autumn days

Thursday, January 6, 2011

homemade products

Dear Hannah,

I have learned so much from No Impact Man and keep attempting to apply it to our lives.  Your papa says he is the No Impact Man and that it is the rest of his family with all the waste.  Doesn't he do our shopping?  Well, Colin Beavan's book and film have brought much environmental conversation and activity into our home.  Your papa asked me never to turn off his water cooler again, but hasn't yet mentioned my constantly unplugging his appliances.  He even asked you to turn off the lights and water, doesn't mind you cosleeping with him without a diaper, and bought a used work chair off  We are all making progress.  In an attempt to buy fewer plastic goods, I am searching for a laundry detergent recipe using borax and haven't yet found it.  We use a green detergent, but I'd like to end our use of all those plastic tubs.

In my hunt, I have found Colin Beavan's recipes for other home products.  Perhaps we'll be able to integrate some of them into our repertoire.  What will your poor shampoo-loving papa think now?  The following recipes are Colin's from the above link.

Household cleanser—One quart water, 1 teaspoon borax, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon castile soap (you can see my supplies will last until I’m about 76 and it’s way cheaper than store bought).

Soap—You can use castile soap but we’re using soap made from local beeswax and bought at the farmers' market.

Shampoo—Seven ounces of filtered water, one ounce castile soap, one teaspoon olive oil. [Since writing this post, I've decided I'm not a great fan of this recipe. I now use baking soda mixed with water. It doesn't suds but it cleans really well. NIM 6/28/07]

Dishwashing detergent—one measure castile soap to one measure water.

Of course, if you can’t be bothered to mix this stuff up, just go to your local health food store and buy the eco-products that are explicitly labeled “nontoxic” (an FDA term) and biodegradable, are plant rather than petroleum based (I avoid animal based products too), and contain no chlorine bleach, benzyne, toluene, xylene, trichlorethane or phosphates. Buy them concentrated and large to avoid extra plastic packaging.

Still searching (for detergent),
your mama

healthy decomposable cleaners

a homemade drawstring bag

1 comment:

  1. My friend Kristina, the laundry specialist, shared her recipe with me. It looks wonderfully simple and I'll give it a try!