Amazing DIY Deodorant

The debate over deodorant and it’s links to cancer are just about as contentious as the great dairy debate. As yet “no conclusive research linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer” (see studies here and here). BUT do we really need to a scientific nod of approval to be concerned or should we occasionally just employ some good ol’ common sense?

Here is what we do know…

The active ingredient in deodorant (unless otherwise stated) is aluminium and they can also contain parabens.

  • Scientists have found that the aluminium content of breast tissue was significantly higher in the outer regions of the breast, in close proximity to the area where there would be the highest density of antiperspirant. A disproportionate amount of tumours occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast which seems to support that this could be linked to aluminium-based antiperspirants. (read more)
  • Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds may be absorbed through the skin and cause estrogen (hormonal) effects (that research is in here). Estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • A 2004 study found parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from human breast tumours (see here). These findings are not uncommon as you can see from this study or this one or this one!

So (for me) even though there is no categorical proof, I just don’t like the thought of rubbing aluminium, parabens and god knows whatever other chemicals in a sensitive region near my breasts and lymph nodes. I also don’t like the thought of a chemical blocking my pores especially when those pores are trying to excrete natural toxins from my body.

An Easy Solution

Room for argument? Maybe. But lets not forget that cigarettes were once marketed as the ‘perfect cure for a sore throat’. So if I can eliminate any risk whatsoever I am going to; which is why I love making my own deodorant! It is so simple, so cheap and bloody effective!!! With 3 ingredients (that are probably already in your cupboard) you can make a deodorant that will last all day, comes free of wasteful packaging, is super cheap and has no harmful chemicals in it. Here’s how…

Ingredients

  • Cornflour
  • Bicarb Soda (aka Baking Soda)
  • Coconut Oil
  • OPTIONAL – Essential Oil. I use Lavender and Lemon before!

‘Cornflour’ is much easier to say than ‘phthalate’!

Method

Mix equal amounts of cornflour and bicarb soda. Maybe start with 1/4Cup each.

Add 2-3 Tablespoons coconut oil to start with and mix the ingredients until you get the right consistency. You want it to be a malleable paste . Get your Goldilocks on – it shouldn’t be too wet or dry! (if your coconut oil is too solid, warm it slightly until it is gooier).

It is kinda like make scones!

It is really hard to show consistency in a photo (especially when your camera is broken) but this is the level of ‘moosh’ you are after…

If you want, add some smelly essential oils to get a more fragrant deo. I added a few drops of Lavender Oil to mine because I love it but even by itself the deodorant smells like coconut which is pretty yummy anyway!

NOTE: If you are pregnant some essential oils should not be used. For a full list see here.

How To Store

I store our deodorant in an old beauty container but you can use a jar or any thing with a lid really. Alternately, you could save your own deodorant container if you’ve got a wind-on one and pack your deodorant into there! Reuse is better than recycle after all.

I keep mine in my bathroom and it stays at a good consistency. That being said, coconut oil melts really quickly in warmer temperatures so if your bathroom heats up you may want to keep it in the fridge. That could actually be really soothing to apply in a hot summer!

If your deodorant gets too solid, place some warm water in a bowl and then put your container into the water for a few minutes. As I’ve just mentioned the coconut oil will react quickly and become soft and malleable.

Expiry – this stuff doesn’t go off. Use it as long as you’d like.

How To Apply

Scrape off some of the mix (I use my fingers but you can use a spoon or knife or whatever) and apply to your underarms with your fingertips. It may look powdery or seem like it would be sticky but once you massage it into your pits it is surprisingly dry and fresh feeling.

My Review

My husband and I have been using this since the Less Is More Festival back in February – so it has been tried and tested on an Australian summer – and amazingly it works! Actually, more than just ‘working’ it is the most effective deo either of us have ever used. It is not a antiperspirant but it 100% stops any odour. Neither of us have even had to reapply throughout the day! Other than my Raw Chocolate (see that here) this is my absolute favourite DIY discovery – 10 out of 10 Olives!!!

Looks almost good enough to eat!

If you get a taste for DIY beauty products you may also like these recipes that I have blogged about before…

Enjoy – and let me know how you go in the Comments!

