Tag Archives: Green Ideas

Natural, Organic, and Chemical Free Living Successes and Failures

At the beginning of 2012 I became more interested than ever in eliminating and removing chemicals from my home. You can read about that decision HERE. Since we are now well into 2013 I thought I should post an update.

Towards the end of 2012 I really slacked off on this but I now have a couple of friends and my sister who are all excited about going chemical free and it has made me want to recommit myself to this lifestyle. It’s a lot more fun to have people to talk to about the stuff we make/buy and compare results. The picture above is actually some of the chemical free items a friend of mine recently bought for her home.

Chemical Free Successes

– I replaced my deodorant that contained aluminum with baking soda and then eventually with Tom’s of Maine Apricot deodorant. The baking soda worked really well but it wasn’t as convenient to apply a powder as it was to use a deodorant stick.

– I replaced my toothpaste with Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and it actually helped me with the chronic canker sores I have gotten since I was a child.

– I switched to a green cleaning spray and now switched to a spray bottle of vinegar that I use when cleaning around the house instead of Lysol or other chemicals.

– I received a cast iron skillet from my brother for Christmas and I LOVE it! We use it all the time for cooking instead of Teflon.

– We used vinegar to scrub the mold/mildew off of the walls and ceiling in our bathroom instead of something stronger and so far it has worked well.

– We have stopped heating up anything in plastic in the microwave.

– I made my own homemade weed killer out of vinegar and salt and it did work!

– I also recently found The Environmental Working Group’s Cleaning Products search engine which allows you to search for your cleaning products and see how harmful they are on people and the environment. This just makes me want to throw away all of the non-chemical free products in our house, which I am slowly doing as I replace them with chemical free options.

Edit– You can also go to The Environmental Working Groups Search Engine Skin Deep to search for all of your personal care products and makeup. I searched for all of the products I use frequently and I was in good shape except for my hand cream, which I now need to replace.


Chemical Free Mixed Results

– We have a couple of stoneware items to cook with which were very nice gifts. I should use these more often.

– I got a great deal on some green works cleaning spray and I used it for about half a year and I liked it a lot. Now I have switched to vinegar which is cheaper and even more chemical free.

– We tried organic coffee and rainforest certified coffee this year and we liked it a lot but I can’t say we noticed a difference from regular coffee. It is just so much more expensive that we haven’t continued buying it unless we get really great deals on it.

– I got a good deal on Method dish soap at target after coupons and I tried the cucumber melon scent and I loved it. I didn’t have as good of luck with other Method products though.  However, I have had good luck recently getting dish soap for free so I found it hard to justify buying natural dish soap. If I have to buy more then I can see buying natural/organic dish soap if I can get it for cheaper. Also apparently Method products aren’t rated very well as far as green products go.

– I was excited to get Botanical cleaning wipes for free at Winn-Dixie and they work but unfortunately they smell so strongly and strangely that it makes me not want to use them. But we do use them on occasion.

– I thought that the Physician’s Formula Organic mascara we tried worked well but when my eyes watered it burned my eyes in a way that my non-organic mascara never did.

-I tried natural motion sickness medicine. It did seem to help a little bit but just not as much as Dramamine. I did however find that ginger chews seemed to help for shorter trips.

– I used vinegar and baking soda to clean our toilet and it actually worked really well except for around the bottom flush area. So this result was mixed.


Chemical Free Failures

– I was able to buy Yes to Tomatoes shampoo and conditioner at Walgreens on sale for about $2 each, which is really cheap for Organic/Natural personal care products, but every time I used them they gave me a really bad headache. I ended up giving them to another family member that wasn’t bothered by them.

– I got some free Yes to Carrots hand cream after a coupon. It burned my chapped hands and turned them red. I ended up getting rid of it. I haven’t had good luck with the Yes To brand of products so far. I don’t know if I will buy any more.

– I bought some Method Laundry detergent and cleaning spray right around the time that I broke out in horrible full body hives. I can’t say for sure that either of these items contributed to the hives but I just can’t be sure so I got rid of both of them. Also. as I mentioned before. apparently Method products aren’t rated very well as far as green products go.

– We have really liked most of the Organic/Natural food products we have tried but we find them to be a lot more expensive than regular food products. We still buy them when we find good deals but it would be impossible to stick to our $200 a month grocery budget if we only bought Natural/Organic foods.

– We have bought some glass food storage containers but I wish we had more. They are just a lot more expensive than our stockpile of plastic food containers that were mostly free.

*Even though not everything we have tried has worked, I’m still glad that I have kept going and made progress*


What I’m working on (See the above picture)

–  I purchased Dr Bronner’s castile soap and I’m hoping to use it to make  cleaning and household products.


– I already used the Dr Bronner’s castile soap to make 2 ingredient hand soap which is supposed to be a lot less harsh on my always chapped hands. So far so good. We have had great luck with turning this into foaming hand soap that we now use all over our house. Click HERE for the recipe.

