I started researching making my own cleaning and personal care products, and finding reusable solutions for disposable items, in February 2011 as part of a New Year’s resolution to live more mindfully, reduce waste, and reduce expenses.
We reduced our waste substantially last year. I read a statistic last week that the average American produces 7 pounds of trash a day. I estimate our family of 3 produces around 7 pounds of trash a week–at any rate, it fits into one or two of those plastic grocery bags (which find their way into our house despite the fact that we bring our own bags to the store most of the time).
We saved some money too, and while I didn’t keep track I don’t think the change was as significant as the trash reduction.
But what I didn’t expect was the sense of freedom I got when going to the grocery store and walking past all the things I no longer buy: toothpaste, deodorant, facial cleanser, bathroom cleaner, drain de-clogger, napkins, paper towels, feminine hygiene. I may be buying a little more baking soda and vinegar these days, but there are several corporations that I am no longer dependent on, and that makes me happy.
I also found several communities of like-minded folks in the blogosphere who are further down this path than I am, and that makes me happy too.
And finally, there is the challenge of learning new things. How can I make my own (fill in the blank)? How can we further reduce our carbon footprint? What can I turn this old sock/t-shirt/random piece of pipe into? What can I try next?
What’s your inspiration for doing it yourself?