This year I encourage you all to have a go at making many of the products that you would ordinarily buy. Because I believe that an eco-friendly way of life should be super cost-effective, I wanted show you all how incredibly fun and easy it is to do it yourself and Do It Gorgeously! I’ve realized that a green way of living has less to do with eco-chic iPhone covers, and more to do with plain old commonsense. The most important changes that I have made in my life are things that my grandmother also did and she obviously didn’t call them “green”. My grandmother, Belle, was a regular type of girl, who through necessity, had to recycle and reuse just about everything she could.
Socks were darned or transformed into baby toys, stale bread was ground into breadcrumbs, and slivers of soap were balled together to make another bar. Of course, back then the “reducing” part of the dreaded 3 R combo, (reduce, recycle, reuse), didn’t come into the picture, because conspicuous consumption wasn’t what it is today.
Many of us are getting a bit fed up with our disposable society. It just doesn’t feel that good anymore to be an obsessive shopper. As we become aware of barges of hazardous trash making their way to Brazil, maxed-out landfills, and dwindling natural resources, we’re starting to think twice before clicking the “add to cart” button. Do we really want to deal with the packaging and transportation, much less the cost? Can we go without? Ugh – I hear my mother right now: “Do you really need it?” Much as I fight against it—because honestly, I want what I want and I want it now – I find myself yearning for something different. I’ll always love shopping, but I find an even deeper satisfaction in actually making many of the things, that I used to whip out the credit card for.
Over the past couple of years it’s astonished me how much I can actually make from scratch, how easy it is, and how much money I can save. Being thrifty is becoming a rather thrilling exercise. Making a beautiful sugar scrub for pennies, instead of buying the exact item in a department story for the same cost as a meal for five, gives me a bit of a high. Like many, my bank balance has seen better days, and environmental concerns aside, it just makes sense to cut corners wherever possible. Each time I nudge myself to get resourceful—dare I say,crafty—I realize that I ‘m putting the green back into my wallet as well as my life.
This Earth Day, I’m encouraging everyone to take a brand new look at how they can reduce, reuse and recycle. A great way to “reduce” is to think about packaging, so why not try your hand at making something this year that you might ordinarily buy. Here’s a recipe for an amazing mouthwash. You can store in it an old mouthwash bottle or even an old washed-out glass Snapple type of bottle.
Mint Zinger Mouthwash
I never buy mouthwash. Most of them contain toxic chemicals and the alternative ones can easily be made at home for a fraction of the price. This mouthwash is anti-bacterial and will help conquer bad breath!
Yields: approx 14- ounces of mouthwash
Application: Use morning and evening
Storage: 16-ounce plastic bottle (an old mouthwash bottle is ideal)
Shelf Life: 2 weeks in cool, dark cupboard
- 1 cup aloe vera juice
- ½ cup distilled water
- 1 tbsp witch hazel
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 20 drops of peppermint essential oil
Step one: Mix all the ingredients in a glass- measuring jug and pour into the bottle.
Excerpted from Do It Gorgeously – How To Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products – available for pre-order at Amazon.