Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Giving Ideas

The holiday shopping season is upon us, or nearly anyway.  While my first recommendation for holiday gifts would obviously be something handmade, or repurposed (although locally crafted and purchased are great options too), I get that some of you will be buying new.  Which is why I thought I would share a few things I have come across with you.

Viva Terra is starting a holiday rewards card.  Purchases of $100-$249 will get you a $25 gift card.  $250 and above gets you a $100 reward.

Ethical Ocean has put together THE COOLEST holiday shopping tool I have every seen!  The Holiday Helper Elf helps you find the exact eco gift for your friends and family.

Personally, I am doing double duty on some of my gifts.  The homeless shelter where I work has recently begun selling "Soap for Hope."  I will be making stacks of three of these sweet smelling, locally made beauties, wrapping them in brown paper and twine, and giving them as teacher/post mistress/baby sitter gifts (I will make sure to show you a picture when that happens).

What great holiday giving ideas have you had or seen?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tired of Candy?

Have you and your kids had your fill of the sweet stuff yet?  As you work your way through those wrappers, think about turning them into something better.  Terracycle offers programs to turn your trash into fun products while giving cash to charities.  So far they've collected 2,119,218,929.0 UNITS OF TRASH.  They've also donated over $3 million to charity.  So collect those candy wrappers (and bottles, and granola bar wrappers, etc...) and sign onto Terracycle to get started.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guest Post :: Homemade Deodorant

My friend, Jodi, who has shared with us in the past, has returned with another guest post. This time, Jodi is sharing her recipe for and experience with homemade deodorant. Take it away Jodi!

Going totally 'green' has been an overwhelming at times, process for me. It seems like there is so much out there, so much that could be cut back, or changed. Old habits are hard to break. I've been easing myself into a healthier living style. Over the past few years I've made a lot of changes for the better. Changes in diet - whole foods, little to no gluten, and fresh and local foods. Changes in cleaning habits - from chemical sprays to all natural products, experiments in floor cleaning, carpet cleaning, and getting crayon off windows (rubbing alcohol and water, 1:1!!!!). Each year I've set a goal for myself and for my family of six.

This year the goals were to make my own hygiene products and/or use something organic/natural (personal care, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant), and the rest of the house 'chemicals' such as laundry soap and dishwasher soap.

One of the first products I decided to go with changing over was the deodorant. I'm quite happy to say that it was a successful experiment and I will absolutely be using it from here on forward.

Using a recipe from here, I made a few minor changes to suit my needs, and the end product turned out great.

The recipe!

1/4 cup baking soda +
1/4 cup corn starch +
4 tablespoons coconut oil

Mix and that's it! I did melt my coconut oil to help mix it in more thoroughly, but the end product will harden back up quickly. I keep mine in a small glass canning jar in my bathroom.

The original recipe from the website suggests using Arrowroot. However, as I know this is just for a thickener and I did not want to go spend upwards of $7-$8 on a thickener, I used corn starch I had on hand. I also omitted the essential oil, simply because I did not have any. While I'm sure a few drops of yummy smelling oil would add to the great smell of coconuts, I wasn't going to buy any just for deodorant. However, if you have some on hand or know someone who can give you a few drops, definitely add it in! Make sure to pick an oil that will coincide with the coconut nicely.

Very simple to do, a few minutes set aside to make yet another lifetime change. I highly recommend you try it too!