These 10 tips are ones that anyone, no matter how they eat, can use—to a point. But we’ll get to that later.
- Shower with water only.
Use a loofah or a hemp mitt to scrub your skin but don’t go overboard. I was too enthusiastic and managed to break some capillaries and I looked like I had a dread disease until they healed. Wash with comfortably warm water all over, skin brush if that’s your thing, rinse, then rinse again with cold water (the hot water all the way off and the cold water all the way on) if you are brave and foolhardy.
- Brush your teeth with water.
I used to use soda when I was transitioning away from toothpaste but I found my teeth were quite sensitive. Someone on a forum suggested brushing with water only. I tried it and it works. It’s the friction that cleans. The healthiest teeth around belong to natives who use twigs to clean their teeth. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are manmade inventions that aren’t really necessary—though I still use a brush and floss.
- Quit using deodorant.
I hear people saying, “NO WAY!” Listen for just a minute. Most deodorants (unless you buy the pricey ones at the organic grocery) are a mix of chemicals that are hard on the body. Many times, they contain aluminum which I don’t want on the skin next to a bunch of my lymph nodes. Use salt. I have a Himalayan salt bar that I use after every shower if I’m going anywhere. Salt kills bacteria, right? The smells under your arms are caused by a mix of sweat—excuse me, perspiration—and bacteria. When the salt kills the bacteria, it takes them out of the picture and you are left with sweaty ‘pits which is a perfectly natural thing. If you don’t like sweat stains, wear shields. That’s what people did before anti-perspirant. Plus they can be washed and reused. Oh! and if you are away from home and forgot to pack your salt bar, grab the shaker. Any salt will work though some purists would only use sea salt.
- Wash your hair with water.
It leaves the natural oils and makes it easy to manage. I didn’t believe this, myself, at first and had to try it. My hair used to be oily to the point of almost dripping. I don’t know if the change in my eating habits had something to do with the change in the greasiness but just water usually does it. If I get a buildup of hairspray (I haven’t figured out how to do without it yet) I mix baking soda with water until it’s a paste and scrub my head with that. Rinse well. It does a fine job.
- Use soda to wash your clothes?
I haven’t quit using laundry soap but I do use one that’s biodegradable, plus I have pretty much a lifetime supply of it. I have stopped using softener. I fill my dispenser with white vinegar. Even if you are washing five loads of clothes a day, it has to be cheaper than drying sheets or liquid softener and better for the environment and the body. Don’t buy the “good” white vinegar. Get the cheapest store brand you can find and get it by the gallon (unless they have a five gallon size and I’ve not run across that).
- Don’t fill your septic tank with toilet paper.
I learned this when I moved next door to my in-laws. It costs money to have it pumped out and some toilet papers are noted for causing big problems with septic tank systems. If the paper isn’t “soiled” (i.e., if you haven’t wiped off fecal material with it) put it in the trash. You can go a step further and put it in its own container, then either use it for mulch (with something attractive hiding it) or compost it. If you are squeamish about putting used toilet tissue on your crops, use it on your flowers (of course not the edible ones). Live in the city and don’t have a septic tank? Be a good steward, anyway, and don’t flush the paper that can be used other ways. Start your fire on a cold winter morning. Make soft sculptures.
- Quit using so darn many paper towels.
They kill trees and I’ve seen households go through multiple rolls a week. Use newspaper to clean windows or—I have been introduced to TADA! The Magic Microfiber Cloths. I won’t provide a link because they are everywhere on the WWW. I got mine off eBay for a whole lot less than some of the sites dedicated to them. They work like a charm. I’ve cleaned windows and mirrors with just water and the towels. I had one wet and one dry and the mirrors and windows shone like, well, glass! My sister swears by them. She cleans my BIL’s Steinway concert grand with Magic Cloths and water. How’s that for chutzpah? I’ve seen mops made of them. When they get dirty a quick trip through the washer makes them ready to use again. They may not be a natural fiber and some would be against using them. That’s up to the individual.
- What about disinfectant?
Well, what about it? Have you not been watching the news, listening to it, or reading in the paper that we are breeding a host of Super Bacteria? Every time you kill the bugs, a few will live. They will be the hardy ones. The ones practically impossible to combat by the normal immune system. Those individuals who have compromised immune systems won’t be able to live them down without antibiotics and voilà! (or as some would say, “Viola!”) an even more robust strain is born. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have clean houses. I’d be the first to say mine could be a better example. We can go overboard with the cleanliness and be sicker than we’ve ever been before. Some allergies may also be linked to the overuse of sanitizers and disinfectants—like the allergy to peanuts. We have no idea what the manufacture of these products have unleashed on our planet. If you must use them, use them sparingly.
- What about cleaning the bathroom? you ask.
Use baking soda. Once again, it’s the friction that cleans. If you just can’t brush and flush and go on, at least get the mildest cleaner you can for the toilet. Don’t use the Super Duper Industrial Strength Germ Mildew Mold and Virus liquid in the crook-neck bottle that can shoot a stream up your nose if you miss the rim.
- Cut down on using your dryer.
Whenever you can, hang your sheets and (if you’re brave) your towels outside in the sun. There’s nothing that smells better than crawling into a bed fresh from the all outdoors.
- Now for the “later” part. (BONUS!)
It is said that, if a person eats optimal raw, they can get by without washing their clothes very often. Or even put salt under their arms (thus avoiding the double standard of not indiscriminately killing bacteria). I haven’t been able to prove that. My eating raw wouldn’t qualify as “optimal” though I’m trending in that direction. I do know I passed the sniff test when one of my friends had to see if my hair had a musty smell after she learned how I wash it.