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The Green Life: 3 DIY Toiletries You Can Make At Home

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June 27, 2013

3 DIY Toiletries You Can Make At Home

Bottles of essential oilsThis week, we've discussed greener alternatives to shampoo, skin care products, and perfume. Now it's time to get down to the basics.

Instead of buying commercial toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving cream, try making your own. 

These personalized, homemade toiletries will help you avoid superfluous packaging and plastic waste — plus, DIY products are easy on your wallet.

 

TOOTHPASTE

When it comes to making your own toothpaste, baking soda (for oxidizing stains and removing plaque) is the key ingredient in most recipes. Additional ingredients can include coconut oil (which has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties), a dash of sea salt, and an essential oil for flavor. We've included one of our favorite recipes below; for comparison, Mother Nature Network has three simple recipes with slight variations (including a vegan option). Experiment and make a paste that works for you!

Tablespoon of baking sodaDIY Toothpaste Recipe

Mix together a 1:1 ratio of coconut oil to baking soda until it becomes a paste. Add essential oil if desired, roughly 5 drops per tablespoon of paste; try rosemary, peppermint, thyme, or spearmint. Add sea salt sparingly. For 2 tablespoons of baking soda, a dash of salt will suffice. Store in a glass jar.

Note: The colder the toothpaste, the firmer it will become. You can make a tablespoon at a time or make a mason jar's worth, it's up to you.

(Of course, if you'd still prefer to buy toothpaste from the store, we have a few eco-toothpaste suggestions.)


DEODORANT

Using nearly all the same ingredients that you used to make the toothpaste, you can make your own deodorant. 

Coconut oil on spoonDIY Deodorant Recipe

Take equal parts baking soda and cornstarch and add coconut oil at a ratio of 1:4 (baking soda + cornstarch: coconut oil). Add a few drops of essential oil, like tea tree, lavender, or lemon grass. 

Store in a glass jar. 

Variation: Wellness Mama recommends adding shea butter to the mix. Try it for yourself and find out what works best for you.

SHAVING CREAM AND RAZORS

Note that the EPA estimates that 2 billion razors are thrown out every year in the United States. Somewhere along the way, we switched from purchasing a quality product, which lasted a lifetime, to cheap disposables. Reusable razors are a better option, but the replacement blades come packaged in unnecessary plastic containers. The alternative? Shave like your grandpa by switching to a safety razor or a straight razor.

Making your own shaving cream is a bit trickier than making your own deodorant or toothpaste but you use nearly all the same ingredients. Consider this recipe and store it in a DIY mason jar soap pump.

Know of other ways to make your own toiletries? Leave a comment below and share your favorite recipe!

--Images by iStockphoto/sofiaworld, iStockphoto/sugar0607, and iStockphoto/Geo-grafika

Christine Coester is an editorial intern at Sierra. A fan of flora and fauna, she has a passion for conservation and environmental stewardship. Currently a graduate student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she is studying journalism with the hopes of making the world a better and greener place.

READ MORE:

Wild Animals Take the Road Less Traveled (By Humans)

Just Eat It: How to Save Endangered Food

Proof That Exercising Outdoors Burns Off the Blues

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