All the small things: New uses for old favorites
My friends know I like to save things. Old jars, notes with doodles and the list goes on. Next, I thought, I’ll save the world. No brainer. So with friends offering me tips to cut back on time and money at the market, I had more time to fantasize about how I could single-handedly spur a revolution.
“How cool would it be if you could buy one thing and use it for five things?” my incredibly smart best friend asked me one disturbingly hot day. Very cool, I thought. So I learned about vinegar from grandma while my friend Elise raved about baking soda; I discovered coconut oil and a professional piercer swore by Dr. Bronner’s soap.
Jotting down the uses for white vinegar, I cut out at least twenty cleaning products. I found the acidic product to aid in everything from halting ants in their tracks to attacking mustard/barbecue/smelly sweat stains, staving off blood sugar spikes to stopping lint from its love affair with your laundry. This economical, all natural product is a winner, with 1,001 uses at vinegartips.com.
Elise, my bathroom-mate, shocked me one morning as through my grogginess I watched her brush her teeth with baking soda. Confused and admittedly scared, I asked her what on earth she was doing. I learned of my ignorance, as baking soda comes in second place, thriving as a body scrub, bug bite soother, deep clean hair treatment, dirty laundry deoderizer, fresh- cut flower rejuvenator, omelet fluff-ifyer and more. Read the 75 fail-safe ways to use this eco-product by searching “extraordinary baking soda” at lifehackery.com.
I began my island affair with coconut oil one year ago, and we have been a match made in tropical heaven since. From nourishing skin and hair to serving up exoticallydelicious scrambled eggs, a replenishing jar costing $5.99 at Trader Joe’s is quite the giving tree. By replacing butter or other oils with coconut oil, I’ve livened up my recipes and have not burned a pan since. A little goes a long way, and coconut oil can withstand very high heat. Which, by the way, makes it an excellent complement to sunblock on your tanning days by the shore.
Finally, a tiny bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap was first handed to me by Mario. The piercer swore by the gentle soap made of organic oils. That first 5oz. bottle lasted me nearly six months. By diluting it with water (making it more effective), I used it as face and body wash which, after reading the bottle’s suggested usage, requires very little water or soap. Noticing friends who used the soap too, I collected more ways to cut back on other products. It is shampoo, dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, piercing disinfectant and one of my more outlandish friends uses it as toothpaste, too.
The soap is encased in a life philosophy manifesto asking consumers to refill their bottle from a drum at the store rather than buy a new container. Dr. Bronner seems to have been looking for a revolution, too, sharing his ideas, hopes, dreams and instructions for living a responsibly loving life.