Thursday, February 26, 2009

EcoStore USA Rosemary Orange Shampoo Review

photo by Laurence Tucker

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I've been agonizing over a good quality, non-toxic shampoo that won't drain my bank account. First off, be warned that I am a low maintenance kind of girl. I have never, I mean never, purchased shampoo from a salon. I am used to buying the Target version of whatever strikes my fancy at the time. So, no, I am admittedly not brand anything! So to say that the prices of natural shampoo shocked me would be an understatement. But I do know it is an important step in my journey to be a darker shade of green, so I say farewell to shampoo that cost me $3.49 a bottle!

The first company I decided to try out, EcoStore USA, has left me pleasantly suprised! I have very thick hair, just long enough to pull into a pony tail, and it gets oily within a day of washing. So despite the Rosemary Orange Shampoo description for thin/oily hair, I decided to solve my main problem, which is oil. I ordered the Shampoo, as well as 2 bars of soap. They came packaged in an appropriate box, without too much packaging. Eco-friendly check #1!
The fact that using my new shampoo excited me is a little sad, I know, but you know that you've done it too! After reading lots of reviews on natural shampoos, I knew to expect the shampoo being a little "watery" and so I used care when squeezing this out. When I just used a little at a time, I was able to adequetely spread it around my thick hair. This can be tricky until you get the hang of it, because this shampoo does not have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is what gives traditional products their lather, but carries with it concerns of cancer. I rinsed, towl dried, and styled, and my hair looked and felt just as good as it does with my traditional products. At $11/6.8oz , it's not cheap, but less expensive than some of the brands you'd buy at a salon, or other natural products. Per their website, here are the ingredients:

Lauryl-glucoside (from glucose)
Derivatives from coconut and palm oil - olefin sulphonate
Polyol Coconut Fatty Acid Ester
Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate (from natural amino acid)
Citric Acid
Certified Organic Cider Vinegar
Essential oils of Rosemary Cineol, Orange Sweet Organic, Pine Scotch, Sage and Cypress.

I would recommend this product, but will be trying other ones to find my perfect match as well. Any suggestions for my next try? Happy Greening!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

LaundryTree Soap Nuts Review

As a mom with 4 kids, laundry is a never ending chore. Towels, clothes, rugs, the list goes on and on! I have yet to find a laundry detergent that totally satisfies me. I've been relatively satisfied with Shaklee's Laundry detergent, but just recently got a chance to try some soap nuts from LaundryTree. At first I was a bit skeptical, wondering how nuts from a tree could really get my boys' dirty jeans clean!

When my soap nuts arrived, I instantly fell in love with the packaging. And face it ladies, packaging is one of the things that entices us to try something new! These would make a great and unique gift! I untied the ribbon, and examined the contents, which included a small drawstring bag, soapnuts and some essential oil. As impressed as I was by the packaging, the whiff I got of the nuts made me take a step back! Then I saw the package instructions answer my question: Will my clothes smell like the soap nuts? Answer: No! So I gave them a try, and can happily say that all of our clothes got fresh & clean....and they didn't smell like the nuts! You can choose to use the Energy essential oil blend in the bag with the nuts for a scent, or add your own lavender or lemon drops.

My next thought was: how much do these cost? When you buy in bulk, you receive enough nuts for 150 loads of laundry for under $30. This equals 5c a load!!! Not to mention that once you are done using these, you just throw them in your compost heap! These odd little nuts are definately worth a try in your washing machine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fun Weekend Green Projects: Beanbag toss

Have fun this weekend with this simple project! It's economical, and re-uses items most people have around their house. Beanbag Toss is a favorite game of all my kids, from 3-8yrs old! Here's a list of things to round up:

Fabric Scraps
Ribbon or twine
Empty bucket or basket
(we re-used a container that held bulk biscotti)
dry beans or peas

No sewing required! Just take some fabric, pour some dry beans in the middle, bundle 'em up, and tie a string around it. Make 5 or 6, and have fun tossing them in a pail or bucket that would've ended up in the recycling bin or landfill otherwise! Happy weekending!
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