Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweet Hair Spray

I recently decided to return to a hairstyle I like, the flattop.  Having fine hair my biggest concern was finding the right product to hold the style.  In the past I used a commercial wax product.  My two concerns were the wax build-up in my hair (which also ruined many pillow cases) and the poisonous chemicals I would be slathering all over my scalp.  In the more recent past I used my home made hair gel (see my Hair Gel entry), which was very effective, yet required time to cool.

While that formula worked, I wanted something different that I could make in a hurry.   In the course of inventorying my cabinets the sugar bowl caught my eye.  I thought about how sticky sugar is when it gets wet and the idea was born.

Feeling inspired, I performed an online search where I learned that others have used sugar to make hairspray.  After reading several posts I decided to give it a try.  I kept it simple, just two ingredients, sugar and water.

After my first attempt, I realized that I needed to increase the hold so I added more sugar to arrive at my current formula.

Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • Boil the water
  • Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water
  • immediately remove from heat
The last point is very important, or else your spray bottle will end up looking like mine below.  

This is my hair before using the hairspray.

This is my hair after using the hairspray.
The benefits:

  • The spray really works.  
  • I am not coating my head with toxins that are soaking into my scalp.  
  • It holds all day.  
  • It washes out easily.  
  • It does not pollute the environment.
  • It doesn't damage my pillow cases.
  • It is inexpensive to make.
  • The formula can be modified to suit individual needs.
I encourage you to try this out for yourself and share your findings.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Despite the fact that there is a brand of eco-friendly dishwasher detergent that really works well for me, I went on the hunt for a homemade recipe.

This is what I found:

Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt

I have yet to make this since I need to order the citric acid. While I am looking forward to trying this since it seems so cheap and easy to make, I am also a little concerned about how harsh the washing soda and citric acid might be on my dishes.

Once have made and tested my first batch, I will repost with some feedback.

Also - remember that vinegar works extremely well as a drying agent. For years I have been using vinegar instead of the commercially sold chemical versions and my dishes are always water spot free.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vinegar is a very effective, useful, and environmentally friendly household cleaning agent (and so much more).
Emily Hsieh, Shine Staff reporter provides numerous ways to use vinegar in her article titled "25 ways to clean with vinegar."

One use that appears to have been missed was as a drying agent in automatic dishwashers. Use this instead of the commercially sold drying agents and your dishes will be spot free and sparkly.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Car of the Future

Nova Special - Car of the Future

Worth the Watch.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Environmentally Friendly Cell Phone Service

Making a difference may be as easy as dialing the phone.  If you are in the market for a new cell phone service provider you might want to consider Credo.  They are even willing to pay your early cancellation fee to get you to switch.

Credo's website reports "In 2008 CREDO members helped raise $3,345,331 for nonprofit groups working to change the world — just by using our services."  The list of organizations which have benefitted from Credo donations may be found on their website.

Check out their website by clicking the link below.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gift Wrap

Having lived through the Great Depression, my paternal grandmother set a wonderful example of Green Living.  In addition to living sensibly frugal and using natural products, she re-purposed anything that retained an element of functionality.  


I have vivid memories of the family gathering for her birthday.  We would gather around the rectangular dining room table at my grandparents' house after dinner.  The room was filled with laughter and lively conversation and while enjoying desert, we would take turns giving Nanny her gifts.  She would, with great determination, painstakingly unwrap each gift in a way that did not damage the gift-wrap.


Once the paper was completely removed, she would smooth and fold it before proceeding to open the gift.  This would create a torturous anticipation in the hearts of all the children in the room.  Of course, you can imagine the horror and frustration she would feel watching us ravenously tearing the wrapping paper from our holiday gifts.


Certainly, the meticulous removal and storing of gift-wrap is one way to reduce waste.  If the excitement of the moment prevents one from such an approach, there is another alternative.  Rather than throwing the gift-wrap into the recycle bin, run it through a paper shredder and use the shredded paper as stuffing for gift bags and packing material for shipping.