Less Really Is More - The Bend Magazine

Less Really Is More

Corpus native shares her recipes and reasons for a lower waste method of cleaning

Words and Photos by: Stacy Sullivan

Simple living has always been something very important to me. The art of slowing down and working with your own two hands allows you to appreciate the process more.

Working on my own homemade recipes began as just a small experiment and quickly intrigued me more and more. I thought about just how clueless I was to most of the ingredients found in the majority of our store bought products. Going “low-waste” in our home was more than just cutting out single use plastic items, it was about simplifying the way my family lived on a day to day basis.

By creating these homemade recipes, I am able to account for every ingredient present in the process, using only non-toxic/chemical free ingredients that work just as well and are just as powerful as any store bought product.

By doing this, I create more with so much less. This is an amazing way to practice simplicity and get the most out of items and ingredients that may already be in your cabinets at home.

Choosing the ingredients for my recipes are always done with great benefits in mind.

I want to get the most out of what I’m using and also educate myself on the reasons why I’m choosing these ingredients. Everything that goes into these recipes is free from any harmful toxins, which was most important to me, being a mother to my little girl.

The majority of these ingredients are all natural and are beneficial for more than one type of usage.

Citrus peels:
contains natural oils that are tough on surfaces which makes using them for cleaning purposes beneficial.

Sweet almond oil:
contains vitamins that help keep your skin cells healthy and protect from sun exposure.

White vinegar:
contains nutrients and can help with skin inflammation and other related issues. It’s a versatile ingredient and can be used in various recipes.

Baking soda:
can help to treat heartburn, skin irritations and is a typical household item everyone should keep. It also helps pull toxins from the air naturally.

Essential oils:
are so beneficial for many reasons. They help with inflammation, pain relief, skin irritations, boosting your immune system, improving your moods which ultimately create a positive atmosphere for you and they also help with providing better sleeping and relaxation patterns.

Citrus infused all-purpose cleaner:

The simplest way to have an amazing non-toxic cleaner that works so well and is a great way to put something to further use than just throwing those peels away. 
Place a decent amount of citrus peels into a jar/container of your choice and fill with some white vinegar.
Let sit for at least two weeks, then dilute with equal parts of water.
You can also add any essential oil of your choice and you’ve got yourself a new best friend on your cleaning days!

Laundry detergent:
1 bar of soap (fully grated)
I used the lavender bar soap from Dr. Bronner’s but you could absolutely use unscented or any other soap bar of your choice.
1 cup of washing soda
1 cup of baking soda 
You could also use an essential oil of your choice as well either in this mix or right into your washing machine, but it’s completely optional.
Just mix all ingredients together in your desired container and give a good shake to mix well!
I add about 1/4 cup per load of laundry.

Liquid dish/hand soap:
Pour 1/2 cup of filtered water into desired soap dispenser. If you don’t have filtered water available, boil some water and let cool before continuing these steps.
Pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into the bottle and lightly stir to mix well. 
Pour half a cup of Sal Suds into the bottle. 
Pour 1 tablespoon of moisturizing oil into bottle
(I used sweet almond oil).
This will allow your hands to stay soft once they have dried!
Add 8-10 drops of essential oil of your choice
(I used lavender)