My kitchen counter was piled high with SustainaKid’s school art projects, papers from my work project, and books that needed to be returned the library. Butternut squash were toppling over one another on a platter, and the last sweet potato from last year’s garden was just starting to sprout in the sunny spot by the kitchen window.
Amidst the mess, two small containers taunted me for weeks. I moved them around and out of my way but refused to put them away.
You see, I first learned of a DIY deodorant in fall 2009, and I thought I’d make it the next time my deodorant ran out. Of course, I waited too long to buy ingredients and ended up buying deodorant at the grocery store. (More than once.) I’ve tried a few natural deodorants but was never satisfied with any of them, so I’d always go back to my conventional anti-perspirant.
Around Christmas, I told a friend about the DIY deodorant and I looked up an email where I’d told my sister about it when I first saw the recipe. I realized it had been more than a year since I’d first intended to make my own. I was determined to do it by the first of the year.
I ordered all the ingredients on December 29. Does that count for anything?! The shipment was lost and then delayed by snow. It is like it just wasn’t meant to be. Finally, it arrived on January 19 — just as I began a huge two-month work project. I barely had time to shower and I was under far too much stress to experiment with personal care products whose failure would require an extra shower.
And so the tubs of shea butter and cocoa butter lived on my kitchen counter with the butternut squash and library books — from January 19 until my conventional deodorant ran out in the middle of March. Finally, instead of buying more conventional deodorant, I purchased the last ingredient I needed to make my own.
It was so easy to make and I really like it! Now, I don’t know for certain that it will hold up to southern summers, but at least I finally made it so I can test it out. It only took 18 months.
That was a year and a half that my body absorbed yucky chemicals when I could’ve tried another option. And I know that after my first suspicious mammogram someday in the future, I’ll wonder if that lump is the result of genetics or if it has anything to do with that year and a half that I was too busy to make my own deodorant. Especially when it took less than two hours — including an hour and a half researching essential oils so I’d know which ones to order!
Every morning, when I apply my DIY deodorant, I am inordinately proud of myself. I should turn that into motivation to do a few other projects on my list!
I think the thing that stops me most often is that I don’t want to spend money on something I’m not sure I’ll like. (I probably spent $30 on ingredients, but I only used a fraction of what I purchased so I should be able to make at least two more batches before the ingredients go bad.)
How about you? What green project have you been putting off? Is it because you don’t have the money? You don’t have the time? You’re not sure how to do it?
Just do it already. At least take the first step: bookmark the website with instructions so you’ll be ready to do it, buy the ingredients so you’ll be ready, start saving $10 a week so you can afford to do it eventually.