Perth Green Events – June 2012

I really do get so excited when I see Perth continually bringing awesome eco events to it’s stage. There seem to be so many fantastic community-driven activities to get involved in nowadays that it really gives you hope that the green change is coming. So I thought I would combine them all onto the one post for convenience. If you know of any that I have missed please either email me on oliveonblonde@gmail.com or leave a comment below. And if you attend any events I’d love to hear your feedback too! Get inspired…

1st June – Movie Night screening ‘Growing Change’

When – Friday, 1st June: Arrive and get seated at 7pm, movie commences at 7:30pm

Where – Naregebup Environmental Centre. 49 Safety Bay Road, (Opposite Lake Richmond), Rockingham

Bring – A plate of food to share, a snuggle rug and dress for winter.

Cost – Gold coin donation.

Go check out this inspiring documentary about Venezuela’s Food Revolution. Venezuela is conducting one of the most exciting experiments in the world: to grow a fair and sustainable food system. Throughout the documentary you will journey with the filmmaker through fishing villages, cocoa plantations and urban gardens all the while examining this growing social movement – a movement that is proving that communities can triumph over corporations.

If you would like more information about the event contact 08 9591 3077.

 

5th June – Eco Design and Renovation Workshop

When – Tuesday, 5thJune.  7pm – 8:30pm

Where – Flinders Park Community Hall, Hillarys (See the map here)

Cost – Free.

Josh Byrne: Picture courtesy of ABC Gardening Australia

A great event to learn about retrofitting, renovations and renewable energy. As part of the Think Green Energy Workshops series ABC TV Gardening Australia Presenter, Josh Byrne, will demonstrate how you can use passive solar design to keep your existing home, renovation or new building project comfortable all year round.

Bookings are essential. Register via email at info@joondalup.wa.gov.au or call 9400 4527.

8th June – Photographic Exhibition and Fundraiser for the animals of Bali: ‘Look Twice’

When – Friday, 8th June. 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Where – Tompkins Park Function Centre. Cnr of Dunkley Avenue and Canning Highway, Alfred Cove. (See the map here)

Cost – Free entry. Pay as you go bar facilities.

An excerpt from the event Facebook page says “The ‘Look Twice’ exhibition showcases the animals of Bali as never seen before. These uplifting and poignantly beautiful images reveal their strength and spirit, and are a testament to the valuable work undertaken to save their lives. You will fall in love with every one”.

Last year I blogged about my visit to BAWA (Bali Animal Welfare Association); the animals, people and philosophy of this tireless organisation stole my heart. 100% of the profits goes to BAWA which is funded entirely by individual donations, fundraisers and volunteers. The artworks are for sale and there will also a fabulous silent auction donated by generous local businesses.

The animals of Bali are extremely vulnerable and their suffering can be huge. If you want to learn more, I wrote about what the dogs alone are up against in their daily fight for survival. It was devastating to see but SO inspiring to see what the people over there are doing to support the animals! If you choose one event to support this month, please let it be this one.

(Here is the link to the BAW Facebook page.  They give frequent updates on the characters that are rescued and inspiring acts of kindness from people touched by the animals plight. Everyone loves a happy story).

Ceewee – a Bali dog that I met at the BAWA head office.

14th – 16th June – Human Rights Arts and Film Festival

When – Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th June. Varied – see timetable.

Where – Luna Cinema Paradiso. 164 James Street, Northbridge WA

Cost – Tickets range in price – approx. $16

When you combine a whole lot of award-winning films/documentaries with a worthy cause you can’t really lose? The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival is being run across Australia this month and is coming to Perth as well. See the Perth section of the website here for detailed timetables and to purchase tickets as well.

My not-to-be-missed choices are The Island President and Buffalo Girls:

The Island President: documents the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, as he campaigns for the world to recognise that his nation (consisting of almost 2000 islands) is facing extinction at the hands of climate change. The backdrop of the film is the United Nation’s 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen where Nasheed is very much a small fish in a big pond. This documentary drives home the point that our actions are affecting the entire world, including some of our most vulnerable people. This multi-award winning film (including Toronto International Film Festival 2011) is paced by a breath-taking Radiohead score, just in case you needed more convincing to see it!

Buffalo Girls: reveals a growing issue in developing countries that I had no idea even existed!  In Thailand it is currently estimated that up to 30,000 children are involved in underground child-boxing tournaments to win money to support their poverty-stricken families. Following two eight-year old girls (Stam and Pet) film director Todd Kellstein wrestles with an increasingly common question that plagues human rights campaigners for developing nations – is this pathway exploitative or empowering?

