Guest Post – Thoughts on shaving cream and recycling!

1 Aug

Dear Readers:

It’s August and after one month hiatus, we are BACK! This month I am fortunate to be able to start off with a guest post from my good friend – @RONRANCOURT – owner of the blog “To Sustainability“. You should check him out!!

Without further adieu:

Hey there OMP,

Here’s a little tip on shaving cream, for guys and for gals.  It was just after we moved to Chelsea when I looked down at my can of Gillette shaving cream and decided I wanted an alternative.  Each can only lasted me a month or two, and once it’s done it had to be recycled.  Recycling isn’t as great as it is made out to be – it requires lots of energy, water during processing, and fuel for transport.  (Once sorted, Ottawa’s recycling goes to companies in Ontario, Quebec and the US link: http://ottawa.ca/residents/recycling_garbage/recycling/what_happens_en.html)  Also, a plastic bottle can never be recycled into another plastic bottle.  It’s always downgraded to a cheaper, poorer grade product. So in a sense, recycling is not sustainable.

shavingsoap

Anyway back to shaving cream options.  In addition to the recycling thing I was leery of the ingredients in that canned foam.  I found a wonderful home-made shaving soap in bar format at the Chelsea Market. After using it once or twice I knew I’d never go back to store-bought cans.  My skin actually feels moist and soft after using it.  One bar lasts 6 months or more and only costs 5 bucks!  I would tell you the name of the soap but can’t remember it – but that shouldn’t stop you from trying any home-made soap you come across at your local outdoor market.  Many natural food stores carry them and I’ve even seen some at the checkout at chain grocery stores and pharmacies.  Of course, you can usually find handmade soap at the Chelsea Market, Saturdays from 10-2 from May-Oct. (see http://www.marcheoldchelseamarket.ca)

Now I need to find an alternative to disposable razors…

-Ron

The Ottawa Mommy Project is on hiatus for July

14 Jul

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. We sure are!

Please stay tuned to the blog because we’re back in August. First, I’ll be showing the results of making over my cleaning cupboard and then I’ll be evaluating some all natural deodorants. It’ll be a smelly job but I’m willing to do it!

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you back here real soon.

Until next time,

The OMP

Where does The OMP buy all her stuff?

13 Jun

Since I started this project I have been doing a lot of research about all natural products and discovering new stores online and in Ottawa. I love shopping local and supporting the local economy. I also try and do a lot of my shopping in Bells Corners to support the neighbourhood in which I live.

Up to now, here are my local sources:

Kardish Bulk Food and Nutrition Centre:

They are all over the city but I shop at the one in Bells Corners.  They have a point program. $1 = One point. Once you spend $250 you get $10 to spend in the store. This store carries a nice variety of food, bulk items, cleaning products, supplements and personal care products.  They have good sales, and a cart full of reduced items at the front of the store. I recently got two yummy boxes of organic cereal there for $1.99 (regular $5.99).

Rainbow Natural Foods:

This store is huge and has a massive selection of everything. Every time I go there the store kind of sucks me in for an hour even though I was only going to get one or two things. The staff is extremely knowledgeable. They also have regular events and speakers. On June 16th, I’m going there for the Ladies Soiree from 4-8 pm. They are also on Twitter and always up for some great conversation! (@rainbownatfood) Their website has recipes, specials, product information, and more! I highly recommend a visit.

Granny’s Natural Food Emporium:

This store is inside the Hazeldean Mall in Kanata. They carry a lot of supplements, cleanses, body care products, cleaning products and food. Unfortunately they are not online yet, but are thinking about it. They do have a page on the Hazeldean Mall website. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable here. I drop in every time I go to Hazeldean Mall and see what’s new!

Grocery Stores.

Some carry natural cleaning products and of course this is your source for vinegar, lemons, lemon juice, baking soda, corn starch and other assorted things necessary for making green cleaning and body care products!

My online sources are:

Well.ca:

They carry a HUGE variety of everything – mainstream and all natural products. All natural, vegan and animal friendly are clearly marked. Their prices are fair, and they offer free shipping all the time no matter your order size or cost and this is why I love them. They also have a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook and I love interacting with them.

Grassroots Store:

Awesome resource for all things natural. You can even shop by the ethic of your choice: all natural, biodegradable, animal friendly, organic, fair trade etc. I have ordered from them just once. Delivery was uber fast and everything was as expected. They are also on Twitter and Facebook and are super fun to interact with. I highly recommend this online store. If I ever get to visit Toronto again I will go visit their store.

New Directions Aromatics:

This is where you want to buy your raw materials like butters and essential oils. They also have lovely containers – glass, plastic and acrylic at decent prices. I dare you to visit their site and not want something!

Stores that I plan to visit soon are:

  • The Natural Food Pantry (Kanata)

  • The Arbour Shoppe (Glebe)

  • Mother Hubbards (250 Greenbank Road)

Most natural food stores give out a free copy of Alive Magazine with purchase. Take it!! It is an excellent Canadian magazine full of awesome information and recipes. I read every one from cover to cover and then share with friends.

Am I missing any?

Until next time,

The OMP

June Challenge – I’m a Lean Green Eco-Cleaning Machine

6 Jun

Hi everyone:

I thought I would do things a little differently for the month of June – you know, spice it up a little! Spring has got me in the mood, what can I say.

So – rather than product test, my challenge for this month is to try and create a set of all natural cleaning products for our home that actually WORK. You can do this quite cheaply, and many of the items are already in your kitchen. There will be a few things that I will purchase.

