Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Trimming my waste: Week 5 (DIY deodorant)



Goals - Week 5:
  1. Precycle - bring less non-recyclable plastic into my home
  2. Buy less, make more (without being stinky)
  3. Save money!
Stretch goal: make this for everyone I know so they'll try it!  (recipe after the jump)


Full disclosure: smell matters to me. I think it's the least appreciated sense we have and mine is highly developed. In fact, I might have been a perfumer in a former life. So I had to be bullied into experimenting with homemade deodorant. And I was a pain about it. Here's how it went:

Friend: You should try it.

Me: No. 
Friend: Oh come on.
Me: No! Don't be bully.  (repeat x2 years)

Friend: Here, I made you some. Just try it.

Me: You're a *&%$^# bully.
Me: Wait. Hey, it smells really nice!
Friend: *eye roll*

Me: (first application) ... ooo, it feels lovely. And damn, does it smell good! 

        10 mins later... perspiration is pouring out of me. WTF? Stupid homemade deodorant.
         But hey, my pits are odorless. Huh.

Friend: Oh yeah, that's normal. Just keep using it.

Me: I really don't like you.
Friend: *knowing grin*

2 days later: no more pouring perspiration. No odor. 


Me: (2 weeks later) So, er, ummm... hey, can you give me the recipe for this stuff?

Friend: Sure. 

Why bother to try this? I'm not here to address health concerns. My focus is waste and mindless plastic consumption. So deodorant: the packaging is all plastic. What makes it complicated is that the various parts of a plastic "stick" are made from different kinds of plastic. So neither consumers nor city recyclers know what they're dealing with. Pros like Terracycle shred deodorant containers to make plastic pellets. Your ordinary city service? They throw them out. 


So here's what I'm using. IT WORKS. (Scroll down for links to other recipes. I'll bet you they work too :)


Zero-waste Deodorant: 

  • Approx 6 T of coconut oil. You want it soft enough to mix but not melted. If necessary, warm it just a little then stir til smooth. 
  • Quarter cup corn starch 
  • Quarter cup of baking soda plus 2 T
  • Essential oils. My friend uses rosemary and peppermint (5 drops each or to taste - we like more). The next batch I make, I'm trying bergamot.
Mix all this together. No cooking required. Do note: if your home is really warm (think winter heating in Chicago), keep your product in a glass jar somewhere cool. Mine sits on my bathroom sink and the ceramic keeps it cool.

Application: dip your index finger into the pot. You need a little blob about the size of the tip of your finger.

Other recipes that look good: 
  1. Treehugger - the recipe above is a twist on this one
  2. Wellness Mama
  3. Mommypotamus
  4. Just Making Noise - great ideas for combining essential oils in different ways
  5. Trash is for Tossers