make your own en-US Homemade Deodorant: Is It Worth It? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/homemade-deodorant-is-it-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src=" - Copy (1024x685).jpg" alt="White flowers" title="White flowers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you had told me 10 years ago that I&rsquo;d be writing a post about how to make my own deodorant, I&rsquo;d have laughed. Scoffed. Shaken my head &mdash; no way. However, 10 years ago, I didn&rsquo;t live in a humid area. (See also: <a href="">5 Hair Conditioners You Can&nbsp;Make at Home</a>)</p> <h3>Why I Tried Making My Own Deodorant</h3> <p>Those of you who read my posts know I&rsquo;m a sucker for any DIY challenge. My criteria are:</p> <ul> <li>Is the product I make better?</li> <li>Is it cheaper?</li> <li>How much time does it take?</li> </ul> <p>Secondly, although the popular brand of deodorant that I use works well, I am never happy with the scent. In fact, I use &ldquo;unscented&rdquo; because I hate all the other scents, and I still dislike the weird, chemical-ish scent. So, I added another criterion &mdash; could I make something with a scent that I actually liked?</p> <p>Third, and probably most important &mdash; is there a health risk involved with any of the chemicals in commercially made products? This debate is confusing. According to a post on the National Cancer Institute site...</p> <blockquote><p>...researchers at the <a href="">National Cancer Institute</a> (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer...Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided <em>conflicting results</em>, additional research is needed to investigate this relationship and other factors that may be involved. (Emphasis added.)</p> </blockquote> <p>Those two words &mdash; &ldquo;conflicting results&rdquo; &mdash; are what bother me a little. Don&rsquo;t you try to reduce your cancer risk, even if it's just a possibility? For instance, you likely use sunscreen and avoid charred meat. Further research may confirm that commercial deodorants do not increase cancer risk, and that would be great (I&rsquo;ve used them for many years) but just in case...I&rsquo;m going to give homemade deodorant a try.</p> <p>Also, there was the does-aluminum-lead-to-Alzheimer&rsquo;s controversy, but the organization&rsquo;s own website pretty much <a href="">put my mind to rest about the connection</a>. You see, most commercially made deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum, which blocks your pores.</p> <h3>The (Easy!) Deodorant-Making Process</h3> <p>After perusing several recipes, I ended up trying this <a href="">deodorant recipe</a> from Live Whole Be Free.</p> <p>In the spirit of frugality, I wanted to try using ingredients I had on hand. I already had baking soda and cornstarch. I purchased the coconut oil and essential oil at a local natural foods store, and those cost $8.99 (coconut oil) and $6.39 (essential oil).</p> <p>The above recipe is for a lemon-clove deodorant, but when I started opening testers and sniffing away, &ldquo;lemongrass&rdquo; really got my attention.</p> <p>My next stop was the local Salvation Army store, where I found a small plastic, lidded container (which I took home and washed in hot, soapy water). Cost: $0.50.</p> <p>Mixing the deodorant was very simple. First, I combined the baking soda and cornstarch, then added the coconut oil and drops of essential oil. It went together very easily, and I poured it into the container. I was worried about the coconut oil overtaking the lemongrass scent, but that wasn&rsquo;t a problem. They seemed to combine very nicely, and I wasn&rsquo;t overpowered by either one.</p> <h3>Testing the Deodorant</h3> <p>Day 1 test conditions: 84 degrees. I went to a <a href=""> farmers market</a>, which was very hot, and then came home to some housework and ironing. No stickiness and no &ldquo;wearing off&quot; of the nice scent.</p> <p>Day 2 test conditions: Work, and an all-day presentation for 20 people. No problems; nice scent.</p> <p>Day 3 test conditions: Work, and a one-hour presentation for 95 people &mdash; and this presentation was the true test, because it made me really nervous. It was also about 80 degrees outside, and I had a heavy box to lug. I figured this would be the make-or-break day for homemade deodorant! I didn't need to worry &mdash; again, all I smelled was the lemon. However, keep in mind that this is a recipe for a deodorant, not an antiperspirant. It doesn&rsquo;t keep you dry. I may experiment with my next batch, increasing the baking soda/cornstarch ratios. Another alternative may be to make my own bath powder concoction and layer the products.</p> <p>The final test? I strode into my husband&rsquo;s man-cave, holding up my arm, and said, &ldquo;Wanna sniff my pit?&rdquo; (Bear in mind that we have been married for thirty years.) After giving me a look, and actually not laughing, he said, &ldquo;Sure, why not?&rdquo;&nbsp; His proclamation? &ldquo;All I smell is lemon.&rdquo; He&rsquo;s a real sport.</p> <h3>Is Making Your Own&nbsp;Deodorant Worth It?