15th June – Movie Night Screening of ‘Bag It’

When – Friday, 15th June. 6:30pm (if you want dinner) – 9pm

Where – Replants. 96 Wray Avenue (Near cnr of Wray Ave and Hampton Road – the west side)

Bring – Food, drink, chairs, blankets, pillows – anything that will take you to comfy town!

Cost – $5 for entry. $10 vego meal available.

This is a documentary about an ordinary guy who looked around one day and realised – ‘Wow. I have a lot of plastic in my life’. So he set himself a simple goal – to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store. This simple goal turned into an inspiring documentary that proves that you don’t need to be a scientist, politician or lawyer to use a little bit of knowledge to make a whole lot of difference. Take a look around. Is your life too plastic? Do you want to make a change? Get inspired! 

16th June – Plastic Free July Workshop

When – Saturday, 16th June. 1pm – 3:30pm

Where – Perth City Farm. 1 City Farm Place, Perth

Cost –  Free – as long as you are registered for Plastic Free July (click here if you aren’t)

It is about time that you start getting yourself excited and prepared for Plastic Free July. A group of Perth’s Metropolitan Regional Councils (Eastern, Western and Central) have banded together with the Earth Carers to host this informative session to get you ready for you month free of polymer! There will be plastic free demonstrations, hands on activities and tips and tricks from those in the know. It is being held at Perth City Farm to which is an experience to visit in itself!

The event is open to anyone registered for Plastic Free July (and you are welcome to bring a friend) but RSVP’s are essential. Either call Amy or Rebecca on 9384 4003 or email Earth Carers – earthcarers@wmrc.wa.gov.au

There is also a Facebook page for the event (here) and Plastic Free July (here)!

17th June – Children’s Forest Planting Day

 When – Sunday, 16th June. 10am – 1pm

Where – Whiteman Park. Park Entrance off Lord Street, Perth (map here)

Cost – Free.

What a great way to get your kids interested in conservation and nature. Men of the Trees are hosting the annual Children’s Forest Planting Day where you can bring your family to this absolutely gorgeous community forest for a bite to eat, free entertainment and to help by planting native seedlings in the twelfth stage of the forest! If anything is going to get kids passionate about the environment it’s mud and this is a great interactive way where they can get their hands dirty and have some fun.

For more information either call 9250 1888 or see this link.

21st June – Movie Night Screening of ‘Bag It’

When – Thursday, 21st June. 6:45pm – 8:15pm

Where – Presbyterian Ladies College. 14 McNeil Street, Peppermint Grove

This is a documentary about an ordinary guy who looked around one day and realised – ‘Wow. I have a lot of plastic in my life’. So he set himself a simple goal – to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store. This simple goal turned into an inspiring documentary that proves that you don’t need to be a scientist, politician or lawyer to use a little bit of knowledge to make a whole lot of difference. Take a look around. Is your life too plastic? Do you want to make a change? Get inspired!

30th June – Wholefood Cooking with Jude Blereau (Plastic Free July)

When – Saturday, 30th June. 1pm – 3pm

Where – The Grove Community Centre. 1 Leake St Peppermint Grove

Cost – Free – as long as you are registered for Plastic Free July (if not click here)

This is your last chance to get informed before your month of being Plastic Free starts! But if you are feeling a little worried then come and meet renowned Perth Wholefood Chef Jude Blereau (see her inspiring blog here) who will teach you how to shop, prepare and cook food with NO disposable plastic packaging. Learn and be surprised.

RSVP’s are essential – email on rsvp@wrmc.wa.gov.au or call on 9384 4003

There is also a Facebook page for the event here.

You may have also seen Jude’s book around…

 

DIY Coconut and Cucumber Cleanser

My quest to eradicate plastic and other nonsense single-use items continues. Far and away the hardest area of my life to do this in would be my make-up bag. While I would love to throw it all to the wind and live a pure existence without mascara and face-paint, I cannot. Not only am I too vain but I fear that I would be fired for always looking tired and/or sick. Damn you blonde eyelashes! Anyway, I digress. My point is… that I have started to focus on anything that I can cut out rather than lamenting what I can’t. I have found that anything to do with the care of skin and hair is pretty easily replaceable. First stop… cleanser. (My second stop was a DIY herbal toner which you can find here!)

