Down-sizing, up-cycling and DIY-ing household products

I have finally found my project for 2017! It is down-sizing, up-cycling and DIY-ing our household products! It started with being increasingly annoyed by all the plastic that we use and throw away every day! While I am pretty immune to cute baby and puppy pics, the pictures of our oceans being swamped by plastic really do my head in. We do practise waste separation here in Germany, and our bin for plastic is always the first to be full. Everything is wrapped or packed in plastic, even where it doesn’t make any sense! Mr. Betterhalf and I are trying to cut down on plastic waste for a while now – we buy loose products whenever possible, but the amount of plastic that remains is unbelievable. And there would even be more options! When I was buying meat at the counter recently, I asked the clerk to please put it into the box that I had brought. No! Not allowed, for hygienic reasons! I have this to-go mug made of steel, and when I bought a coffee last week, I asked them to pour it into this mug. No, not allowed, for hygienic reasons! What the serious f***?

I have always had very sensitive skin, and it seems to get worse with age and with every outbreak of pollen there is outside. I have to NUMEROUS deodorants, which either don’t work or they irritate my skin. My facial skin is often itchy and dry, and again I have been through so many cremes and treatments and stuff. I have found some suppliers that use natural stuff only, and it works better, but it is also really expensive.

So the other day, I had had it. A friend of mine has started to make her own deodorant a while ago. So I started some serious research about DIY-ing your own cosmetics. And while I was at it, I looked at other household products, too! It is so easy, and not expensive at all! Let me show you what my bathroom cabinet looked like until recently:

See, moisturizer, cold cream, peeling, facial cleanser, eye make-up remover, you name it. Now see what it looks like now:

Yes, that’s right. Medicinal clay for facial masks and as an ingredient for body butter. My finding of the year: jojoba oil! Not only is my face super happy with it as a moisturizer, it also removes eye make-up perfectly. I make my deodorant in my kitchen, and it consists of only five ingredients: water, soda, starch, a few drops of jojoba or avocado oil and some essential oil (I used lavender for me, and peppermint for the man). No shit, this is the best deodorant I’ve ever had! And you can just recycle roll-on bottles over and over again! I put them into boiling water before filling them up, so the germs get eliminated.

I’ve done more: I made liquid hand soap, consisting of water, soda and curd soap. You can make shower gel of it as well, you just have to play with the amounts of ingredients a bit. And today, I made my own body butter! Not only does it smell delicious, my skin is also super happy with it. It is expensive to get all the ingredients in the first place, but they last for ages, too! And I can get rid of more and more plastic. I discovered that the pump dispenser of about any liquid soap or creme fits on whisky bottles – so we have a fancy whisky bottle soap dispenser in our bathroom now. Up-cycling at its best!

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Obviously, you do have to invest some time to make all those things, at least the fancier stuff. The deodorant only takes 10 minutes max, the soap would take 15. Body butter and such take a bit longer, but we do waste so much time on bullshit, we can make time for it.

I am super stoked about the stuff I made so far. And there will be less waste!

Kerstin

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