Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Monthly Greening: Shampoo and conditioner

As a sort of New Year's Resolution, I thought that I would try adopting one new effort at living in a more environmentally conscious way every month.

We already do a good bit--we compost; we heat with wood almost exclusively (and live in a very heavily forested area, where this is in fact sustainable); nearly all of our vegetables and many of our fruits come either from our own garden or our year-round CSA; etc. But I'm always interested in trying new ways of living a little more lightly--and am also always conscious, of course, of the many ways in which we do tread heavily on the earth (the necessity of owning two cars and driving to work, traveling by air a few times a year, usw.).

But no effort is wasted, right?

Anyway, it makes more sense, it seems to me, to share these efforts, in the hopes that one or two other people might pick them up and that they'll have a bigger impact than if I'm just doing them alone (or coercing my family into joining me).

January was a bit of a bust, though. I still blame the flu for that. I did finally buy a laundry-drying rack so that we can air out small loads by the fire instead of using the drier (and one of this summer's adaptations will be finally put up a clothesline! I loved the clothesline at our old house).

And I'm coming in rather under the wire for February, I realize. But I did try out something new today!

As of today, I'm experimenting with (and hopefully adopting) A Good (Enough) Woman's baking-soda-shampoo and apple-cider-vinegar-conditioner technique. In short: a tea/tablespoonful of baking soda in about a cup of water, dumped over the head as shampoo; and the vinegar for conditioner. That's it! She also recommends using a little baking soda for a facial cleanser, which I'm trying, too (I can't really justify what I've been spending on facial cleansers, given that I'm not sure that they do anything).

So far, so good: my hair feels clean and soft and doesn't have too much of a vinegar smell. And now I need to think of something for March! (Any suggestions?)


Good Enough Woman said...

Update on the shampoo, etc.:

For some reason, while on my winter trip in Dec/Jan, my hair started feeling kind of gummy. I was still using the baking soda and vinegar. I'm not really sure what happened. Since then, I've gone back to using *some* shampoo. I use "Free and Clear" shampoo and conditioner on one day; then, I go two days just rinsing with water. On the fourth day, sometimes I use shampoo again, and sometimes, I just use the baking soda without the apple cider vinegar (because I thought the vinegar that was, literally, gumming up the works). All of this said, I plan to try the baking soda approach again. Maybe I was using too much vinegar? Still, it's pretty amazing that my hair does well with so little washing.

Even more significant, however, is my facial-cleansing routine. I've gotten to the point where I just exfoliate with a small bit of baking soda once a week, and then every other time, I just rinse well with warm water and then moisturize with Cetaphil intensive moisturizer. Amazingly, my skin has been LESS OILY than before. It's smooth and the tone and color are better, and it's awesome! It helps that I don't tend to wear make-up, so I don't have to use make-up removers.

Good luck!

P.S. Your food habits are very impressive. I did the farm box for a while, but I eventually struggled to make it work, so I let it go.

heu mihi said...

Thanks! I'll be sure to go light on the vinegar (used about a tablespoon last night). And I'm certainly open to reintroducing shampoo if things get funky!

What Now? said...

Ooh, I'm going to try GEW's baking soda facial cleansing routine!

undine said...

I'll try the baking soda facial! Cornmeal works well as a biodegradable scrub.

I used to use cider vinegar as a rinse when I was in high school, and it worked great on non-gym class days.

My sustainable/earth things involve turning off the water when I brush my teeth (small, but every bit helps) and investing in power strips so that things like printers, charging stations, etc. can be turned off totally rather than drawing residual power. In the summer, I dry sheets outside on the hammock, since we don't have a clothesline.

ntbw said...

I'm all for being environmentally friendly, but I cannot imagine doing this! I have nearly waist length hair, I run and / or do Pilates almost every day (often both in a day), and I sweat a LOT, especially in Houston's hot, humid climate. I need shampoo! I do use leave in conditioner, which saves quite a bit of water, since I don't have to rinse it out. And on days I don't get sweaty (or sometimes even on days when I do if I don't have any professional obligations), I'll skip washing my hair, which, to my surprise, is easier with really long hair than it was with short hair, because even if it's kinda dirty I can put it up or pull it back and it doesn't look terrible.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Not sure if you're still doing this, but hair care isn't one size fits all. I haven't used shampoo (store-bought or homemade) of any kind for several years now, even with daily exercise. But I do go through buckets of conditioner and use it to scrub my scalp. But that's particular to curly-haired people.

Most of these organic home recipes were designed with a particular hair texture in mind. My advice would be to do some internet searches with your own hair type plugged in as one of the search terms. You'll get some better results that way.

heu mihi said...

It's been almost a year, so I'll confess that I tried this for about two weeks before abandoning it because I HATED it. Does not work for my hair, which is pretty lame to begin with. Ah well--I doubt that my shampooing is making any significant difference to climate change either way.

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