From the Pantry to the Bathroom: Toothpaste Edition

April 16, 2009

First of all: WOW! 35 comments on my recent post asking for book ideas. They’re all so inspiring; now I want to write a dozen more books! Oh, and speaking of books, if you live in Canada, YOU CAN BUY SLEEPING NAKED IS GREEN AS OF TODAY (it comes out in the U.S. in mid-June, so my beloved American readers will have to hold tight)! The boy in my life — who might just be wearing a T-shirt that says “I’m the epilogue” at the launch — is reading the book as we speak and chuckling away, so all of my fellow eco-nerds north of the 49th parallel: Make your way to the nearest independent bookstore and get a copy. I promise it won’t suck.

Anyway, back to the contest: my editor is still deliberating on a winner, but I just wanted to thank all of you for your contributions. Although I’m not sure who he’ll pick, I must say, I really dig this whole what-your-granny-knows-and-isn’t-telling-you topic.

But moving on — it’s time for another installment of From the Pantry to the Bathroom, where I talk about how to use natural foods for both cosmetic and hygienic purposes. We’ve already covered the wonders of coconut oil as deodorant, apple cider vinegar as toner and a combo of baking soda, vinegar, cinnamon and vanilla in place of shampoo (which I’m sorry to say I’m not keeping up — my head got itchy, my hair got greasy and I didn’t have the patience for it).

My friend Meghan is about to host a workshop on making your own cosmetics, and to promote it, she’s posted this video explaining how she makes toothpaste using baking soda, vegetable glycerin and peppermint oil. Because I’m too lazy to do this myself (and because I don’t have a trampoline to bounce on while brushing) I’ll just embed the video here:

If you’re looking for other homemade recipes, I believe Beth over at Fake Plastic Fish has one that calls for baking soda, wintergreen oil and stevia powder (although she’s since gone back to the tube variety on account of her gums hurting). But if you’ve got one already that you love, feel free to share the ingredients below; and let me know if you’ve had good or bad experiences making and using your own paste. Now that you can recycle Tom’s of Maine tubes (they also sell SLS-free baking soda toothpaste with Thistle-approved ingredients), I’m kind of tempted to just keep using that, but then again, it’s always fun to transform the bathroom into a little eco-laboratory.

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Bring Your Own Bib (Day 239)…

October 25, 2007

dental bib

This morning, I’m off to the dentist. I actually like my dentist, but the dental hygienist — not so much. Admittedly, I’m not the best patient: I had a tongue ring, I slacked off when it came to wearing my retainer, I broke my bottom braces and still haven’t bothered to get them fixed at the orthodontist, I don’t floss as much as I should, I eat too many sweets and now I’ve stopped using toothpaste with fluoride.

Still, that woman knows full well that I have extremely sensitive molars, and yet she continues to scrape away at them like some famished vampire, desperate to get her next meal from my poor gums (Ed note: Turns out, I had a different hygienist today, and she was much nicer — went gentle on the scraping, got the polishing over with quickly and was more than happy to accommodate my silly bib).

Anyway, a little while back, I wrote about how I was going to decline the paper gown at the doctor’s office. Well, now, I’m going to green my dental visits and BYOB — as in, bring my own bib. Rather than actually go out and buy one, however, I’ll just use my large organic cotton handkerchief, which they should be able to attach with those little metal alligator clips that go around your neck. At least if I’m going to make a bloody drooling mess everywhere, I can wipe myself up with something soft and unbleached.