Eco-friendly Products That Can be Made at Home

One of the most eco-friendly ways you can reduce your waste is to make your own products at home. Consider the footprint of the things you purchase. The energy and resources used in production can run extremely high. Then the emissions created by transporting the goods have a huge environmental impact.

Each and everything we buy from a store leaves a footprint, so striving to use as many eco-friendly products that can be made at home as possible, is a great way to lower your household’s footprint.

Read on for our list of fun, economical and sustainable handmade product recipes.

Beauty Recipes

Facial moisturiser

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw shea butter
1/8 cup sweet almond oil
6-8 drops of essential oil*

*our favourite anti-ageing combo is 3 drops tea tree & 3 drops rosemary essential oil

Directions:

Add the ingredients to a microwavable bowl and cook for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir and allow to cool for a few minutes then add the essential oil(s). Add to an air-tight jar then leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden. Voilà. Your homemade sumptuous facial moisturiser is ready to use. Just remember to store it in a cool, dark space.

Hand Cream

Ingredients

2 tsp beeswax
2 tsp cocoa butter
2 tsp shea butter
1 tsp almond oil
15 drops essential oil*
5 drops grapefruit & 5 drops lemongrass essential oil

*Our favourite zesty scented combo is 5 drops sweet orange

Directions

Add the ingredients to a microwavable bowl and cook for 30 seconds at a time until the beeswax is fully melted. Stir and allow to cool for a few minutes then add the essential oil(s). Add to an air-tight jar then leave in the fridge for 10 mins to get to room temperature. Whip it up a little, dip your fingers in and enjoy. Must be stored in a cool, dark space.

Soap Bar

Ingredients

2 ⅓ cups olive oil
1 ¼ cup coconut oil
1 cup water
⅓ cup cooled rooibos tea
½ cup sodium hydroxide
3 tsp bentonite clay
80 drops of essential oil*

*Our favourite wake up & go combo is 30 drops tea tree & 50 drops spearmint essential oil

Directions

Melt the oils together in a slow cooker. Wearing gloves, eye protection and a mask, take a glass bowl outside or to a well-ventilated area, then slowly add the lye to the water, mixing with a metal spoon.

Wait five minutes for the lye mix to cool, then add it to the fully melted oils. Use a stick blender to mix the lye with the oils until the mixture is thick and creamy (this is called ‘trace’).

Cook on low for 20 minutes, add the clay, then mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon. Cook for a further 25 to 40 minutes, until no oil puddles appear.

Test the mixture by rubbing it between your fingers – it should feel waxy; or touch some of the mixture to your tongue – if it zaps you, it’s not ready.

Switch off and cool for 10 minutes, then mix in the essential oils.

Spoon into your desired moulds (we use silicon cupcake moulds), then leave to harden for 24 hours.

Remove from moulds then transfer to a cold, dark area to cure for a minimum of two weeks before use.

3-ingredient deodorant

Ingredients

½ cup bicarb of soda
½ cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
5 tbsp coconut oil
10 drops essential oil*

*Our favourite fresh scents are peppermint, grapefruit or tea tree essential oil – the bonus is they’re antibacterial.

 

Directions

Mix the bicarb of soda, arrowroot powder/cornstarch and coconut oil together until it forms a paste. Apply using your fingers, rubbing it into your armpits and that’s that – you have a deodorant that actually works.

Baby/Toddler Recipes

Bottom balm

Ingredients

1/4 cup raw shea butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp beeswax
3 tbsp cornstarch
25 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil

Directions

Add the ingredients to a microwavable bowl and cook for 30 seconds at a time until the beeswax is fully melted.

Stir and allow to cool for a few minutes then add the cornstarch and essential oils.

Add to an air-tight jar then leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden.

There you go… you’ll have the perfect soothing, smooth-as-a-baby’s bottom mixture for your little one.

Healing Balm

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut oil 
2 tsp beeswax 
2 tsp raw honey
25 drops lavender essential oil 
25 drops tea tree essential oil 

Directions

Add the ingredients to a microwavable bowl and cook for 30 seconds at a time until the beeswax is fully melted.

Stir and allow to cool for a few minutes then add the essential oils.

Add to an air-tight jar and store in a cool, dark space until needed for any boo-boos.

Household Recipes

Surface scrub

Ingredients

1 cup eggshells
3 cups bicarb of soda
10 drops tea tree essential oil

Directions

Rinse the eggshells well.

Dry them outside in the direct sun, or in the oven at 100°C until completely dry.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind the eggshells to a powder, then mix with the baking soda and essential oils.

Use on a cloth to scrub clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Easy all-purpose cleaner

Ingredients

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Rind of 1 lemon
2 rosemary sprigs

Directions

Mix together all the ingredients then add to a spray bottle. Let it stand in a cool, dark area for a week to infuse. Shake it before use* 

*Not recommended for granite and stainless steel surfaces

Check out some other household recipes from Friend of the Earth.

For those of you who like a bit of heat, you can also check out our exclusive chefs’ chilli sauce recipes, using local ingredients.

Look out for our blog, coming very soon, with our Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.

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