Now that I've had my rant on food, here's how I combat consumerism at home.
1. No cleaning supplies.
That is, no prepared concoctions designed for cleaning. Just baking soda, salt and a spray bottle with cider vinegar solution. By keeping it simple I'm avoiding toxins and saving a bundle, too.
2. Laundry soap
Almost a year ago I bought a box of borax, two boxes of washing soda and 4 bars of Fels Naptha soap. Now, I don't really know what's in Fels Naptha soap so I'm hoping to use some homemade soap once I'm out of this stuff. (waste not, want not) I mix up a batch of gel laundry soap in a 2 gallon bucket and it lasts us at least 5 months. I do love Seventh Generation laundry soap but the goal is to be as self sufficient as possible.
3. Body/face soap
I'm not making my own soap just yet. But dear Charlotte up in Jackson makes some of the loveliest hand made soap I've ever seen. She sets up at the Winter Farmer's Market there so if I run out I know where to find her. I even use her soap to wash my hair sometimes. I'll bet there's someone near all of us who makes soap in her kitchen and would love to sell you a few bars. Shop local.
4. Moisturizer/ hair conditioner
Charlotte's soap is so wonderful I don't really need moisturizer anymore but if the weather gets too cold or dry I give myself an all over rub with olive oil in the shower.
5. Facials/deep cleansers
Here we go with the olive oil again. Just warm up a little on the stove, not too hot just warm, and massage on your face and neck. Then get in the shower and scrub with some salt. If you like you can add a couple of drops of lavender oil to the salt to make it smell delightful.
Next installment, closing the loop in the garden.