I’ve been trying to document our gradual descent into hippiedom, what with the knitting and the gardening and the natural dyes and the giant beard (Alex’s of course). We took another plunge a few weeks ago when I invited friends over for a vegan dinner and then we made laundry soap together.
Vegetarians don’t need alcohol to have fun….
We have borax and water.
Anyway, a few months ago, Alex and I were having a discussion about the chemicals and things that we put into our sewage/water systems. It’s quite terrifying how many chemicals we encounter every day and throw down the drain without a second thought. So, to do our part, we switched over to all-natural shampoos. I found a line at Sprouts that uses fair trade ingredients and they invest in the communities that they get the ingredients from. Is it $10 a bottle? Yes. Does it smell good? Yes. Does it support people and give them jobs and education in developing countries? Yes. Does it get our hair clean? Yes. Does it make our hair feel like straw? Unfortunately, yes.
Alex came to me complaining that his shoulders look like a ski slope from all the dandruff and I’m fairly certain that this hippie shampoo isn’t doing anything for my cowlick. Let’s be honest. We’re used to the fakey-fakey smooth hair that comes from the waxes and crap that go into normal shampoos. I mean, come on Pantene. How do you manufacture that goddess in a bottle? This au-natural approach to beauty products will take some getting used to but I’m convinced that the benefits outweigh the scarecrow hair and dandruff head that it causes us. The laundry soap that we made cost approximately $3 to make a five gallon bucket and will last us probably the rest of the year. Also, it’s something that I feel safe using in my home because I know exactly what went into it. I made it. I could have my own “How It’s Made” show. It would be approximately 43 seconds long and no one has to wear a hair net or a face mask.
This past weekend, a gaggle of friends and I made the trek back out to Ponder to visit Cardo’s Farm Project (site of the aforementioned natural dye workshop). This time, the workshop was on natural beauty products. Coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil, beeswax, essential oils. I made orange eucalyptus lip balm, a lotion bar that has natural bug deterrents (like cat nip??), perfume, and some homemade deodorant. I could say more about it, except that it was so easy and fast that I can’t believe I never did it before.
Aside from just being a fun time with friends, this workshop was so great because it’s just so stinking practical. Sure, there are some upfront costs, but after that, you can make practically anything you would need in the bathroom (including toothpaste). Yet another benefit is meeting someone who actually uses these kind of things in their daily life. I mean, our teacher was all about the natural skin products so, for me, she took it from “Is this weird?” to “This is cool”.
All in all, I love spending time out at this farm. If I was going to be really honest, this is the kind of place that I want my kids to be intimately familiar with. No, this isn’t a grand announcement that Alex and I have literally bought the farm and are shucking the suburbs in search of more peaceful acreage, but I want my kids to know where our food comes from. I want them to see how eggs are produced and to spend some quality time with live turkeys. I want them to meet people who have dedicated their lives to coaxing sustenance out of the earth. For me, that’s what this “shift” to living like hippies represents. We’re becoming more connected and more aware of the impact our decisions (all of them) have on the Earth and our global brothers and sisters. We’re making the effort to tread more lightly on this beautiful planet that God has created and that our children will inherit.
Sorry if waxing poetic about the earth feels a little deep for a post on homemade deodorant, but that’s what I’ve been chewing on this past few days.