January 08, 2015

Zero Waste Home Essential: Multi-functionality

Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for embracing voluntary simplicity. It's truly been a gift and an awakening! It's made our family's household chores effortless, it has naturally eliminated toxic products from our routines, it saves a lot of money, but best of all: It saves a lot of time!

At the core of it, was the decluttering work that I have covered before. But a lot of my family's minimalism also lies on adopting products that are multi-functional throughout the house.

Considering that the average American spends an estimated $2000 annually just on hygiene products, I am happy to share with you how economical, multi-functionality can be in the bathroom alone.

We purchase this bar of soap for $2/unit (Good Soap, 3 for $6 at Whole Foods, a few times a year), and use it as:
  1. Shampoo
  2. Facial cleanser
  3. Hand wash
  4. Body wash
  5. Shaving soap

I fill this little jar with organic, bulk cocoa powder, once a year. It costs 72 cents and I use it as:
  1. Blush
  2. Dry shampoo
  3. Eyebrow powder
  4. Eyelid powder
  5. Body bronzer

I buy baking soda in bulk for $1.71/lb at Good Earth a couple of times a year, and use it as:
  1. Toothpowder
  2. Deodorant
  3. Tile scrubber
  4. Exfoliator
  5. Mixed with water as an antacid for guests (our family does not suffer from heartburn)

Three, simple, natural products, purchased in bulk/unpackaged have eliminated 15 packaged, toxic ones. No longer buying them evidently saves money, but the time savings are incredible since I no longer have to:

  1. Drive to the store to buy each one of them
  2. Load them in the car
  3. Unload them from the car
  4. Take them up 51 steps to our bathroom
  5. Stack them in a cupboard
  6. Throw the empty containers in a bathroom recycling can
  7. Take that bathroom recycling can down 51 steps to the curb
  8. Empty it into the curbside recycling cart
  9. Walk back up the 51 steps
  10. Start over again 

When did we start listening to bogus marketing claims telling us that we need different products for different applications? Or start thinking that consuming saves time? Or forgetting that soap is, simply put, soap

If you are looking to simplify your life this year, favor multi-functionality in the products that you buy or already have, you'll be amazed at how much space, time and money you'll save.

In 2015, Buy Less, Live More. Happy New Year!