Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Green DIY Mama's Materials Checklist

Turning green, or pursuing an alternative lifestyle using eco-friendly, natural products, is not entirely inexpensive, as I already talked about in "The High Price of Natural Beauty in The Philippines." Apparently, being a green DIY mama (papa/person) is not as frugal now as it used to be in olden times when commercial brands were not yet existent and people can make their own oils from their gardens.

To help you out, I prepared a checklist of materials to help parents or people like me who want to invest on natural materials for their homemade products. This list is especially cut out for those who live in the Philippines or countries where some of the natural ingredients used in Western DIY or homemade-centered websites are not available locally.

Baking soda, for instance, is not a locally-available product and bulk amounts are not accessible in the Philippines, or at least where I live, which is Metro Manila. Buying small boxes of baking soda may be expensive for those who cannot fully adapt to using it for many health and beauty uses. Witch hazel is an imported product too, as well as cocoa butter and beeswax pastilles. Again, they're expensive when their U.S. dollar prices are converted to Philippine peso.

Nevertheless, despite these expensive natural materials, I've been doing some computations and I realized, that, though the initial expenses for the investment in natural products are expensive, I can still save money in the long run as long as I stick to local products or make some of them on my own. 

Furthermore, nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing that I'm making safer, natural, healthier, homemade products for my family, especially my kids, such as the DEET-free Homemade Natural Bug Repellent Spray that are safe for babies. Homemade products do not have artificial preservatives and coloring that other commercial brands have, which make them the best everyday products for me and my family.

Right now, I'm following homemade recipes from Wellness Mama, Simple Mom, and Crunchy Betty, among others, making some variations along the way, because local products are different from Western ones and I can't always buy or access some of their materials. 

A Checklist of Natural Ingredients for Different Homemade Products

At present, I've invested on the following products, while some of them are already staple kitchen products:

Some natural ingredients for many DIY products that will replace commercial brands
Some natural ingredients for many DIY products that will replace commercial brands
  1. Baking soda
  2. Brown sugar
  3. Apple cider vinegar
  4. White sugar
  5. Raw honey
  6. Virgin coconut oil
  7. Castile soap
  8. Calcium tablets 
  9. Bentonite clay
  10. Witch hazel 
  11. Vitamin E oil
  12. Essential oils: Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree
I spent around Php 4,000 for these materials. I bought my essential oils from Casa de Lorenzo, and the rest are from supermarkets and Healthy Options at SM Mall of Asia (my source of Castile Soap, Bentonite Clay, Witch Hazel, and Vitamin E oil).

I just learned that you can buy very cheap baking soda from Divisoria at Tabora Street. Only Php 25 to Php 30 per kilo! 

The following below are the rest of the materials that I plan to buy. I'm hoping I can get them from local stores, before finally buying from an online site that sells imported products, Galleon. The products below are for making natural deodorants, lotions, beauty products, and several other DIY natural products.

  1. 100% raw cocoa butter
  2. Beeswax pastilles
  3. Arrowroot powder
  4. Beetroot powder
These products can reach Php 5000 to Php 6500 depending on the amount and brands.

Transition to Green DIY Living

Being a green DIY mama doesn't have to be expensive or difficult, but there is a transition stage. Transitioning includes believing in these products and being aware that they take time to make and getting used to. 

In addition, the transition stage also means being aware of some of the essential oils and materials that you may be allergic too (or your kids and other family members) and taking note of pregnancy, because not all essential oils are safe for pregnant people. 

Transitioning also includes preparing the mindset and changing the habits of our family members who are used to manufactured products and who, sometimes, believe in these products laden with toxic materials more than our own homemade natural products.

Also, we have to be aware of the time involved in homemade DIY living. Some of our homemade products are as easy as two general steps, (i.e. Baking soda soak for curing/preventing rashes for babies and kids), while others may take ten minutes or so, depending on the amount of product you intend to make and if you're making some of the natural ingredients yourself. This means that DIY is "effort-full" too because every minute preparing them adds up.

These transitions can be quite emotionally and time-management difficult at first, but we must not give up. Who else will champion natural DIY living if not us?

The Life of a DIY Natural-Living Mama
It will be almost two months since I've ventured into the green, DIY world of natural living. So far, it's been an exciting and mind-expanding experience. 

My creativity and resourcefulness are tested, as well as my time-management skills, because I'm blogging about it, while doing my usual research work and family duties.

It helps that I have an eldest five-year old daughter who supports me in some of my DIY tasks and a husband who is also supportive, but who have yet to embrace the natural scents and texture (literally and figuratively) of health and beauty that he's not used to.

All in all, I'm so happy in finding new knowledge and developing new skills by doing DIY natural products. Hopefully, I can contribute more directly to it by finding local alternatives to imported natural ingredients.

My first love has always been God and my family, and writing and DIY natural living are tied in the second spot.

I hope this journey to a green, DIY lifestyle becomes as satisfying and energizing as yours. 

How is your pursuit of DIY natural living? Do you also find it overwhelming, but satisfying?