Sustainable Living: Alternatives to Commercial Products

March has arrived and spring is just around the corner, which means most of us are gearing up for an annual spring cleaning! I thought I’d take this opportunity to help the community make it a sustainable one. It’s no secret that commercial cleaning products contain many harmful chemicals that are unsustainable for both our health and the environment. As a response, many companies have begun to advertise their products with labels, such as “eco- friendly” and “all- natural.” But can we be 100% sure these products are sustainable and healthy for us?

Thankfully, there is the option of creating these products ourselves. Not only are the ingredients easily available to us, they are also cost effective and completely natural! Aside from all the health and cost benefits, you will gain a sense of trust and reassurance in the products that you are using since you will be making them with your own hands. It’s also a fun activity that teaches you how to take care of yourself and the environment!

Here are a couple of examples of homemade cleaning products and their recipe:

All Purpose Cleaner:

You can make your own all- purpose cleaner with just vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and essential oils. Vinegar is great for getting rid of grease, grime and stains as well as lifting odours. Baking soda is also a deodorizer and stain remover with anti- bacterial properties. Lemon helps as an extra boost in killing germs while essential oils help cover up the smell of vinegar for those of you who aren’t fans of the scent.


-1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar
-2 tablespoons of baking soda and half a lemon
-Several drops of tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil (or oil of your choosing)
-Spray bottle
-Enough water to fill the bottle

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

  • Mix 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • Pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse.

There are so many alternatives for household cleaning and they save you money in the long run while keeping you healthy and toxin free. Here is a link that will give you recipes for all your cleaning needs:

All natural, homemade products don’t just stop at household cleaning. There are many options for personal hygienic products as well and the list is endless. Here are a few examples of how you can go eco- friendly and toxin- free:


  • 3 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tbs Baking Soda
  • 2 Tbs Shea Butter
  • 2 Tbs Arrowroot (optional)
  • Essential Oils (optional)


  1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. UPDATE: Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these type of projects and not even need to wash it out…
  2. Remove from heat and add baking soda and arrowroot (If you don’t have arrowroot, use more baking soda)
  3. Mix well
  4. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. It does not need to be stored in the fridge.
  5. If you prefer, you can let it cool completely and put into an old deodorant stick for easier use, though it may melt in the summer!

Face Wash: There are many options for making your own facial cleansers. Here are instructions for using only raw organic honey!

- Wet face with warm water. Place a small amount of honey in your hands (Usually less than a teaspoon is plenty) and rub your hands together.

- Massage in to skin in a circular motion to get all areas of the skin.

- Optional: Leave on for 5-10 minutes for deep pore cleansing.

- Wash off with warm water and pat dry.

- Enjoy the soft skin!

You can find many more options from this link (make sure you checkout the info on the benefits of coconut oil)

While you’re busy creating your own sustainable products, you might as well take the Purchasing Pledge! Check out this link for details:

Happy spring cleaning everyone!