Plastic Water Bottles

SINGLE USE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES SUCKKKKKKKK. They are one of my least favorite things ever. In the US alone we use over 1,500 plastic water bottles per second…..

Let’s move beyond them, shall we? Here is a Simple Swap solution to help reduce the unnecessary, overpriced, toxic water vessel demons from making their way into landfills, oceans, and beyond.

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5 Easy Beauty DIY’s


Did you know that you can make so many of the products that you buy? It’s true! And you can do it from scratch with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet!!

What?!

Yes­. I’m talking about ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, sugar, and sea salt. Forget the unnecessary colors, additives, and fillers that are always found in toiletry essentials such as toothpaste and makeup remover. By making your own products using minimalist ingredients found in your home, you get get the job done twice as fast for just a fraction of the price­.

1. Toothpaste

You don’t need to buy that $5 tube of toothpaste from the drugstore. Instead, you can whip it up in under two minutes using only coconut oil, baking soda, and an essential oil of your preference. Not only is making your own toothpaste easier than pronouncing the ingredient list on the back of a conventional store­bought tube, but you are also doing the earth a favor. You are keeping a tube of toothpaste that is difficult or impossible to recycle out of a landfill.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1 tablespoon baking soda

20 drops of organic essential oil (peppermint, spearmint, anise, cinnamon)

Directions: 
Combine all three ingredients in a small jar. To use, spoon onto your toothbrush and brush as you normally would.

2. Makeup Remover

Who says the only way to remove last night’s smudged mascara is by applying one­time use pads drenched with abrasive toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances? Instead of going for some expensive product or oil, one of the best (and most frugal) makeup removers you can find is coconut oil. Just use about a teaspoon on your face, rub it in,
and wipe off with a washcloth. Then follow with your normal face washing routine. If you have a coconut oil allergy, you can swap coconut oil for sesame, olive, or calendula oil.

3. Hand/ Body Scrub

Make coffee in the morning? Throw away the grinds? If so, you are actually tossing an unsuspecting beauty item… hand/body scrub! Coffee grounds are one of nature’s most effective exfoliants. Just take the grinds and scrub your skin to remove dead skin and soften your hands or body. Because coffee grinds contain caffeine, it is a natural
anti­-inflammatory, which thereby helps to enhance circulation and can help to boost the production of collagen. We won’t blame ya if you find yourself rubbing it into your rump now and again, it’s the perfect cellulite blaster!

4. Exfoliating mask

For a simple and effective face mask that is sure to fight acne, baking soda is the best go­to. Baking soda is a gentle exfoliant and when 1 teaspoon is mixed with a splash of water and rubbed into your skin, the exfoliation process will remove oil, dirt, and dead skin. Leave the mixture on for about 5­-10 minutes and then rinse with water for a mask that will help to prevent breakouts and blackheads in the future by removing excess oil.

Bonus: ​You can use a paste of baking soda and water as a spot treatment for pimples. The soda will help to draw out the infection and also dry out the inflamed area.

5. Lip Scrub

For a great lip exfoliant look no further than your sugar dish. Organic sugar is an amazing natural exfoliant, and you can eat it too! If you don’t want to use sugar, you can use a coarse ground salt for the same effects.

By making these products not only will you find yourself saving hundreds of dollars over the course of the year , but they are also amazing for the planet (and your body). They are organic, contain no toxic chemicals, and many of the necessary ingredients can be purchased package free in bulk or natural product stores.

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Zero Waste Lotion

I have been making my own lotion for over three years. I’d melt down the ingredients, put them in a a jar and call it a day. But then… I whipped… and my mind was blown. It took a regular hard moisturizer and turned it into a fluffy amazing mound of goodness. You have to try it. Your skin will feel amazing, you can feel good because you are using only natural organic ingredients to moisturize as opposed to toxic chemicals, it is package free, and it smells SO DAMN GOOD! Check out this video to learn how to make it!http://www.youtube.com/embed/KgORGHaPa9U

Additional Information:
This lotion will last for months (but it won’t, because you will use it up before then). Also, just combine equal parts of the ingredients, in this video I used 1/4 cup of each, but you can use more or less depending on how much you need.

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Why I Make My Own Toothpaste


I haven’t purchased toothpaste in years, and y​es–I brush my teeth!​ How is this possible? I make it myself! (original post with links and pictures found at EcoWatch)

When I transitioned to a Zero Waste lifestyle over two years ago, toothpaste was the first product I stopped buying and started making. The ingredients are simple and easy to find at almost any store: baking soda, organic coconut oil, and organic essential oils. It takes no more than 2 minutes to combine these three ingredients, and the toothpaste leaves my mouth feeling so incredibly fresh— way fresher than store­bought toothpaste. In fact, when I used my friend’s store bought toothpaste a week ago, I couldn’t believe the difference!