I get a weekly organic delivery box and because we went away over the weekend there were some Lebanese cucumbers left looking a little limp. A passionate hater of all things wasteful I decided to experiment. The cleanser I made was so easy to make and is absolutely beautiful to use. Put it in the fridge for a really refreshing cleanse.

It is so nice to know that you don’t need to use harsh chemical that you can’t pronounce to clean your face. They don’t do damage to the environment, they don’t have excessive and wasteful packaging and you get to essentially rub food on your face – which is always fun.

Ingredients

1 x Cup of Cucumber Juice (4 x lebanese or 2 x green)

1 x Cup of Coconut Milk (organic if you have it)

1 x tablespoon of Agave or honey (if you are vegan use Agave Nectar)

Why these ingredients?

Cucumber juice – is an astringent and helps purify your skin.

Coconut Milk – hydrates and moisturises – as well as feeling bloody nice!

Honey / Agave Nectar (vegan) – antibacterial which makes it great to prevent acne and other spots

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Food Processor / blender / or juicer
  • Muslin or cheesecloth to sieve the cucumber. If you don’t have them on hand then get creative… I keep old stockings around the place (for cleaning and use in the garden) so I just slipped that over the bowl and used it instead. Working perfectly fine..
Upcycled ingenuity

Method

Steps 1 through 5 are if you do not have a fancy fruit-juicer (mine died).

1. Peel the cucumbers

2. Process the cucumbers in a food processor until smoothish

3. Pour crushed cucumbers through a strainer into a mixing bowl or jug

4. Squeeze out as much juice as possible.

5. Bam. You have beautiful cucumber juice!

6. Add the honey or agave, coconut milk and cucumber juice together

7. Whisk to make a smooth liquid

8. Pour into a used jar and keep in the fridge.

Application

  1. Wash your face with warm water
  2. Apply cleanser to a cloth
  3. Wipe over face and neck
  4. Rinse with warm water / cloth

Top Tip

When rinsing your face make sure you do so in a bowl so that you save all the water from draining away. Because you are using completely natural ingredients it is grey water safe. You can use the excess for your garden, herbs or veggie patches!

Free Outdoor Movie: End of the Line (7th March 2012)

Imagine a world without fish.

That is the tagline of The End Of The Line – a movie that changed the way the world looked at seafood. The Economist describes it (accurately) as “The Inconvenient Truth about the oceans”. I have described the effects of over-fishing in my blog post today but for a short-track option watch the trailer below to see for yourself…

Tomorrow this incredibly powerful movie will be screened by the Western Earth Carers – that fabulous organisation that brought us the Less Is More Festival. Bring your own picnic (set yourself a challenge to go plastic free) and have a look into what you can do to minimise your contribution to our badly damaged oceans.

This is not a doomsday movie. It is an important resource that we all should see to understand how we can move forward and away from the looming disaster. This is not a film telling you to never eat fish again. Charles Clover who wrote the film still eats fish himself but is selective. Knowledge is power.

Sustainable Fishing expert Associate Professor Dr Jeremy Prince will present and  provide some credible insight to Australian fisheries which will be extremely interesting. Bring your family and friends and get informed.

Date:   Wednesday 7 March, 2012
Time:   6.00pm Picnic
7.00pm Screening and presentation

Place:  WMRC Administration Building outside on the lawn (For building map click here)

Cnr Marine Pde and Warton St, Cottesloe (For street map click here)
BYO:    Picnic and rug/beach chair etc

 

Less Is More Festival – Saturday 18th February

Illustration by Clare Long

I am absolutely loving how many amazing eco events are popping up around Perth nowadays. We have turned into a city of ‘doers’; people have stopped waiting for the action to come to them and are instead creating it for themselves. The community has become so proactive and so supportive of anyone that has a desire to do more; more recycling, more learning, more teaching, more green get-togethers! In accordance with this new movement (a revolution where knowledge is power), an amazing green actionist from Perth has addressed one of the weird paradoxes of sustainability: Sometimes to do a hell of a lot more you need to focus your attention on doing a hell of a lot less. Enter the ‘Less is More Festival’.

