Tried and true recipes for keeping clean, nourished and moisturized.

Doesn’t every family have a homemade recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation? Our grandparents and great grandparents who lived during the Great Depression either made household items themselves, bartered with their neighbors for homemade goods, or had to go without. Between their generation and ours, the daily tasks of churning butter and milking the cow have evolved into stopping at the grocery store after work. We’ve forgotten how to make our own clothes, furniture, and food.

The cycle is coming full circle, however. As the age of “Do It Yourself” is returning to the public who are interested in living a healthier and eco-friendly lifestyle, people are starting to realize that simple things they have had a habit of purchasing in stores can be easily created at home. This week I have been scouting for novice-friendly recipes to make my own laundry detergent, yogurt, and lotion, and my creations have been a success.

Laundry Detergent

Making my own laundry detergent was so easy, I was shocked that I haven’t grown up knowing how to do it. I’ve been mindlessly buying jug after jug of Free & Clear and sensitive detergents, when using this simple and cheap recipe is loads friendlier on our planet, and also much cheaper.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Grate bar of soap, mix grated soap with Borax and Washing Soda.
  2. Store in glass jar with an air-tight lid.
  3. Use 2 tablespoons of mix per load.

Yogurt

After years of buying a weekly supply of organic Greek yogurt, I’ve found a recipe which only requires milk and a tablespoon of yogurt to start with. That simple.

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Yogurt with Probiotics

Instructions

  1. Boil milk and let sit for 5 minutes (until it reaches 110 degrees).
  2. Mix tablespoon of yogurt with 1/2 cup of the heated milk in small bowl.
  3. Pour milk/yogurt combination into entire pot of warm milk.
  4. Cover pot with blanket and place in a warm place (window sill, oven with just the light     on, etc) for 6 hours.
  5. Remove blanket, let sit for 1 hour.
  6. Place pot in fridge for at least 6 hours.
  7. Put yogurt in recycled glass jar or dish with an air-tight lid.
  8. Enjoy with fresh fruit, honey, granola…

Organic Lotion

This recipe calls for a wider variety of ingredients, but the process of “cooking” it is quick and effortless. Via Wellness Mama.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter (Optional)
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar.
  2. Fill pan with two inches of water and heat the jar (with loose lid) in pan on medium heat.
  3. Shake melted ingredients in jar to blend.
  4. Pour blended lotion into a reusable container (a small mason jar is recommended).
  5. Use within 6 months.

[quote_box_center]Want more DIY tips and tricks? Check out Delicious Things You Can Do With Chocolate Besides Eat It.[/quote_box_center]

Just by doing a little research, I found these recipes and many more in no time at all. After each creation, I was astonished with how simple the process was. Not only will they help my family save money, they will protect us from dangerous ingredients commonly added to mass-manufactured brands. Next up is home made beeswax candles to save on electricity and to add a cozy touch to the house. While I regret not doing these “chores” on my own all along, I am grateful to revive some traditions in my own family that can be passed on for generations to come.

[quote_box_center]She’s a mother, blogger, and world traveler. Now Emily R-P Shea is the first columnist of our new section “The Great Escape” featuring articles written by a small handful of US expats who have some amazing stories to tell. From why they chose to live in Costa Rica to how to raise a more eco-friendly baby, The Great Escape will be a great reference as well as fascinating entertainment for all travelers who find themselves in paradise.[/quote_box_center]