The internet has endless recipes for home made cleaners. Some of the sites I’ve been browsing are:

I also have this gem of a book (above) that I found at Chapters for $5.49

So, without further adieu, here is my “BEFORE” picture. Yes, all this was hiding my cleaning cupboard:

So – you’ll want to come back near the end of the month when I post the “After” picture. Our bad cleaners are hiding in the basement. Will they ever be seen again? We’ll find out …

Thanks for reading! I hope to hear from you soon.

Until next time,

The OMP

May Results are in!! All natural shampoo and more…

5 Jun

Hi everyone:

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I must apologise. It’s been a busy time here at the home of the OMP but never fear, our project is still up and running in full force with lots of things on the horizon! Thanks for sticking with me.

Just to recap, our challenge for the month of May was to test out all natural shampoos.

The Contenders:

Earth Safe $11.87

Green Beaver $9.49

Kiss My Face $8.99

The Home made Version  :

In keeping with my theme of evaluating a home made solution when possible I also tried washing my hair with plain old baking soda. A lot of people swear by this super cheap option. I put a few tablespoons in a little bowl and added water to make a paste. Once I had my hair wet, in it went and I scrubbed as best I could. There is no lather with this but that didn’t bother me at all. It washed out nicely and left my hair squeaky clean. I’m impressed with the result. My hair was nicer that day as though a lot of gunk had been washed out.

Our choice:

My favourite shampoo was the Kiss My Face, followed very closely by Green Beaver. The Kiss my Face lathers nicely and smells great. I do appreciate a little lather so that is why I am choosing this one. In all honesty, I will probably bounce back and forth between the two with some baking soda washes in there every week to cut down on cost, and give my hair a really good clean. With respect to the Earth Safe shampoo, it did not lather up as much as the other two but it’s still a fine shampoo and definitely the best smelling of the three!

Both of my picks are under $10, so for me personally, switching over to an all natural shampoo does not mean spending more money. I have purchased chemical laden salon shampoos for much more than $10.

What else?

On June 16th I am attending a Ladies “Soiree” (doesn’t that sound like fun?) at Rainbow Natural Foods on Richmond Road in Ottawa. They are handing out some free samples and ladies get 10% off off bodycare products not already on sale . While there I’m going to ask about buying all natural shampoo in bulk. Perhaps I may be able to save some money that way! I’ll keep you posted.

As always, I love hearing from you with your comments and questions. Please follow @OttawaMommyProj on Twitter.

Until next time,

The OMP

P.S. Coming for June, something a little different! Come back soon.

What has The OMP been up to lately?

16 May

Status

I thought I would write a post and let everyone know where we are with our product testing and what our future plans are. I am still heavily involved in the project by doing a lot of research and reading. Here is a recap of what we’ve done so far:

  • Hand soap – partially homemade from Dr Bronners Castile soap, water and coconut oil
  • Lip Balm – currently using a variety of all natural lip balms made primarily from beeswax
  • Curl/Anti-frizz cream – homemade from flax seed gel
  • Shampoo – our current test product.

Coming soon – do you have any suggestions?

  • Hair conditioner – the last item needed to attain my 100% natural hair regimen.
  • All household cleaners. I may do a complete purge on cleaners and replace with mostly homemade stuff.
  • Dishwasher liquid, powder, or tabs
  • All natural deoderant (there are many to choose from! I was very suprised)
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Facial scrub (will be homemade)
  • Makeup – I don’t wear much, but I need a few key items.
  • Shaving soap or cream

The future

I have been casually thinking of expanding the project into other areas of our daily lives. We use a lot of plastics, and a lot of disposible things.

  • I may start trying to find more environmentally friendly, simpler ways of living.
  • I am trying to start cooking and baking from scratch more often and freezing.
  • I may also try some challenges such as not buying anything new for a month.

Do you have any ideas for me? If so, I would love to hear them! Please contact me anytime.

Are you following me on Twitter? @ottawamommyproj

Until the next time,

The OMP

Product Test #3 – All Natural Shampoo.

4 May

Happy May everyone!

It’s going to be an exciting month here at the OMP. Interesting post-election politics to follow, my in-laws are coming to visit AND we’re testing out all natural shampoos. I don’t know if I can handle all this excitement *wink wink*

My hair regimen is now almost 50% natural. As you now, I was successful with making my own curl cream from flax seeds and water last month. Later this week I’m going to make and evaluate homemade hairspray from water, an orange and essential oil.

This month I’m testing all natural shampoo and I’ll soon follow that up with conditioner.

Here are the contenders:

  • Green Beaver Lavender Volumizing Shampoo – $9.49 for 325 ml. Wildcrafted British Columbia lavender, willow-herb from the Rockies and organic Prairie flax protein. I love Canadian products!

 

  • EarthSafe Shampoo – Rich Earth – $11.87 for 350 ml. Warm, comforting aroma of vanilla is spiced with sensual notes of cardamom, patchouli and myrrh. I have since found this product at my neighborhood Kardish for a cheaper price!

 

  • Kiss My Face Miss Treated Shampoo – $8.99 for 325 ml. Wheat amino acid, nettle an rosemary. Please note that this product is now available at many places such as grocery stores and Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • The Soap Works Shampoo & Conditioner Bar – $1.99 for 110 g bar. Coconut and palm oil base. I am a little hesitant about a bar shampoo but this is an experiment so who knows what I may discover!

 

Please contact me anytime with your thoughts, ideas and opinions. I love hearing them! Stay tuned to the blog. In a few days I’ll be back with the results of my homemade hairspray. I just need to track down an empty spray bottle to put it in! Be natural!

Until next time,
The OMP

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