Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Return of the Sustainable Smellies

I do choose them, don't I? A while back I wrote about my ongoing attempts to cut out chemical nasties, inspired by Raleigh Brigg's book Make Your Place.

Just been leafing through another Christmas pressie, Raleigh Brigg's charmingly illustrated and handwritten guide to making your own all -natural  lotions and potions. Everything from household cleaners, bug busters, face cleansers to gardening basics is there.  Ms GP bought it for me; we're both trying to phase out sundry 'nasties' like parabens and petrochemicals in the  bathing and cosmetic areas as much as possible - with varying success. We're pleased to have found a few brands worth giving a look in the High Street as well as the health stores. Though to be honest, it still is a bit of a lottery, labour intensive: entailing much peering short-sightedly (for me at least)  at labels and to-in and fro-ing to different stores. And don't talk about expense...ouch!  For us unscientific types, figuring out these ingredients lists can be like struggling to crack a code. Not all items with long, complicated names are necessarily harmful, conversely it seems as if every five minutes somebody somewhere is putting about scare stories about something which up to now we'd thought innocuous enough. 
                       Read on at the old Greenpatches if you want a good laugh  to hear about my attempts to solve the big haircolouring dilemma.

Meanwhile, varying success- one triumph being homemade spray starch (better still, why not stop ironing altogether I hear you say?). Simply add some cornflour (cornstarch if you live over The Pond) to water, shake it up and, hey presto! Your shirts will salute you, your jeans will stand to attention...if you forget to adjust the nozzle of the bottle to 'spray' setting, you'll also end up looking as if you've wiped your hands down the legs of your smart navy trousers after a mammoth scone baking marathon - as I discovered too late. My resident scientist, Mr GP, checked the label of a commercial brand and suggested an emulsifier of some kind. A couple of drops of grapefruit essential oil, a few shakes later, and we're back in business. Postscript - store in the fridge - there are no preservatives in this mix.

What next? With consummate timing, I've just embarked on a 'no nasties,' de-odorant campaign; aiming to try out several of the 'less harmful' brands. Outside the Sun Has Got His Hat On, arms and legs are exposed  in  pale profusion for all the world like a forest of mushroom stalks; I've a couple of meetings and a train journey later this week. This could be 'ehrm,' interesting. I'll keep you posted.


  1. I use the deodorant rocks from Neals Yard Remedies, very effective, no nasty ingredients, packaged in a simple cotton bag and lasts along time.

  2. Ah now, I didn't know about that one. Worth trying thanks. Just now, I'm rotating between Jason roll-on; reasonably ok, tho admit to sneaky top ups during the day and one of the Lush solids.


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