For the last couple of years Sam and I have been working on ways to become more self-sufficient. We’re growing the majority of our own fruits and vegetables in our garden. We are looking into ways in which we can do meat rabbits (even in our HOA). We are interested in buying farm land so we can have some poultry and a couple of cows. And we’d even like to raise some of our own grains (both for animal and human consumption). We’re investigating ways in which to utilize compost effectively, as well as solar and wind power. We want to be able to do it all ourselves, or at least as much as possible.
When we bounce ideas off of our friends and family, we try not to sound conspiracy theorist or alarmist, but our goal, at some point, is to become as self-sufficient as we possibly can, and we truly believe that most Americans could thrive if they were doing the same kinds of things. Even just having a small garden each summer with a few plants in it would create a huge improvement in our budgets, the quality of foods we consume, it would give us each some much needed exercise and fresh air, and would lower the demand on big-agra products and force some much needed and long overdue market changes. But I’m really going beyond the scope of this post and could likely dig out the ol’ soap box! None of us want me to do that, so I’ll spare ya the details. But if you’re interested in what we’re doing at East of Eden Farms (yes, we’ve even picked out a farm name!) you just let me know and I’ll be delighted to fill you in. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…
One of the ways in which we’re so dependent on convenience shopping (ie. Wal-Mart) is in the area of personal hygiene items. We are a society that enjoys a certain level of decorum…cleanliness…hygiene. No one wants to sit next to Mr. Stinky at work or in church. Body odor, bad breath, dirty clothes, and the like are just not pleasant fragrances to encounter. In all my years I’ve never seen Eu d’ Sweat sold at the Dillard’s fragrance counter. Somehow we’ve failed to latch onto that aroma, and I say thank the Lord!
But what do we do for things like toothpaste, deodorant, soap, and the like? I’m not prepared to buy lye in bulk and start making my own soap (at least not yet anyway), nor am I prepared to stop shaving or wearing deodorant. However, I’ve really been thinking about ways in which I can take baby steps in this area. What can I do to start weaning myself off the convenience dependence? After a conversation to this regard, Sam was searching the Internet looking for articles on being more self-sufficient and came across THIS article on making your own deodorant. As a joke he sent it to me. Little did he know I’d give it much more consideration than he did.
As I read through the article and some of the other linked articles it contained, I began to wonder if it would really work. I mean, basically we’re talking about cornstarch and baking soda; is that really gonna be effective in keeping me dry and fresh? So I let it marinate for a while, and as I thought more about it and all the health risks a person takes when they use commercial deodorants (cancer, Alzheimer’s, reduced renal function, DNA damage, respiratory illness, etc.) I decided that my health was more important (since a couple of these illnesses do run in my family) than others delicate sense of smell. Plus, who do I see? I stay home almost every day, and when I am around people its not like I’m working out and sweating a whole lot.
**Sidebar: Do you know no one sells proper powder puffs anymore? How insane is that???**
So for the past couple of weeks now I’ve been using this powdery concoction as my ‘deodorant’. And ya know what? It works! There isn’t any smell to it, but I like to spray on a bit of soft, flowery body spray anyhow so that takes care of the fragrance arena. But I’ve found that I stay dry and fresh from shower to shower. I have Sam smell my pits at least once a day since I know he’ll give me an honest opinion (yes, I know, I’m such a lucky girl to have a guy who’ll smell my pits for me! He’s pretty lucky too!). So far, so good – no complaints!
I know its just a small step to self-sufficiency, but its a step none the less. I’ve still got to work out a toothpaste alternative, soap alternative, laundry detergent alternative, and probably a few other things along the way, but for now I feel good knowing that I’m doing something to help protect the environment, to help break my dependence on chemicals and convenience shopping, and something that is far healthier for my body than commercially produced deodorant. Plus it just feels more feminine to pull out my powder puff and powder box each morning and dab some on!
If you’re the open-minded sort and willing to consider some more natural alternatives to hygiene, I challenge you to give it a try and see if it doesn’t work for you too.
Au Natural Deodorant
1 tablespoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
6 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 – 2 tablespoons scented talcum powder (optional – I don’t use this)
1. Place all ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously for about a minute to ensure even distribution.
2. Apply the powder to underarms (or other areas you want to ‘freshen’ and deodorize – you girls know what I’m talkin’ about) in the same manner as you would regular deodorant.
3. Store in a decorative container with a tight fitting lid.
Enjoy a fresh clean feeling all day long.