But let’s take a step back… why did I make the switch from “conventional” packaged toothpaste to one that I make myself?

The Packaging:

For starters, I live a Zero Waste lifestyle and toothpaste tubes are totally wasteful. They are typically sold with not just the tube, but a box as well. While the box is recyclable, the tube is very difficult or impossible to recycle and will most likely end up in a landfill. The benefit of making my own toothpaste is that I can put it in a glass jar that I can wash and reuse infinitely. No plastic tubes, no trash, no landfill.

The Ingredients:

I like to have control of what I am putting on and in my body. There has been a lot of controversy around the ingredients that are in conventional toothpaste. Two that I will focus on are triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, but conventional toothpaste also contains fluoride, propylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide, all of which are controversial because they are linked to cancer and a long list of other ailments.

Triclosan:​ A chemical added to many products to reduce bacterial contamination which is also used in toothpaste to prevent gingivitis,​according to the FDA and toothpaste manufacturers.​In addition, it has been said to be potentially carcinogenic and have negative effects on the endocrine system in animals. It is banned in certain applications in Europe and in 2011, some of Colgate’s soap products were reformulated without the chemical, but not their toothpaste. The ecotoxicology of the ingredient is still under heavy scrutiny and EWG rates it to have a moderate/high health hazard. That’s all I needed to hear to make the decision to stay clear of it for good.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS):​is a surfactant (a foaming agent that lowers the tension between two liquids or a liquid and a solid) used in toothpaste to evenly disperse the ingredients and help with effective rinsing and removal of mouth debris. It also promotes foaming. Many studies on SLS show that it is contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process, which is also a possible carcinogen. SLS is also said to aggravate gums. No, thank you.

If something has a supposed risk, I will avoid it until I have concrete evidence that it is safe. This is why I choose to make my own toothpaste with just three ingredients that I trust and buy package­free: baking soda, organic coconut oil, and organic essential oils.

The Savings:

Toothpaste can cost anywhere between $1­$8 for a 6oz tube depending on the brand you are buying and where you are purchasing it from. In my experience (purchasing ingredients in NYC), I have spent at most $.60 for 6oz of toothpaste. All aside, the cost savings alone are worth it!

With so much to gain and not much to lose, making your own toothpaste makes sense! It’s cheaper to make, tastes better, feels better in your mouth, and is better for you. See for yourself, to learn how to make my zero waste toothpaste by checking out this video. 

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Zero Waste Toothpaste

My YouTube channel has officially launched and I’m kickin’ it off with a video on how to make one of my favorite products, Zero Waste toothpaste!

This toothpaste is super quick and easy to make and is an awesome way to transition away from toothpaste tubes that end up in a landfill after using them. 

I want to hear from you! What how-to video would you like to see next?

For more tips on how to make Zero Waste toothpaste- check out this post! 

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Zero Waste Period

So obviously no one really likes getting their period. Let’s face it, except for when you jump for joy when you get it because you realize you aren’t pregnant when you don’t want to be, they suck.

I especially don’t like them because I turn into the absolute worst person in the world when I get my period, my ex can attest to that, and on top of that they are SO insanely wasteful…or were, I should say. I used to go through a box of Organic cotton tampons per month. Organic tamps and pads are still better than non-organic ones, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want pesticides in my hoo-ha, but thanks to a gift from Alden, author of the blog Ecocult, I now know there is a better, less wasteful option: a menstrual cup.

A menstrual cup is a medical-grade silicone cup that you insert into your vajay-jay, where it collects blood throughout the day. You only have to empty it once or twice per day into the toilet, rinse it with some castile soap, and re-insert. I cleaned it and inserted it right before work, once when I got home, and then again before bed. There was even a night when I kept it in all day until bed time and it was absolutely fine, no leakage whatsoever! Oh, and another great part? Unlike tampons, you don’t have to remove it every time you go to the bathroom, it just stays put!! To remove you just tug on the little silicone “string” at the end and it comes right out.

(Disclaimer: there is a weird suction cup sound that happens when you do this which was pretty funny and weird the first time, but you get used to it.)

Best of all? It is a one-time $40 investment that yields a waste-free period for about ten years.

Let’s look at the economics of a menstrual cup …

Menstrual Cup:

39.99 x 1 purchase for ten years = $39.99

Organic cotton tampons:

$7.00/box x 2 boxes/month = $14.00/month x 10 years = $1,680

For a net savings of: $1,640

Using a menstrual cup pays for itself after THREE MONTHS. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of things I could use $1,640 on.

So let me make this short and sweet: Menstrual cup good. Buy it. Use it. Your life will be easier, periods less gross, and life a lot less wasteful.

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