</h3> <p>Revisiting my criteria, then:</p> <p><strong>Is the Product I Make Better? </strong></p> <p>I like the scent better. I like the fact that it's all-natural better. I can improve upon the packaging by scooping the product into an empty roll-on container, which will make it easier to apply.</p> <p><strong>Is It Cheaper?</strong></p> <p>Yes, I think so. The price for a &ldquo;natural&rdquo; deodorant is $7.49 at my local natural foods store (for 2.7 ounces). I spent $15.88 on the coconut oil, fragrance, and container. The jar of coconut oil I bought was 12 ounces, and the recipe only called for five tablespoons of it. Cornstarch and <a href="">baking soda</a> are very inexpensive. Although the essential oil was expensive, a little goes a very long way.</p> <p><strong>How Much&nbsp;Time Did It Take?</strong></p> <p>With all the materials in front of me, a whopping four minutes.</p> <p><strong>Will&nbsp;I Make It Again?</strong></p> <p>YES.</p> <p><strong>Should You Try? </strong></p> <p>Well, that&rsquo;s very much a matter of personal preference. You will need to weigh your impressions about health, your perceptions about scent, and your budget.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The Awesomeness of Sodium Bicarbonate: 27 Uses for Baking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Deodorants for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Deodorants for Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Health and Beauty all natural personal care deodorant make your own Tue, 28 Aug 2012 10:00:41 +0000 Marla Walters 952377 at How to Make Your Own Power <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-own-power" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Windmill" title="Windmill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever wondered how to <a href="">power your home</a>, small electronics, or a generator using natural resources? I know I have. Countless times I've forgotten to charge my cell phone and wished I had a solar powered source to trickle-charge it throughout the day. While riding my bike I've pondered how to harness my own pedal-power and charge a laptop, especially when I'm no where near an outlet. Generating your own power isn't just a lofty thought anymore; today there are a plethora of products that make it possible. (See also: <a href="">Houses You Can Build Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>Solar Power</h2> <p>One of the most abundant sources of energy available to us is solar power. The sun's rays <a href="">create more energy in one hour</a> than the entire world uses in one year. Though solar panels have gone through years of improvements, today portable solar devices such as the <a href="">Solio</a> can charge small electronics within a few hours or help extend battery life by giving them solar-powered boosts. Larger solar chargers are also available through a few different vendors.</p> <p>Want to power your home off the sun's rays? Home solar panels can help reduce your dependence on other energy. If you produce more energy than you need, some solar systems allow you to store your energy for a cloudy day or sell it back to your utility company. Not only are you saving energy; you could be profiting off it as well.</p> <p>Many everyday items also have solar panels built right into them that can charge small electronics, like the Voltaic Solar Backpack, cell phones such as Samsung's touch-phone Blue Earth, computer keyboards and mice, calculators, outdoor lighting, and bicycles from <a href="">Thera-P Products</a> in Toronto to name a few.</p> <h2>Water Power</h2> <p>Much of the electricity I purchase through our utility company is created at Hoover Dam's hydroelectric plant. But did you know you can create your own hydroelectric energy if you have a constant water supply, like a lake or stream, near your house? An example of this in action is <a href="">Judy of the Woods </a>in Wales. Using micro-hydro turbines, she turned her nearby springs into a source of energy.</p> <p>There are also water-powered gadgets such as clocks, calculators, or radios. However, I owned a water-powered clock a few years ago and couldn't get it to work. Maybe the newer products hold their charge better.</p> <h2>Wind Power</h2> <p>The concept of wind power via a windmill isn't new; it's been around for over 1,000 years. Yet today's personal windmills are mostly used on farms and ranches to pump water or mill grain. This doesn't have to be the case. Depending on your community's rules and regulations, you can erect your very own windmill to generate power to your home or to pump your well water. Smaller windmills can be used to aerate a pond or other stagnant water sources as well.</p> <p>The key to erecting a windmill boils down to where you live; the less dense the population, the less likely you'll have neighbors complaining about the towering structure.</p> <h2>Animal Power</h2> <p>Almost exclusively seen on farms or ranches, work horses can pump water while exercising or charge a generator by walking in a circle. Though this might not be an option for most people, animals can generate about 5-10 times the amount of energy that people do.