Bicarb, lemons, vinegar for household cleaning

Community Gardens aren’t just for gardening they’re also place to meet and learn, and that’s exactly what took place at the Manoora Community Garden on a Sunday afternoon in June.

EORTH had the pleasure of providing a workshop on “Living Green” featuring tips on living sustainably. The workshop was part of the Manoora Community Garden “Seeds of Community Change” workshop series. The Living Green workshop was focused around taking simple ingredients and creating cleaning, and beauty products that help you save money and produce less waste, but most importantly reduce your reliance on products packaged in plastic.

The four main ingredients that were at the centre of the workshop. Bi-Carb Soda (Baking Soda), Coconut Oil, Vinegar and Lemons!

These total cost for these four household staples comes in at under $10.
1kg Bi-Carb Soda – $1.50, 1L Vinegar – $1.50, 4 lemons – $1, 300g, Coconut Oil – $5-6.

Bi-Carb Soda the magic “all-purpose” product, perfect for cleaning sinks, toilets and laundry, softening clothes, removing smells and removing stains. It can also be used as an ingredient in beauty products such as natural deodorant, dry shampoo and toothpaste.

Our popular blog post on brightening your whites naturally covers techniques using bi-carb soda, lemon juice and vinegar and fresh rays of sunshine to accomplish a a fresh non-toxic clean load of laundry.

Lemon juice is as perfect for whitening your clothes and citrus peels soaked in vinegar is perfect for an all purpose cleaner. Using peels from oranges or lemons also mixed with some fresh herbs and soaked for a few weeks in a vinegar solution is a wonderful fresh way to not only reduce your reliance on plastic spray cleaners, it’s simple to make and smells amazing.

MAKING YOUR ALL-PURPOSE CITRUS CLEANER

To make a citrus all purpose spray you’ll need a jar (preferably a Mason jar with a screw top lid), citrus peels (either lemon, lime or orange), some fresh herbs (optional) and enough vinegar to cover the peels.

After peels and vinegar have been added to the jar, the peels will begin to float to the top. To keep them from floating use something heavy such as a large rock to keep them down, so the citrus peel is not above the vinegar.

As the citrus peels soak for several days they will start to release a beautiful citrus scent and the mixture will have less of a vinegar scent. After a week or two (longer if you want less vinegar scent), remove the peels (and herbs) from your vinegar mixture, squeezing as much of the liquid from them before discarding. You will be left with a lovely scented cleaning solution that can be further strained using a muslin cloth and added to a pre-loved spray bottle. A simple, effective all-purpose cleaner for your home!

TAWASHI
Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose: Make your own Zero Waste Kitchen Sponge

Now that you’ve got your all purpose kitchen spray ready, you’re going to need a cloth to clean up with — introducing Tawashi the Japanese Zero Waste kitchen sponge. Simple to make and very versatile. During the workshop we used a square bowl with 20 bamboo pegs (5 attached to each side) as our loom. The material used was cut from old socks, however as you will see in the video below you can use any combination of material to make your Tawashi.

If you’d like to get a little fancier than a bowl and bamboo pegs you can use a wooden board and nails, as illustrated in the video below.

GO ZERO WASTE IN YOUR BATHROOM
DIY Natural Toothpaste:

While natural homemade toothpaste isn’t for everyone it’s definitely a perfect option for days when you run out. It’s also a great way to remove yet another plastic product from your bathroom.

To make your own natural toothpaste you can use two simple ingredients as your base then try mixing it up using a combination of any of the following natural ingredients.

Homemade Natural Toothpaste Base
4 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
Pinch of Salt (optional)

Whiteners and Sweeteners
Essential Oils: Cinnamon, Clove, Peppermint. Bentonite Clay, Magnesium Powder, Stevia (small amount).

If you’re just not into making your own toothpaste, and can’t quite get the flavour right, but you still want to eliminate that plastic in your bathroom, them you’ll be happy to know Canadian company Nelson Natural’s make a natural a 100% Plastic Free Toothpaste that’s been formulated by an Australian chemist. Nelson Natural’s range of three toothpastes: Citrus Spice, Spearmint and Activated Charcoal are available in Australia at EORTH.

MAKE YOUR OWN DRY SHAMPOO

Dry Shampoo is a very popular way to top keep your hair feeling fresh and clean between washes, it shouldn’t be used as a day-to-day hair care treatment. Dry Shampoo is mostly useful for oily hair types. Making your own dry shampoo is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Add 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass jar.
  2. Add in the desired amount of colouring depending on your hair colour: Cocoa Powder for dark hair, Activated Charcoal for Black Hair, Cinnamon for Red Hair. For blonde hair you can use the mixture as above.
  3. Add a few drops of essential oil (optional) to the mixture and give it a stir with a spoon.

Dry Shampoo is applied to the hair by either using your fingertips to apply it to the roots or by using an old powder brush to again apply to the roots. Then brush your hair with a comb to get the mixture through the hair.

MAKE YOUR OWN DEODORANT

Finding a natural deodorant that just works can be a long process, that’s because what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. The beauty in making your own is that you can experiment with different ingredients until you find the winning combination that works perfectly for you!

Making a natural deodorant is as simple as making your own toothpaste, just one extra ingredient is used as a base.

Homemade Natural Deodorant Base
4 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder (the thickening agent)
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda (to absorb and neutralise odour)
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (anti-bacterial)
Essential Oils (optional)

Additional Scents and Ingredients
Essential Oils: Lavender or Sweet Orange. Add a little beeswax wax to increase the firmness of the deodorant, or some Shea Butter (also anti-bacterial).

A great reason to use a natural deodorant is that you know what you’re putting on your body is toxin free. Tried to make your own but haven’t had great success? Fortunately it’s now easier to find a natural plastic free deodorant that’s been formulated over the years and just works! Australian company Woohoo sell natural deodorant packaged in a metal tin and Oakbank Organics have created both a Vegan Plastic Free Deodorant and a beeswax formula that’s packaged plastic free in a cardboard tube — no need to rub on with your fingers.

If you’re looking for a weekend facial treat or a quick DIY gift a Coffee Scrub is the perfect DIY product. Not only does it work well, it smells so good you’ll want to take a taste: we don’t recommend it, it probably doesn’t taste as good as it smells!

MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE SCRUB

This super simple recipe is always a crowd favourite. Made with four simple ingredients this coffee scrub can be used on the face, the hands or as an all over body treatment. We don’t recommend the all over body treatment for those with white showers . . . as it can be quite shocking when you see coffee running down your white walls!

Most Delicious Smelling Coffee Scrub

2 Tablespoons Coffee Grinds (from your morning pot)
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons of Milk, Cream or Yoghurt. We recommend using Coconut milk as it adds to the aroma and is plastic free!
1 Tablespoon of Honey

Take two tablespoons of ground coffee from your morning pot of coffee and add to a small glass jar, add the rest of the ingredients and stir. You now have a delicious, simple to make, simple to use facial cleansing scrub.

Have any great DIY kitchen or bathroom tips or recipes that you use to cut down waste and remove plastic from your  home? Share your stories below:

 

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