Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cleaning the People in the House in a Frugal, Earth Friendly Way

Keeping the people clean and happy in a frugal house can be a delicate balance. There are certainly more frugal and more earth friendly ways than just the ones I mention below. For example, I'd love to ditch the commercial toothpaste and just use a baking soda paste. It would cost less and it wouldn't use a container that can't be recycled. However, when I tried this, my family, led by my husband, staged a mutiny. So for now we compromise and buy toothpaste in a tube.

I've also become a big fan of Thai Deodorant Stick. It lasts 6-8 months and seems to be the only natural deodorant (without aluminum chlorhydrate) that works for me. My daughters refuse to use this so again we compromise. I buy them a mainstream one, on sale.

I order my shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap in one gallon jugs from our food cooperative. I have smaller shampoo bottles, conditioner bottles and soap dispeners that I transfer these into to make them more manageable.

I don't water down the shampoo because that just makes it fly out of the bottle that much faster. Instead, the kids just know that the shampoo and conditioner in their bathroom needs to last at least a month. There are a couple of reasons why this works well for us. First of all, a good friend and hair stylist told my daughter that her hair would be healthier and less flyaway if she only washed it every other day. (I didn't even ask her to say that, she just volunteered the information!) Second, my sons have extremely short hair and only need to use a drop at a time. Third, my oldest daughter has locks and only washes her hair once a week. (This is not a wierd frugal thing, she's African American and this is the prefered way to take care of her type of hair.)

My shampoo and conditioner of choice are Nature's Gate Herbal. My liquid soap of choice is Dr Bronner's Almond Castille Soap. Dr Bronner's products have some of the most unique, rambling labels I have ever seen but his products are wonderful.

For the face, I've always been a fan of St Ives Gentle Apricot Scrub, although a bit of Dr Bronner's soap on a loofah seems to work just as well. As for the two teenagers and the associated acne that should go along with them, it seems vegan kids don't get that much acne or at least my vegan kids don't get that much acne. They use a bit of witch hazel to dab on breakouts when they occur. When I think back on all the acne cream I used as a teenager, that's nothing short of a miracle.


Bananarama said...

I love your blog! I've had problems trying to find an all-natural deodorant that prevents the stink when I'm running. I'll have to check out the Thai Deodorant!

I love Kiss My Face products. Their soap and shampoo are wonderful!

Katie said...

Thanks! The only trick with the Thai Deodorant stone is you have to start out clean and odor free (like right after you shower). If you try to reapply it to stinky pits, the stone takes on the odor and is useless.

Ruthie said...

I know this is annoying, but do you know if St Ives is vegan? I was checking that today at the store but it has so many weird ingredients... I chickened out :-D

I've been using Dr Bronner's but I've been breaking out like mad lately. (Short hair+touching skin=GRRR! Why did I cut it?) I bought a scrubby sponge and some witch hazel, and I'm going to try bringing some witch hazel to work to tone my skin right when I get there... I get a little sweaty riding the bus.

Katie said...


I'm not 100% sure. Years ago I noticed that not tested on animals was on their label and I'm not certain if I ever checked beyond that. Let me get through the presentation that I have to do tonight and then I'll try to find out more.