In today’s inflationary environment, it’s essential to evaluate your buying habits frequently to avoid thoughtlessly spending money on unnecessary items. From cleaning products to personal care items, we tend to purchase items without considering the alternatives and rely heavily on store-bought solutions for the convenience they provide. Not only does this type of consumerism hurt our wallets, but the waste it creates it also hurts Mother Nature.

There is a growing trend, however, towards making sustainable and cost-effective items at home to reduce one’s carbon footprint and save money whenever possible. Today, we will explore some household items that you can stop buying and start making yourself to help save money and the planet.

What’s In Your Home

The key to making your own products lies in some crucial essentials you likely already have kicking around the house.

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Baking Soda, a versatile and eco-friendly product with a gentle, abrasive nature that scrubs away stains and grime without causing harm to surfaces. It’s also a natural deodorizer, making it a safe, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly ingredient for various cleaning and personal hygiene products. Vinegar is a practical, non-toxic cleaner that cuts through grease, disinfects, and deodorizes while being gentle on all surfaces. Apple cider vinegar is also excellent to use in personal hygiene products.

Borax is a natural mineral with powerful cleaning properties that effectively tackles stains, mold, and bacteria. This makes it a potent and eco-friendly household ingredient to use when making various cleaning products. Lemons due to their acidity, lemons are a natural cleaning powerhouse that can cut through oil and grease, disinfect surfaces, and eliminate odors. This makes them an effective cleaning agent for your home and your skin.

Cleaning Products

Commercial cleaning products often come with a hefty price tag and harsh chemicals. Not only do they pose a threat to your health, but those chemicals get washed into lakes, rivers, and oceans, affecting every living thing. Making your own cleaning products is incredibly easy to do, and it’s a much safer, cost-effective, and eco-friendly option. Here are a few examples

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All-Purpose Cleaner – Combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle with a few drops of lemon, grapefruit, or orange essential oil. The essential oil add a pleasant aroma to your cleaner, and citrus essential oils in particular are anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, further aiding in the cleaning and disinfecting action. This powerful, homemade, all-purpose cleaner can tackle most cleaning tasks around the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom.

Window Cleaner – Combine equal parts water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and add a few drops of dish soap for a streak-free window cleaner. Lemon essential oil is also an excellent addition to this mixture, but it is optional.

Oven Cleaner – Combine baking soda and water to create a paste. Spread it on the oven’s interior and leave it overnight. The next day, wipe it clean, and your oven will sparkle.

Laundry Detergent

Commercial laundry detergents often contain phosphates and synthetic fragrances that can harm aquatic ecosystems. They can also adversely affect your health, causing rashes and irritating sensitive skin, for starters. Making your own laundry detergent is a simple way to save money and make it easier on your skin, clothing, and and the environment.

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Homemade Laundry Detergent – Grate one bar of castile soap, and mix with one cup of washing soda and one cup of borax. Use one to two tablespoons per load of laundry.

Personal Care Products

Personal care products are laden with chemicals that can cause damage to your body, and their packaging contributes to plastic waste. Creating your own personal care items allows you to control the ingredients and reduce your impact on the environment. You might even start to look better, having eliminated so many chemicals from your routine. Some examples of personal care items that you can make yourself are:

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Toothpaste – Mix baking soda with coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint oil to create a natural toothpaste.

Deodorant – A combination of coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch can be an effective, all-natural deodorant.

Shampoo and Conditioner – Make your own shampoo by combining castile soap with water, and create a conditioner using 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water.

Facial Masks – You can make a facial mask tailored to your skin type using natural ingredients like yogurt, avocado, eggs, honey, coffee, and oatmeal. While it sounds more like an delicious breakfast, these homemade face masks will give you much better results and offer a cost-effective and chemical-free alternative to expensive store-bought products.

Air Fresheners

While you may rely on them to keep your home smelling fresh, Commercial air fresheners often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can release harmful chemicals into your home’s air. Creating your own natural air fresheners is easy and can help maintain a pleasant environment.

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Add some delightful-smelling ingredients from your kitchen to a pot, cover it with water, bring it to a boil, and allow it to simmer. As it continues to simmer, it will continue to full your home with with a warming scent.  Use a combination of items such as star anise, lemon slices, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, apple slices, cloves, and bay leaves.

By adopting a DIY mindset and making these items at home, you will minimize exposure to harmful chemicals, reduce your environmental impact, and take pleasure in saving money. Whether it’s cleaning products or personal care items the power to create is in your hands. Your wallet and the planet will thank you for it.