Multi-Purpose Products to Start Living With Less.

Multi-purpose products are a key to living with less.

Have you ever daydreamed about minimalist living? Looked around you and wished you could see your horizontal surfaces? That all that STUFF would go away? It strikes me most when I have to dust. What is all this stuff?! Well, like me, you might not be ready for minimalist living quite yet. But there are some small steps you can take to gear up for a ‘less stuffy’ lifestyle. Learning how to use multi-purpose products is one of them.

If you are a guilty granola, you’re likely tempted by all the fun eco-friendly products available. But I would argue that there are a few raw multi-purpose products that all guilty granolas could use for sustainable living.  And multi-purpose has the benefit of decluttering a little too. These products specifically are common, easy to find and relatively inexpensive, considering the benefits they offer.  If you are considering breaking into sustainable or minimalist living, this is a great way to start looking at products a little differently and learn what they all can do for you!

Why raw ingredients are better

Know what you are putting in, on or around your body:  If you look into the ingredients of many products, you’re going to wonder what most of them are.  A lot of times, the purpose is for texture, color or preservation, and a lot of them are unnecessary and not very good for you.

Easy to get: You can pick these products up at your local grocery store.  You may already have them in your pantry!  (minus the essential oils- those require a special order)

Less toxins: Especially if you can get organic, you’ll be avoiding toxins. You’d be shocked at the toxins that have made their way into every day stuff.

Multi-purpose: having these on hand will alleviate the need for so many other single purpose products that clutter up your space. 

Great for problem solving:  Need a household cleanup?  Something for acne?  Deodorizor?  These items will fill a lot of gaps when you go searching for something that you ran out of.  And hopefully, you can turn it into a habit to create your own [fill in the blank] from these products alone.  You’ll find you don’t need to buy Glade Carpet freshener or $100 facial toners or rush out to get deodorant.

Health benefits:  These products actually have benefits to your health, including cell function, teeth whitening, digestive aid, ph balancing and more. 

So let’s introduce the stars of a guilty granola’s pantry!

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple Cider Vinegar is a staple in the cupboard for cleaning, food enhancement and it’s antimicrobial properties.

It can be used in a variety of ways:

  1. Food: dressings, marinades, and pickling 
  2. Digestion: Drink a shot of it for digestive aid.  It can be added to water or tea
  3. Cleaning: It’s antibacterial properties make this a great base for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and killing pathogens.
  4. Skin health: ACV is made from fermented apples that have turned to acetic acid, a common ingredient in skin products.  Its acidity can help rebalance skin and strengthen the protective outer layer.  Using it as a toner will make your skin more robust and healthy.
  5. Hair health:  Use it to replace your shampoo every now and then.  Combine it with our second item, baking soda, for a super-charged scalp cleaning.
  6. Clean off fruits and veggies:  this is important, especially as we worry about the spread of COVID.  You may typically try to buy package-free produce.  But the new concern is that that produce might have been handled already by people in the grocery store or farmers market.  This is when a quick ACV rinse will ease your mind.

Baking soda

A naturally alkaline powder, Sodium bicarbonate, is in nearly everyone’s fridge or cabinet for cooking.  Like most of our products on this list, it also has antibacterial and microbial properties, which is helpful as a deodorizer. 

  1. Cooking:  it helps baked goods rise because it releases carbon dioxide when it meets heat.  So it is an essential leavening agent for breads and cookies.
  2. Cleaning: Combined with a vinegar, either ACV or white distilled vinegar, baking soda can help attack grime with its grittiness.  Use it for hard to remove coffee stains and rings in tubs and faucets.  It also kills harmful bacteria on surfaces.
  3. Teeth:  You may see some toothpastes with baking soda for whitening.  Well, you can make a paste of your own and use it to whiten your teeth.  It also may freshen breath as it kills bacteria.
  4. Deodorant:  Its claim to fame is its odor removing ability, which is a result of bacteria-fighting characteristics.  This is no different in your armpits!  Underarm bacteria can start to stink a little- baking soda in a DIY deodorant can help reduce that odor. (be frugal; an overload can irritate skin.)
  5. Carpet Deodorizer: I sprinkle this on carpets and let it rest for a wee bit before I vacuum.  For a nice scent, add a little essential oil (also on the list).
  6. Air Freshener: use in your fridge, in shoes, or in the bottom of a trash can to remove unwanted smells.
  7. Lighten Your Whites:  Use it in your laundry to shine up your whites!

Coconut Oil 

This is such a luxurious oil. The taste, the texture, the way it can whip up nice and fluffy.  And it smells light and wonderful and beachy.

  1. Cooking: this is a high heat oil.  You can use it for anything you want to fry hot hot hot.
  2. Dressings and marinade:  adds a hint of flavor to your dressings and marinades, but not enough to overwhelm.  Can make a healthy mayonnaise too!
  3. Carrier oil: great to cut the strength of essential oils which can be too concentrated to be applied topically on their own.    
  4. Moisturizer: it’s wonderful at sealing in your own moisture.  Can be used on the body, hair and lips. 
  5. Facial oil cleanse: Its antibacterial properties make this a great facial product.  It’s perfect for gently removing makeup and environmental particles without drying your skin. 
  6. Mouthwash: antibacterial properties help reduce oral odors and can brighten your teeth!  Try it after a garlic-heavy meal- it can pull those odors out.  Spit it out after swishing it around for a bit. 
  7. A base for natural deodorants:  combining this with baking soda, arrow root powder and essential oils can make a quick DIY deodorant.
  8. Insect repellant: its light scent, plus some essential oils, can deter biting insects from ‘getting under your skin’.

Essential oils

I am going with a general overview here, because if you want something specific, there is an essential oil for it. Nearly guaranteed. Anywhere from beauty, health, headaches, weight management, stress, skin abrasions, focus, sleep, motivation, energy, insect repellant, cooking, cleaning, you name it, there is an essential oil that supports it.  Check out doTerra essential oils to peruse the options!

Hopefully if you have considered living with less, this will help you think about the products you can start replacing. These raw multi-purpose products can stand in for a lot of other single-purpose products, that often come in wasteful packaging. You should be able to meet some sustainable lifestyle goals by avoiding plastic packaging here too.

So try it out and see if these useful pantry stars can help replace new products.

Let us know what other essentials help you reach your sustainable living goals!

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