– I have also been sick and haven’t had any luck with antibiotics so I’ve decided to try some natural  medicine, saline spray, vitamin C and apple cider vinegar. I’m actually feeling a lot better, but I had already been sick for a while by the time I started it so it’s hard to say if the virus just ran its course. I actually do think that the natural medicine helped because I was still really sick when I started with it. Edit– I am now entirely better in about 4 days after almost two weeks of being sick. Next time I get sick I’m going to start this right away to see if I get healthy faster.

– I just bought some Gud (by Burt’s Bees) natural shampoo and conditioner and hopefully I will have better luck with that than I did with the Yes to Tomatoes products. So far so good and it smells excellent. Edit– I don’t think the conditioner is as good as the non-natural but it still works.

Our garden is still in the early stages but I’m hoping we will be able to get some nice veggies out of it.

– I made some baking soda body wash (mix baking soda and water until moist) this morning but I haven’t been able to try it yet. Edit– It works great so far!

– I would really like to try making my own natural hand cream but this seems to require more cooking and ingredients than some of the simple recipes I’ve tried so I’m going to keep looking until I find a recipe that I really like before I attempt it.

– I bought some essential oils to use instead of perfume (which is full of chemicals) but I’ve been so sick I haven’t tried it yet.

homemade downy wrinkle releaser

– We also figured out how to make natural/organic downy wrinkle releaser. Click HERE to see how.


If you are interested in seeing my Natural / Organic and Chemical Free adventures in the coming year click HERE or simply click on the Organic / Natural tab in the top navigation bar.

Natural / Organic Deals- Baby Products on Clearance at Publix

imageOn clearance at Publix- Weleda and California Baby Natural/ Organic baby products if you are looking for them.

Who Needs Gladware?


When I cook I often make too much food. Sometimes I make large batches of food to share with family or friends. Recently I decided to wash a few empty plastic food containers to use to send leftovers home with my mother. This is something she used to do for me when she would send food back with me to my college dorm room. Following her lead, I used to keep a few of these in the cabinet to use when we needed them or to give away with food and not worry about getting back. I have gotten away from this but I think I should start doing it again. They are plastic that is already in the environment. I figure it is better to reuse them than to buy plastic containers and create a profit for companies that put more plastic into the environment. It’s another use for these containers before they get recycled.

As someone wise once said, I don’t understand why our society has created something that lasts forever and then called it disposable. It just doesn’t make sense. Also, as soon as we can find some good deals we plan on investing in more glass food storage containers that can go in lunch boxes and be heated up without fear of chemicals leaching into our food. I have already replaced most of our plastic bowls and plates with glass or ceramic ones.

Save a Page or Getting the Most from Your Newspapers

I buy or get delivered 4 Sunday Newspapers every week. I hate the amount of paper that goes to waste when I recycle them so I try to come up with as many ways as possible to use them. I give away at least one paper (minus coupons) ever week, more if anyone else wants one. Closer to Christmas I will save the comics for wrapping paper (see the cute wrapping paper here). We are about to have a yard sale and my mom pointed out to me that I should also be saving the yellow flyer ads because they are blank on the back and we can use them as smaller yard sale signs. I love frugal / green ideas 🙂

Organic / Natural Deals- Free Sample of Ecover Laundry

Free Ecover Laundry Detergent Sample– Get a free eCover Laundry Powder sample from their Facebook page.

Organic/Natural Deals- Method Ceaning Products .69 cents at Target

Method Products- On Sale $2.69
– Use $1 off Method Product Target Coupon HERE
– and use $1 off Method Product Facebook Coupon (Out of Prints)

Cost after coupons if you have both- $.69 or $1.69 if you have one which still isn’t bad for natural products

Natural/Organic Deals – BOGO Scotch-Brite Botanical Disinfecting Wipes NOW FREE!!!

The BOGO Scotch-Brite Botanical Disinfecting Wipes coupon is now even better! They are on sale B1G1 Free at Winn Dixie right now so that makes 2 free with each coupon! Click HERE to print up to two of the coupons.

If you don’t have a Winn Dixie nearby they are still only $1.24 at Walmart!

All Natural/Organic Deals This Week At Publix

This long Publix Ad will run until Tuesday 4/17 or Wednesday 4/18 depending on your area so you have quite a while to take advantage of any deals this week. Here are the All Natural/Organic Deals.

Natural/Organic Deals – BOGO Scotch-Brite Botanical Disinfecting Wipes

BOGO Scotch-Brite Botanical Disinfecting Wipes Only $1.24 at Walmart! Click HERE to print up to two of the coupons.

Organic / Natural Deals – FREE BabyGanics All Purpose Cleaner at Toys R Us

Use one $1/1 BabyGanics All Purpose Cleaner, Foaming Dish and Bottle Soap, Foamin’ Fun Foaming Body Wash and Shampoo or Smooth Moves Daily Lotion (zip 77477)
Thanks, Couponaholic.net

Also, while you are at it you might want to print the coupon for –

$3.00 Off BabyGanics® Any ONE (1) Loads of Love™ 3x Concentrated Laundry Detergent 64oz Fragrance Free & Lavender

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