Blog post written by Madison from Zero Waste California.
When it comes to the 4 R's of sustainability (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot) there is a fifth R that should be included: Refill.
If and whenever possible, refilling containers you already own is the best way to reduce waste. All sorts of reusable containers are available at second hand stores at very affordable prices! In fact, most of my mason jars came from thrift stores.
Dry ingredients like flour or oats are pretty easy to refill and store in air-tight containers. Check out our post on Bulk Shopping and Food Storage for more information. But what about other products? Like lotions, shampoos, or even cooking oil? You know, the wet stuff.
(Photo Credit: http://www.monomeer.de/)
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA RESIDENTS
Live outside of the Bay? Or outside of California? Don't fret! There are still plenty of options for you.
CO-OPS REFILL CORNERS
*Most* co-ops offer some form of a refill service.
(Photo Credit: https://www.visitmarin.org/)
Grass Roots Natural Foods in Tahoe, CA, has refillable supplies of honey (various flavors), olive oil (various flavors), vinegars, shampoo, conditioner and soap!
Co-ops are popping up all over the place. Just search for one in your area and see what they offer!
(Photo Credit: Fillgood)
Make Your Own Lotion or Deodorant
Making your own lotion is as easy as making your own deodorant. I say this because the recipe I made up for both have very few differences between them. I've tried several recipes for zero waste deodorant, but this one seems to work the best for me.
I stuffed shea butter into a mason jar and placed it in a pot filled with water. Turn the stove to high heat, and allow the water to boil and gently melt the butter.
You can also use:
- Coconut oil
- Mango Butter
- Cocoa butter
- Sweet almond butter
- Grapeseed oil
- Olive butter
- Pumpkin seed butter
After several minutes, the butter will melt into an oil.
Pour your liquid into a container and add essential oils as needed. I like lemongrass, or lavender, or vanilla.
Add tea tree oil or other essential oils. I like lemongrass or lavender. Mix in baking soda at a ratio of 3 parts oil, 1 part baking soda, mix. If still too liquid-y after 10 minutes, mix with a teaspoon of baking soda at a time to reach the right consistency:
Remember: it will continue to harden as it solidifies at room temperature, don't add too much baking soda or it will get too stiff and be difficult to apply!
Ta-da, that's it. Once they're cool they are ready to use.
Left picture : Lotion on the left, deodorant on the right, still in liquid state.
Right picture: Storing them in mini-containers like these make them super easy for travel. Or, store some in an old Altoids tin, or something similar, for lotion or deodorant on-the-go!