conclusion too, at least for the deodorant. We're just a bit biased as we have helped to start a company that produces virgin, cold-pressed oil in Mozambique. It's the only thing we cook with and many people love it for skin and hair. We market it as the healthiest oil on earth!

Patois said...

Peach ice cream as a deodarant scent? It's all about 11 year old girls, I guess.

Ali la Loca said...

~Anonymous - Very random, I know your company. I used to live in Maputo and have a bottle of your coconut oil.

~Jenna - Try Aveda for hair products. They are phenomenal and have multiple conditioner options. I also like Alba Botanicals for body wash and sugar scrub. Burt's Bees does good hand creams and lip balms. I also have a friend who sells pure shea butter creams that are multi-purpose and heal any skin problems.

Dee Martin said...

great idea - I hope your deodorant works - I'm with whoever suggested you market it (or at least share the recipe). You may have already found this link but it is a database that lets you see cosmetic products and how they rank as far as toxins:
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php

Daphne said...

i like the idea of using coconut oil rather than shea butter. i've also toyed around with the idea of the shampooless experiment. are you ever going to do that one?

if you're willing to share the deodorant recipe i'd love to try it!

Giggles said...

I too used the crystal way back when...lasted for ages...
Good on you for your tenacity to find new green solutions to age old problems!!