</p> <h2>Human Power</h2> <p>Many small electronics now come in hand-crank versions: radios, flashlights, generators, even washing machines. You simply crank or squeeze the handle and the energy from your own body charges the item's batteries; it's simple and effective.</p> <p>Want your legs to do all the work? <a href="">Pedal-A-Watt</a> turns just about any bicycle into a stationery generating machine. Charge your <a href="">cell phone</a>, laptop, or iPod while pedaling, or connect it to a PowerPak for later use. You can even find plans on the web to <a href="">build your own pedal-powered generator</a>.</p> <p>Charging my cell phone or laptop on the road no longer seems as baffling as it once did since I can choose from various clean, self-powered energy sources.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Little House</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How To Turn a 2-liter Bottle Of Water Into a 50-Watt Lightbulb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Hands in Your Pocket: The Cost of Standby Power - Environmental and Otherwise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">What Americans Can Learn From How the Rest of the World Saves Energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Homemade Deodorant: Is It Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY electricity make your own power solar power utilities Thu, 11 Aug 2011 10:24:21 +0000 Little House 655757 at How to Brown Bag it With Style <p><img width="352" height="440" src="" alt="wine and grapes" title="jazzy brown bag lunch story pic" /></p> <p>Finding time to pack your lunch for work each day can feel pretty overwhelming. Trying to be creative about it can be even more frustrating. Following are several categories of suggestion ideas to help you get started, and stay psyched, about joining the brown bag movement.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Having One or Two Large Batch Items Available Each Week </strong>- This can work well if you have several small containers to pack up ahead of time and toss in with your other lunch items. The smaller Gladware containers or a small thermos from the thrift store are helpful items. Some ideas for large batch items to round out your lunch repertoire? Zingy pasta salad, chili, soup, quiche, fried rice, pizza, tabouleh, pancit or lo mein noodle dishes. I think it's fun to bring things occasionally that you need something besides a fork to eat. If you have children to keep happy with their lunch options, this works great for that, too.</li> <li><strong>Pre-packaging some &quot;grab and takes&quot;</strong>&nbsp; - Grab and takes is the term we use in our house for those little extras that are easily eaten at your desk, on the run or in the car. One item I used quite often during the last few years of my husband's military career was the large packages of restaurant style tortilla chips from the bulk warehouse stores. They were easy to break down into pint or snack size re-sealable containers. They are also much sturdier than regular tortilla chips and hold up to some seriously sturdy dips. Other ideas? Popcorn, roasted almonds, home made trail mix, pretzels (chocolate coated or otherwise), bargain store cheese and cracker combos by the case, dried fruit, raisin and sunflower kernel mixture, dried cereals and the snack mixes you can creat from them, fruit, etc.</li> <li><strong>Factor in Some Finger Foods </strong>- This strategy really goes a long way towards breaking up the monotony of the traditional bag lunch. Finger food is also great for those who don't have a long break for lunch and need to be nibbling on it in stages throughout the day.Some ideas to get you started? Hard boiled eggs, cold chicken drummies / nuggets, home made versions of the popular &quot;lunchables&quot; combos, pinwheel appetizer style sandwiches (tortillas rolled up with your favorite filling spread and sliced into rounds works great for this), and self-cut string cheese snacks from bulk block mozzarella. Ham and cheese cubes you can snag with a toothpick are also great for those cutting carbs as well as school children who like to try something different. One of my favorite (and affordable) ideas for finger type foods though is using non-dessert mini muffins or scones with the meal items baked right in. A couple of examples of this would be ham and cheese scones, or corn muffins with turkey sausage, cheese and chopped green chiles.</li> <li><strong>Celebrate Your Sandwich Ingredients </strong>- Let's face it. Tuna salad, while affordable, just really doesn't cut it long term. Neither does PB &amp; J. