Friday, April 17, 2015

Reducing Chemicals

     While my first focus is fashion and sewing, I've recently started learning about greener solutions to products I use on a regular basis. It's a gradual thing, but so far I use natural ingredients for washing my hair, doing laundry, and washing my bathroom. It isn't everything, but it's a start, and I feel much better for doing it. 

My shampoo: 
I use equal parts coconut milk and castille oil soap, and occasionally add baking soda, depending on my hair's need. I found it foams more than the healthy shampoo you can get at Whole Foods, or even the regular shampoo from the grocery store! I feel nice and clean after using it, and I feel even better knowing I'm not putting chemicals I can't pronounce on my body on a regular basis. It's also a sulfate and paraben free recipie. There are quite a few scents of castille oil soap to choose from, as well as an unscented version, allowing you to add whatever essential oils you choose. 

I've noticed that when I forget or run out of my allergy medication, I get unbelievably itchy. At first I thought it might be that I was having withdrawal symptoms or something, but at some point I realized that it might be a reaction to something in my every day environment that the medication was keeping me from having when I was taking it regularly. For some reason, I thought about my detergent. When I went to look for the ingredient list on my bottle of Tide, I was shocked to find that there wasn't one. I was even more shocked to find that it was a difficult path to find it online. Conveniently, something in the document sent up red flags for the internet security, making it difficult to open. Anyway, when I finally did find the ingredient label, I was not pleased to know all kinds of chemicals I couldn't pronounce were inside. I switched to using a bit of castille oil soap and some baking soda. It cleans my clothes, sheets and towels as well as traditional detergent, and with two ingredients. I haven't since felt like I was going to scratch violently at my skin when I skipped my allergy meds. Not only is it healthier for me, I'm pretty sure it's healthier for the environment too, because otherwise, all the chemicals in the Tide would go down the drain and get into the water somewhere. I doubt that's the best thing for the environment. It's also fairly affordable too. You don't need as much and it isn't as expensive. 

General housecleaning:
I won't spend as much time on this category, but essentially, baking soda and vinegar clean and disinfect surfaces. Remember doing the volcano project in elementary science class? Do that in your toilet, tub and sink to clean it. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe away as you normally would with other products. With my tub, I put a little bit of borax on a cleaning rag, and get it damp. Then, I scrub gentle circles around the walls and bottom of the tub. Rinse, and the surface is smooth and clean. Anywhere you would use soap, you can use some watered down castille oil soap if desired, for wiping off the counter, perhaps, but it isn't necessary. Yes, vinegar doesn't have the best smell, but it is very mild compared to all the bleach products marketed for the bathroom! 

I'll get back to more fashion/beauty/geeky related posts soon, but I've been thinking about doing a post on this topic for a while, and I finally had the time to sit down and write it. Enjoy!