Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Organic Living - Updated

I've actually gotten several requests to give an update on our organic living situation. So here ya go:

Organic Things We Still Love:

(Updated from Here)

-Our Homemade All Purpose Cleaner -this stuff is the best. Seriously. It's so cheap and it works so well. We use it everywhere.

- The homemade window, glass, and chrome cleaner. We just had to buy a new bottle because the old one broke, but this stuff keeps our windows and mirrors sparkling clean. And it is super good at getting Anya's nose-slobber off the windows where she spends her days looking outside.

-We definitely still use vinegar and baking soda to clean the drains. Works like a charm and gets rid of the icky smells.

-The fruit and veggie wash. This is my first stop after getting home from the grocery store. I let things soak while putting away the rest of the groceries, dry them off, and put them in a bowl. It makes for easy grab-snacks, which is the lazy way to go, if you ask me! Plus, it helps berries last twice as long as they do otherwise.

Green Living:

(This is all updated from this post and this post).

-I'm still obsessed with Dr. Bronner's. I use it all the time, and in like everything. I've even switched to that brand body wash. I use the unscented kind, which costs $15.29 on drugstore.com and lasts like 4 months. It literally makes you squeaky clean. I LOVE IT. In the winter, I use it in addition to the Out of Africa organic body wash, which smells awesome and is super moisturizing.

-We still use Seventh Generation Laundry products (detergent and dryer sheets) and dish stuff (detergent and soap). I can't even wear stuff washed in other detergent anymore without it making me itchy. We add 1/4 c. vinegar to most loads of laundry because we love how clean and fresh it makes things, especially work and exercise clothing. We also add baking soda to towel loads (keeps the gunky smell out), and hydrogen peroxide to keep our whites fresh and bright.

-Mrs. Meyer's Handsoaps (in Lemon Verbena - which I'm obsessed with) is our go-to hand soap. I love that it doesn't dry my hands out at all, and it works really well.

-We both use Tom's of Maine's toothpaste, and I use Tom's of Maine's Deodorant. Speaking honestly, I'm a sweaty kid, and have never had much success with deodorants, but this stuff rocks (oh, and after the shower I always put on coconut oil - weird, but it's like it's own deodorant - love that stuff*).

-In terms of Makeup - I am loving Physician's Formula Organic Wear. I use the tinted moisturizer as foundation, the powder, the blush/bronzer set, and the eyeliner and mascara. Unfortunately, they just discontinued their eye shadow, and I haven't found an affordable/quality replacement that I like, so I've been using E.L.F. products from Target ($1 eyeshadow? I think yes). I also use the E.L.F. concealer/highlighter combo when we go out and I want fancier makeup - it's THE BEST and it's only $3. I just always make sure to clean my face off at night before going to bed (using coconut oil*).

-After the Queen Helene face wash ran out, I switched to Kiss My Face facial wash and I am obsessed. It smells super fresh and leaves my face completely clean, but not at all dry.

-Stephen has switched to Every Man Jack body wash, which James also uses. They both like how well it works, and I like how not-overly-fragranced it is. Men's fragranced stuff is the worst. We still have towels that smell like Stephen's old stuff.

-I tried switching from Yes to Tomatoes hair products to Burt's Bees , which turned out to be a great choice. I especially love the Pomegranate conditioner and shampoo. They leave my hair shiny and clean (for several days, I might add...) and I think it smells awesome. I've tried the Mango line as well, but I wasn't crazy about the smell and I didn't think the shampoo left my hair quite as clean.

Things that didn't work out:

-Composting. Love the idea, but we totally have a hard time following through. It's still on that wistful-to-do-list, but it always seems to fall to the wayside.

-The homemade furniture polish. I found that after time, it left a sticky residue and just didn't work as well as the cheap store-bought ones. So no, they're not organic, but I only use them once every two-three months. Our wooden furniture just doesn't get so dirty that a damp rag can't do the job.

* So. Coconut Oil. My end-all-be-all of organic health. Seriously, you name it, this stuff works for it.

  • Bi-Weekly, I coat my hair in it overnight, which keeps my hair super soft and shiny. It's especially been helpful since Hamez and I have been swimming (chlorine = dry dry dry). 
  • I use it as a makeup remover (works great for the occasional non-organic waterproof mascara for humid days), as deodorant (weird, but awesome)
  • lotion for my elbows and upper arms that get those little bumps (one week and they were gone)
  • a facial moisturizer. Despite being "oil", it doesn't make my face oily or clog my pores. The skin on my face is so clear and soft; it's crazy awesome. 
  • My mom uses it in cooking, which I haven't done yet, but heard it works super well. 

We've been doing a lot more shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and in the organic isles at Hy Vee. We've switched to organic milk because it lasts FOREVER. Seriously, it doesn't go bad for like two months, and we can never use a whole gallon before the expiration dates of the regular kind. Plus, I find that it upsets my tummy less.

We also are totally those people with the re-usable grocery bags and who wait for the organic foods to go on sale and ask for paper bags. I just think it's cooler that way.

What about you guys? What organic/green products do you use?? Or do you have any particular questions about products?

Vanessa, Stephen, and Anya

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post! I'm going to try making the cleaners you recommend at the beginning and the fruit/veggie wash! Yay! Dan and I make our own laundry detergent, and I LOVE it... but I like the idea of adding vinegar. I'm going to have to try that with our next few loads to see how we like it! :)

    Also, we started composting last fall, and it is such a huge hassle, but it is helping our garden THRIVE this summer so far. We keep all of it in a cat litter container (like the big bin ones), and then Dan takes care of it on the weekends in a compost bin in the backyard... and we water it and turn it and stuff, and the smell is HORRENDOUS... but it has definitely seemed to help when mixed with the soil in our garden!

    YAY for this post! I love doing things the natural way... you just inspired me to try even more!