The hero of our story is Claire Litton who has organised this fabulous festival with an amazing point of difference… NO MONEY ALLOWED. Have you ever heard of an event organiser stipulating such a ridiculous caveat? But as Claire sums up beautifully on her blog;

“You can’t buy the things that are really important!”

This wonderful anti-consumerist festival is about teaching ways that we can all consume less and reuse more.  There will be a number of workshops from various inspirational Perth greenies showing practical ways to apply the three R’s to your daily life – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (and yes, that is in order of importance).

You can find the full list of workshops here but here are a few of my favourites;

Living Plastic Free

A young couple (Jess and Nathan)  discuss how they went plastic free for a whole year. This is particularly pertinent to me as I have (today in fact) started my own 365 days of going completely plastic free *gulp*. I am also the Online Campaigner for Plastic Free Freo campaign so it will be great to meet some inspirational people that are leading a plastic free life.

Upcycling

We are a culture obsessed with throw-away fashion. A 2005 study found that Australians spent $10.5billion on clothes that are disposed of after a short amount of time because of passing fads or poor quality.  Learn how to create a completely new and fashionable wardrobe from your old clothes or op-shop finds. Agnes will have hands-on activities and an informal presentation. People can watch but are also encourage to bring something to upcycle. Look through your cupboard… be brutal.

MYO Toothpaste and Deodorant

One of Perth’s loudest voices for living sustainably (and a favourite of mine) Shani Graham from Ecoburbia will be showing everyone how to make your own toothpaste and deodorant with standard ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry! You must bring two small jars for this so you can take your DIY products home with you.

Homemade Ginger Beer

NOM! Learn how to make your own Ginger Beer with Ronan and Rebecca. Not only will this recipe save you the empty calories of your standard soda’s but will also save hundreds of plastic bottles every year.

Those are just a few of my faves but there are plenty more. To get the most out of the day see the timetable here and plan ahead.

Kids

This is a family friendly event but there will still be some workshops that are for the adults only – so best to check with Claire beforehand if you are curious. This being said there are also events specifically for the littlies. The fabulous Eco Faeries (possibly the cutest organisation in the world) will be wandering round provide fun for the kids and getting them involved in sustainable games, interactive art and even a sustainable children’s story time at 10:30am.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;

we borrow it from our children”

~ Chief Seattle

Summary

I am so excited about this festival. I hope you are too. Here are the details;

10am – 4pm
Saturday 18 February 2012
The Grove Community Centre
1 Leake Street, Peppermint Grove

Free Screening: “Bag It – Is Your Life Too Plastic?”

This is a documentary about an ordinary guy who looked around one day and realised – ‘Wow. I have a lot of plastic in my life’. So he set himself a simple goal – to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store. This simple goal turned into an inspiring documentary that proves that you don’t need to be a scientist, politician or lawyer to use a little bit of knowledge to make a whole lot of difference. Take a look around. Is your life too plastic? How much are you wearing, touching, sitting on or at, typing on, chewing…

A quick lunchtime illustration on some old office paper

“Think about it, why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away. What’s up with that?”

– Jeb Berrier

The great thing about this documentary (directed by Suzan Beraza) is that it is inspiring and simple and sometimes downright funny. The ordinary guy – Jeb Berrier – is so accessible. He is easy to like and easier to relate too. Check out the trailer…

Tonight (Tuesday 7th February) there will be a free screening of the multi-award winning Bag it at the City of Fremantle Town Hall from 6pm to 8pm (doors open at 5:30pm). There will be light refreshments and a relaxed positive vibe – as there always is at these amazing Freo community gatherings. It is a great place for all ages – my mum will be my date tonight – and it is a great place to meet likeminded people and learn a little at the same time.

Plastic Free Freo (along with City of Fremantle and Ecoburbia) have been huge supporters of this screening of Bag It. Plastic Free Freo is an amazing campaign that is currently working with the Fremantle community (both the retailers and consumers) towards a more sustainable town with a lower carbon footprint. If the campaign is successful Fremantle will hopefully resume the role of ecological trendsetters and become the first town in Western Australia to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags. If you want to get involved with the campaign contact Plastic Free Freo here.

This doco is equally important whether you are informed about the plastic problem or just starting out on your journey towards a plastic free life. I look forward to seeing you down there.

Bag It Flyer

Here is a map of how to get there –