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those sandwich selections. In fact, they are both used quite frequently in our home. What I am saying is that most people (including myself) will not stick with the &quot;take my lunch to work&quot; resolution if they get bored too quickly. If you grow your own basil, caprese sandwiches can be quite affordable. Another one my husband and I both like is zatyr with olive oil as a spread, combined with mozzarella and roma tomatos. A little curry powder in with your chicken salad can really help a lot, as can a pinch or two of horseradish. Alternative greens to lettuce (spinach, basil, radicchio, etc.) and home grown sprouts can also help. A break from the traditional mayo for a spread can keep you motivated as well. (Think hummus or mashed avacado.) Bored with your wonder bread? Try a wrap, a roll, or a different grain entirely. Here are some other <a href="http://">ideas for sandwiches</a>, to help get you started. Those reducing meat and dairy in their diets should find this <a href="">list of vegan sandwiches</a> helpful.</li> <li><strong>Dunkin' and Dippin' Combos </strong>- I'm partial to this, because I'm a dunker from way back. In addition to the age old carrots and peanut butter, here are a few ideas you may not have thought of. Tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole or ranch sauce. Celery with a multi-ingredient cream cheese spread (think smoked salmon or pineapple).&nbsp;Mini cocktail meatballs with sweet and sour dip, or pita bread chips with hummus are also some out of the ordinary ideas, depending upon where you live.</li> <li><strong>Romancing the Stone </strong>- I guess what I'm saying here is, make it sexy and you'll stick with it. If some of the more elaborate ingredients are out of your budget reach, try keeping <strong>picnic</strong> supplies packed in your lunch bag (fabric napkin, sarong, good book). You can hit the park if there's one near your work place. You could also try organizing a weekly or monthly <strong>pot luck</strong> lunch at work, or a <strong>brown bag buffet</strong> of simple items. Two things that come to mind? First,&nbsp;a &quot;make your own Italian&quot; lunch buffet the PTO used to coordinate for a school I used to work at. You could sign up for lunch meat, green peppers, sliced cheese, whatever. It's just important that everyone gets on board and commits to their assigned item. This worked well, was healthy, and affordable for nearly every budget. Second is a lunch we used to have in the teachers' room on Guam quite often . . . Vietnamese lumpia. If you've never had it, it's sort of like having a spring roll inside a veggie taco. You need the long lumpia, fish sauce, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint leaves and long pieces of lettuce to use like a soft tortilla.</li> <li><strong>Consider Starting a Brown Bag Theater at Work </strong>- A teacher of mine in high school started hosting one of these when she was trying to encourage all of us to eat healthier. We had to bring a healthy lunch to get in on each afternoon's installment of the movie or mini-series she was showing. A similar idea I used years ago is how I got to know a co-worker who is to this day one of my closest friends. The murder trial of a famous sports star (you know the one) was on television practically non stop. I was working at a software company at the time and there was no time to step out to grab lunch as well as catch the TV coverage. She and I used this as motivation to start bringing low cal lunches and opted for catching the news. Soon, many of our co-workers started joining us. You don't need a major long-term news item to get one of these started. Check out episodes of a popular TV series no one has time to watch. Without the commercials, they are often around 40-45 minutes long. That's enough time with an hour lunch break for everyone to get there, get settled with their lunch and enjoy the episode. It would also be a great way for bloggers and other reviewers to keep up to date on a show they were posting about online. Or, try it with a book on tape for an alternative form of a book club. There are many ways to make this work. I'd love to hear some of your ideas.</li> </ul> <p>I guess in conclusion, my only additional advice is to cut yourself some slack if you need it. I don't know how many times I made myself be extra frugal when shopping for lunch items for the week, only to blow it by Thursday because I was so bored with what I had selected that I caved and ordered take out food. In retrospect, would those frozen chicken nuggets have been as expensive as I thought they were the Friday before? Ditto for the sliced Swiss or occasional bottle of fruit flavored sparkling water? There's nothing wrong with adding a little spice to the brown bag experience. It's one of the most powerful cash-carving strategies we have available to us, and if shaking it up a little is what will help you stick with the habit, go for it.</p> <p>Have some fabulous and fun ideas for sticking with the brown bag movement? I'd really love to hear them.</p> <p>Photo by Art Expressions</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Staff</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Delicious Uses for Leftover Hot Dogs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink fun food lunch make your own saving money thrift Fri, 20 Jul 2007 19:54:47 +0000 Staff 873 at