homemade foot scrub

Live a Little Greener

Last week I mentioned using fewer chemicals as something I want to “improve.”  I’m not likely to completely eliminate them from my life, but I figure even a small change is an improvement right?  It’s similar to my food philosophy – I do the best I can at home and don’t worry about parties, restaurants, etc. Planet Earth . . .Modelled 1

What are some areas I could make a little “greener”?  I’ve created some cleaners and other products in the past using my favorite essential oils.

I also re-use and re-cycle as much as possible.  So, what’s next?  I picked up a few books at the Half-Price Book Store and came up with some ideas:

  • Eliminate air fresheners – I don’t use them often, but I did keep my old plug-ins “just in case.”  No more, they are gone, and I am committing to using my favorite diffuser (currently diffusing Citrus Fresh in hopes of Spring) or I simmer cloves and cinnamon in water with a drop of orange essential oil.
  • Get rid of bugs naturally!  I don’t know how they are alive with as cold as it’s been, but we had a few ants in our bathroom – how they got there is a real mystery.  I sent my son in with a spray bottle containing Lavender and Purification Oils diluted in a bit of water.  He sprayed all the baseboards and the ants haven’t been back.  He had fun doing it and I loved not using the chemicals.

How about greener body care?  It seemed like a fun way to take a little break (and I had my daughter help me).  We made a delicious-smelling salt scrub.  With sandal weather on the horizon, this should help me get my feet ready without all the ingredients I can’t pronounce in thick, foot-softening scrub.

homemade foot scrub

These ingredients:    sea salt, dried lavender, olive oil vs. these: Water, Pumice, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Acrylates/Steareth-20, Methacrylate Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Lauryl Betaine, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Peppermint (Mentha Arvensis) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Salicylate, Fragrance, Citric Acid.

Another fun and easy product to make is my homemade deodorant:  No Need to Be a Hippy to Make Your Own Deodorant

These are a few steps I’m making this month – they are fun and easy and will make a difference in MY world!

Interested in learning more?  Here are a few books I found with more fun ideas (these are on Amazon, but as always I encourage you to head to  your local library first!):
Sara Snow’s Fresh Living: The Essential Room-by-Room Guide to a Greener, Healthier Family and Home

Lavender, Parsley, Peppermint, and Sage

500 Formulas For Aromatherapy: Mixing Essential Oils for Every Use

What are your ideas?  Share your comments on how you will be changing YOUR world this month in the comments below – I’d love to hear your plans!

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78 Comments

  1. Nice tips! Do you have any natural bug repellent recipes? I was just thinking about how much I love this warmer weather we’ve had the past few days…I love spring and summer! But mosquitoes and any blood-sucking bugs just really seem to love me! It makes it almost impossible to go outside, and I HATE the smell of traditional bug repellent (which I call “salad dressing”, because it just seems to attract them even more!). Any advice?

  2. Yes, we need to have less chemicals in our life! I love learning more about essential oils in place of chemicals and love that you got rid of ants that way. Do you have anything for flies or mosquitoes?

  3. hello, and I loved seeing what all you are doing to stop the using of harmful chemical in our homes and on our bodies. I like the ideal of the homemade scrub as well as the spray to get rid of bugs. Because like you said it is cold but I am seeing them as well. So I will be checking out how to make the bug spray as I can not breathe what they have in the stores.

  4. Using less chemicals is definitely a useful challenge. I’ve read about this topic before, and I need to look into it more. I could definitely start with how to make my own cleaning products. Thanks for posting this.

  5. You and I am so on the same page with this! I have been doing what I can to live greener and taking a lot of the same steps as you. The foot scrub sounds fantastic. I will have to try it on my old talons, haha! My next step is a greener laundry detergent. I use an eco detergent from the store but I think I can do better. Following~

  6. I got rid of all my plug in air fresheners after I heard a firefighter say what a fire hazard they could be. I never really thought about the chemicals they might be adding to the air we breathe. I haven’t tried essential oils yet, but using a diffuser to freshen the home sounds like a wonderful idea. I’m going to look into getting one. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  7. I always try to do what I can to lead a more sustainable life, but I definitely want to challenge myself and do even MORE this year. I’ve been thinking about making my own skin care products for our family for MONTHS, and I think I need to finally just dive in and do it! It’s scary that there as so many ingredients (even in a lot of “natural” products, considering how liberally that word is now smattered all over everything) in everyday products we use, and we don’t even know what the heck they are! Thank you for sharing. I’m going to try making that foot scrub for my mother to give her on Mother’s Day—she LOVES lavender.

  8. I’ve never heard of the homemade deodorant recipe before. I definitely have to try that one out. To save money, and live a little more greener, I’ve been eliminating chemicals from the household. Vinegar has become my favorite thing to use.

  9. I can’t believe how timely this is! I ran out of my store bought all purpose cleaner and told my husband, “That’s it, I’m going to start making my own cleaners.” Just like you mentioned, I’m not going to worry about changing everything over at once, but the baby step approach works so well that I’m hoping over time to keep phasing in more and more natural ones (including the deoderant – how awesome, thanks so much for your recipe!). Looks like your site is a treasure trove. I also love your goals section – that’s a passion of mine too and something I planned to use in my blog too. Glad I found your blog!

    1. Thanks Debbie! That’s exactly what I have been doing – as I run out of something I see if I can either make it or replace it with something a bit “cleaner.” Simple and less stressful than an all at once overhaul!

  10. I have been making my own soap for a long time. It’s easy and doesn’t have all that extra stuff that is so hard on the skin. I also have a very sensitive nose so I can’t stand a lot of fragrance. Making soap is one of the few artistic things I am good at too. LOL Now I’m about to start making my own laundry soap because it is cheaper and will give me more control over what is in it. Would love to get the exact recipe for that salt scrub.

