Zero Waste Deodorant

This post has been a very long time coming.

Why? Because of all of the questions I have been asked “how do I make my own deodorant” is by far the most prevalent.

The reason that I waited so long to post this recipe is because we are all different.

If you go into any pharmacy, there are dozens of different types of deodorants. Ones that smell like ocean breeze, or vanilla bean, or man. Ones that make you smell less bad, ones that reduce sweating, ones that eliminate sweating, ones that make your armpits lighter, or softer… the list goes on and on. The point is that there are so many choices because everyone’s body is different which means that different types of deodorant work better or worse for different people.

When I was using conventional (aka store bought chemically deodorant) I was always switching brands. It seemed like after a while one would just stop working, like my body changed, and I had to find something new. I would try brands that worked well for my friends, but they didn’t work for me, and vice-versa.

When I transitioned to a plastic free and zero waste lifestyle I stopped using store bought deodorant. This was for many reasons but the main reasons were the packing, the ingredients, and the fact that the natural version was less expensive and worked really well.

The Packaging: 
Conventional deodorant comes packaged in a plastic container with a plastic or foil (probably lined with plastic) protective thingie, and a plastic lid. Making your own deodorant you can prevent all of that waste from being created because you can buy your ingredients package free and keep reusing the same container over and over. I love to put my deodorant in a small mason jar. I also make a pocket sized version by re-using a glass ounce sized makeup container. It is perfect for when I’m on the go.

The Ingredients: 
The deodorant I make is different from conventional/store bought deodorant because it is free of chemical elements like aluminum which have been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s, propylene glycol which can damage the central nervous system, and parabens which are carcinogenic and environmentally disruptive. All in all, no fun.

I have played with sooooo many recipes. Ones that were runny, ones that were firm, ones that smelled like lavender… I realized that the best way to make the perfect deodorant was to listen to my body. That means making adjustments here and there, but overall the recipe in this video is the one that has kept my armpits happy over the past few years.


I can not emphasize this enough. There are so many toxins in conventional deodorant and, again, everyone’s body is different. So if this recipe does not work for you, try another recipe. Play with the amount of each ingredient, leave ingredients out, change the essential oil, and most importantly, give your body time to adjust.

I recommend testing each ingredient on your wrist to ensure there are no allergic reactions (for instance, some people do not react well to baking soda). If that is the case, leave it out. Also, if you shave your underarms, like with any deodorant, I’d wait a few minutes before applying.

Switching to natural deodorant has been amazing for so many reasons: I save money, I do not use any single use packaging, I can adjust the scent and ingredients to make it perfect for my body, and I am not exposing myself to any toxic chemicals. Try it out, share your experiences, and post any recipes in the comment section that work well for you. We can all learn from each other!


How to Tare a Jar and Shop Waste Free

Zero Waste food shopping is a weekly activity for me. I go to the farmers market for my produce and use reusable organic cotton bags for items like nuts but for wet items like honey, olive oil, flour, and spices, I opt for jars to keep things organized and make cleaning simple.

Learn how I do it using five simple steps!

Step 1: Choose your Jar (I love mason jars because they have a standard weight, but you can also upcycle your own jars)

Step 2: Tare (pre-weigh) your jar. Why? Because when the cashier gets the jar, they can subtract the weight of the jar from the total weight, so you are only paying for what is inside. You can write the tare on your jar in permanent marker to make it easy to remember.

Step 3: Fill your jar and write down the number of the item you are buying. I like to keep a note open on my cellphone that has the item name and number to expedite the checkout process, plus it’s waste free!

Step 4: Tell the cashier the weight of your jar and they can deduct that from the total weight of the jar

Step 5: Say THANK YOU to the awesome store for letting you bring your own packaging!


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.


Days 5-10: Yellowstone National Park

It took 5 days to change the way I think about what I need.

Over the past few days I have been in Yellowstone National Park, which is INSANELY idyllic, think buffalo roaming next to your car.

I have been camping, something that I have only done once before, and it was wonderful. Waking up next to a brook, the cool morning breeze running through the tent, waking up and meditating as the sun rises, it has been truly fantastic.

One of my favorite parts of this experience has been eating organic vegetables from a farmers market in Montana, cooking over an open fire, and foraging for and identifying edible plants. Things like pineapple weed, mint, and sage are everywhere. All of my compost has been contained in an airtight stainless steel container. I have used all stainless steel eating utensils and have  washed them using boiling water over a fire and at a local gas station.
On top of that I have been doing a few things that I have never done before:
I have not showered in a week. This is crazy for me. I shower every day and wash my hair every 2-3 days. It is just something I have adopted from living in a city, I never truly felt clean. But in the fresh air, despite being covered in dirt, I felt clean. I washed myself two times, once in a gas station bathroom where I refreshed mah pits, and once when I took a dip in a river where I also used river mud to exfoliate.

I have worn the same 5 items of clothing over and over. This is also crazy for me. In NYC I walk around so much that sometimes I feel that I have to change my clothes just to feel like I am not caked in exhaust. With the fresh air, my clothes smell clean and have a hint of campfire scent, that’s it.
I have not worn makeup for 2 weeks. Hold. The. Phone. Yes, two weeks. I am a daily makeup wearer. Every day I put on some RMS concealer if I need it on a blemish, and some RMS blush. However, I’ve noticed in two week of not wearing makeup, my skin has changed. I don’t need any concealer and I don’t need any blush. I don’t know if it is the fresh air or being out of the city or not showering as much or a combination of everything plus witchcraft, but my skin has never been so great. All I have done is splash my face with water and moisturized with the same oils I normally use, argan and calendula. I’m going to continue on this makeupless journey and see what happens.

This experience has truly helped me to re-evaluate how I live and what I need. Upon my return to NYC I have a feeling that I will be selling a lot of what I have and downsizing even more than I have in the past.


Day 4: Chicago

Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities. I think it’s because it most closely resembles New York (tall buildings), Brooklyn (old buildings and janky streets), and Paris (the river). When in a city like Chicago, I’m not going to be cooking much as there is so much food to try, so instead, I eat out at sustainable restaurants.

For breakfast I went to a diner serving local and organic food. I had a good, typical meal and got a tea. Now tea is a complicated beast. This tea was fair trade, biodynamic, and organic which was really great. But my questioning didn’t stop there. If I order tea, which I rarely do because I am a coffee person, I only want it if it comes loose. Why? A lot of tea bags are actually made of plastic and are therefore not biodegradable. Additionally the wrappers, which seem like they are paper, are actually lined with plastic, so also not biodegradable or recyclable. I’m not sacrificing sustainability for a cup or tea, so I like to be sure that the restaurant or care serves it loose. Plus, it tastes better. 

After breakfast I skated around and then checked out Wicker Park. It got warm and so I grabbed a drink to go in my mason jar.

I had a nice dinner out at a sustainable restaurant around Fulton Market and then headed back to my awesome AirBnb (in LOVE with it). Tomorrow I’ll grab a bunch of snacks for the road and for camping and will arrive at my next city stop early next week.

For clothing I wore my black tank, black sweater, boyfriend jeans, and converse.  

Next stop: Seattle, Washington


Day 3: Grand Rapids Michigan

My last day in Grand Rapids was filled with preparing for the next leg of the road trip so this is just a quick update. Using the rest of my products from the farmers market we made blueberry jam and some cucumber, cabbage, and beet pickles! I used some canning jars and packed excess veggies in my stainless steel containers for the road. I also picked up a coffee along the way in my mason jar. Next stop, Chicago!