    1. Katrina,

      Here is the recipe: 3 T sea salt (I used a very large crystal version), 1 T olive oil and a small handful of dried lavender. That was it!

  11. Wow, this is cool! I admittedly do not know much about health and wellness – it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I’m 26-years-old and I only really started intentionally working out at all this past year.

    Still trying to do more simple things like get water into my routine, but I’m getting there! This list was inspiring and gives me ideas to move forward with as I can more into a healthy lifestyle!

    1. Thanks Grady – it is a super interesting field for sure! Good for you working out and drinking water – perfect place to start.

  12. My thoughts exactly. I like to make things a little greener and a little healthier but I can’t be a slave to it. I know some can and that’s great for them, but I need flexibility and moderation for my family. I’m going to try some of your ideas, thanks for sharing. I’ll be back.
    Thanks http://ncborn.com

  13. I love these tips! I especially love your tip for keeping ants at bay. It will soon be time of year that they creep around my kitchen and I will definitely give your idea a try!

  14. You had me at Sara Snow. I love her. lol
    We use a green/essential oil bug guy. He is awesome. I love the sugar scrub but I’m going to have to try your salt scrub. EOs are so fun and versatile. Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. What great ideas! I have always wanted to take a more natural approach, but never have. My weakness is air freshener. ugh. I have it everywhere. lol. I think I would like to try to make my own body scrub. That does sound fun and would be so much better for your skin.

    1. Betty, the essential oils in a diffuser work SO well as an air freshener – if you love the scents, you should definitely check it out!

  16. Great list! Thanks! I have been slowly entering this green lifestyle over the past year or so and I am loving it. I joined Norwex as a consultant last fall and am seriously loving the easy, green cleaning. Definitely transformed my life and house!

  17. I need to try making my own deodorant soon. Summer is a’coming and I can’t handle the mainstream deodorants and “organic all natural” are so expensive and still seem to have unpronouncable words sometimes.

  18. This is great, I too have been trying to take steps making healthier changes. We too, don’t use air fresheners, I make our detergent and use vinegar and water for cleaning almost everything. It feels good to simplify life this way, be healthier, and save money, too 🙂 oh, and great to know about the ant spray, we need that!

  19. With a baby around I have been hesitant to kill the ants around our house with ant spray. I never thought of finding a more natural way. Since I got pregnant (should have done it earlier) my husband and I use vinegar and lemon to soak our vegetables first.

  20. Hi Pam,

    So glad you wrote about this actually. Super simple ideas that I can use right away, but I honestly have not done much more to be “greener” than just recycle our typical trash. This reminded me of that, so thanks. And when you compare the three natural ingredients against the slew of chemicals…it’s a no-brainer!

    Thank you so much!

    Alexander

  21. I am on board. and I love all your information. I did a lawn chemical post on my blog and I’m very into natural whenever I can. My challenge is getting my family on the same page. My husband loves scented candles. My 11 year old daughter is into scented body sprays. I did the lavender, natural thing with her. It worked for awhile when she was younger. But her friends go to Bath and Body Works and she loves that stuff now. Going in there just gives me a headache! As you say, small changes!

  22. I decided to eliminate all the chemicals from my house about 20 yeas ago. Make my own body scrubs, air fresheners, etc. Love all that. Thank you for the great post! Bookmarking it to read more on your blog!

  23. It is always great to be more conscious of the things you eat and items you use on your body, or cleaning your space. With small kids I have a variety of cleaners I use and the simple ones like vinegar I use daily. I make a lot of my own soaps, chapsticks and scrubs. But, I couldn’t keep up making my own laundry soap, etc. It is a balance for us. 🙂

  24. Thanks for the green tips! I’ve been interested in reducing chemicals in my house and I like your laid back approach to it, too! Makes it seem a lot more doable for us newbies!

  25. Great tips. Having a dog that loves sniff everything and roll around the floors, I also try to use natural and pet friendly products and keep the chemicals down as much as possible.

  26. I love the idea of essential oils and creating things on your own, but I have a couple questions…
    1. Is there a cost difference between using more natural products vs. using store bought stuff?
    2. The deodorant – is it both an anti-perspirant and deodorant? I tend to have issues with sweating through clothes and am constantly looking for new deodorants. I don’t love the idea of having to make it myself as I feel it will be time consuming, but at this point, I’m willing to try anything!
    Thanks for the post!

    1. Cortney, actually it is often less expensive to make your own products – the oils are a bit expensive but they last a VERY long time (think 200+ drops per bottle and you only use a few drops for each recipe). The deodorant is NOT an anti-perspirant – it worked wonderfully in the winter, but if I’m going to be out in the hot sun all day sweating I tend to use a natural deodorant/ anti-perspirant. It was actually incredibly easy to make – took me all of 5 minutes.

  27. I’ll have to try that ant repellent when the ants come back this year. I tried vinegar and tea tree oil, but that didn’t work for me. ..

  28. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do as well and I think you’ve encouraged me to start! Not only do I want to eliminate harsh chemicals but it wouldn’t be too bad to save some money in the process!

  29. You make this all sound so easy – I can’t wait to try some of these. I love homemade foot scrubs. I make one with coconut oil and coffee grounds … wonderful for waking you up in the morning. Thanks so much for sharing these.

  30. It’s nice to see another blogger who talks about healthy living. I think our sites have a lot in common accept that I focus more on reducing processed foods but I hope to expand more on reducing chemicals in my home too.

  31. The salt scrub sounds heavenly! I love the scent of lavender and grow a few plants around our house. I just may dry some more this summer and try this. Thanks for sharing!

  32. I love these. Will definitely be trying the ant one- we have had a bit of an ant problem this year and hate using insecticides with young children around.

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