Zero Waste DIYs | Body Butter and Deodorant

Hello guys,

I hope you are all good and enjoy the sun. Summer means spending time outside in the sun which is great for our vitamin D production but the sun also dries out our skin and we sweat a lot in the heat.

This is why I would like to share with you my Zero Waste Body Butter and a Deodorant. Before getting into the DIY, I would like to point out that this is not an advice from a professional, I am just sharing my personal experience. I found similar recipes on google, I can also really recommend the blog Trash is for Tossers by Lauren Singer in case you are interested, her recipes and ideas inspired me a lot.

For these Zero Waste products, you might have to find „your own mixture“ that perfectly works for you, you can change the proportions and also use different oils. This is kind of the basic version that works for me and I hope it works for you as well!

Zero Waste Body Butter

For one small jar you’ll need:

  • 1/3 Shea Butter
  • 1/3 Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cocoa Butter (Unfortunately, mine is packed in plastic, I’m still looking for another packaging)
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil (check my Zero Waste Toiletries Post if you want to know more)

Start to boil some water, put another pot into the boiling water and heat up all the ingredients in order to mix it properly. Afterwards, you put it in a bowl (Caution- it’s very hot!) and cool it down in the freezer until it is all solid. When your body butter is all solid, you can whip it with a mixer until you have whipped body butter. This will need some time, it took me ten minutes until I had the perfect texture.

You can also change the scent and add some essential oils, I used tea-tree essential oil since it is good for your skin but it does not smell good at all so don’t really recommend it.

Store your whipped body butter in a cool space, if you put it in the freezer, it will turn solid again. All in all, this recipe is really good for your skin, since we’re using good and natural ingredients without added chemicals!

Zero Waste Deodorant

You’ll need:

  • 1 Tsp of Shea Butter
  • 1 Tsp of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp of Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 Tsp of Jojoba Oil
  • (Optional: essential oils)

Same procedure as with the body butter, heat it up over boiling water and fill it in a small jar. No need to whip it, you are ready to use it when it’s solid again, just apply it under your armpits and you’re ready to go!

I was extremely suspicious at first, I mean nobody wants to be smelly but it really works! However, it does not really work as an antiperspirant.

Additionally, I tried to find out WHY it works. Well I didn’t find a lot of scientific proof why it should work but Baking Soda has a pH of 9, sweat has a pH of 4.5-7 and our skin is pH 4.1-5.8.

So this is my hypothesis:
Baking Soda can reduce perspiration because when the pH of our sweat is too low, it starts to smell bad and the Baking soda might neutralize it and the pH starts to rise again and we are less stinky 😅

Our deodorants often contain lots of different, and sometimes dangerous, chemicals -so why not trying this natural alternative? Also, shea butter and jojoba oil are great for dry skin, as already said! 😊
However, if you need a Zero Waste option but you don’t want to make your own deodorant, many companies sell deodorants with natural ingredients in jars as well!

If hope you found this helpful, let me know if you have ever made your own experience with DIY toiletries.

Have a great week!

xx, Sophie

Quick Update: Camp and New York City

Hello everybody,

I hope you are enjoying your summer at the moment and that the weather is good. In Long Island the weather great, even though it gets quite humid here and we sometimes have a 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) which is a lot when you are running around the whole day and do activities with the kids.

My third week in the United States has just begun (this blogpost will probably be published a bit later) and it is great so far. We had orientation for one week and the campers arrived the second week. We are a small camp in comparison to other camps in the United States, some of them have up to 7000 campers each summer. During orientation we prepared everything for the campers, for example we planned activities, games and different sessions, but we also had First Aid and CPR lessons. Additionally, we talked a lot about child behaviour and how to cope with difficulty situations, trust me – there will be difficult situations. It might depend in what kind of camp you are, just be prepared.

However, I can already tell that working with kids is an amazingly rewarding experience. One moment you think you are too strict and then suddenly they hug you, or draw you something and tell you that you are their favourite councellor. At the moment I feel like I am in a bubble because I don’t really feel like I am on earth right now. I am somewhere else, a save place that only exists to create great summer memories. It is amazing.

Yes, I am also exhausted sometimes. Coping with difficulties is sometimes really hard and sometimes I worry that I am not good enough for this job. But this is fortunately not often the case and when it happens I try to turn my thoughts on standby and focus on the kids, I am responsible and I want them to have a great time. Camp is about the campers, they are the most important piece in this great puzzle and it’s amazing to see how they change during that time. Kids who are bullied in school suddenly smile and laugh a lot. Introverted children suddenly become the loudest. It is a great community and I get up every morning with a smile on my face and am excited for the new day.

However, we also have off weekends when one sessions ends and the other is about to begin. On those weekends people go visit other places, which we did on our first day off. We took a train to Penn Station in the middle of Manhattan and spend our day in NYC. I know it sounds so stupid but it felt like coming home. There is no city like New York City. People from all around the world walk on these streets, it is always busy and overwhelming. This day we ran around a lot and visited some tourist attractions and even went to a thrift store in Soho. It was great! We don’t really have nice thrift stores in my town but the ones I visited in Amsterdam, London and NYC were amazing! Our day off was nice 😊

However, something happened: my camera broke. After six years of picture taking, something in the body is not working, and nobody can tell me what it is. I will have to wait till I’m home and figure something out for my time in the states. It’s sad but it can happen. We will see…

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy my NYC iPhone pictures 😊

Have a good week!

Sophie

Zero Waste Hair Care – A critical review

Alrighty, we’ve already talked about Zero Waste Dental Care, but what about our hair? This post is all about hair care but the difference between this post and the other is that this one is a rather critical article, showing that living Zero Waste is not as simple as we (I) want it to be.

As you know, I am currently in the US so I can’t work properly on my plastic free life at the moment, but this was my first try with Zero Waste Hair Care and today I’ll be sharing my experiences with you.

I am sure many of you have heard of solid shampoo or hair soap. The soap I bought is by Zhenobya and I got it at the Body Shop. My first thought was, hundred years ago people also washed their hair with usual soap so why not giving it a try?

I was so motivated to try this, actually not zero but less waste alternative, and I got a bit disappointed to be honest. Usually, my hair feels light, smooth and healthy after using the products I normally use. But after having used the shampoo bar, my hair felt thick, heavy, not smooth at all and not clean and healthy. Plus, it smelt like curd soap.

Nevertheless, I was still very keen to rock this environmentally friendly heir care and applied my DIY Conditioner which made everything even worse. At first I thought it helped but I went to my ballet class in the afternoon and realised that my hair at the back of my had was still not completely dry. This happens quite often to me because I have really thick hair BUT it was not wet, it was greasy due to all the oils and butters in it – so embarrassing 😂 I had to laugh so hard about myself. I mean, what did I expect? You can’t just add tons of fat to your hair and expect it to be fluffy and smooth…

However, I found another purpose for my DIY conditioner – I just turned it into a mask. I now use it every week as a mask before washing my hair to nurture my it and keep it healthy. Since these stories should also be part of this journey, I decided to share with you this „NO Conditioner-but oily hair mask“ recipe with you anyways.

NO Conditioner-but oily hair mask

  • 1 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1,5 Tbsp Cocoa Butter
  • 1,5 Tbsp Shea Butter
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Jojoba Oil
  • 10 drops Essential Oil (optional)

I decided to share this with you, because I really try to be authentic. To my mind, bloggers should share real experiences, because social media and the internet in general is not always as authentic and transparent as it could be. It is not my goal to always be super successful and perfectly organised or environmentally friendly, I want to be real.
So this was my first experience with Zero Waste Hair Care, I will definitely try other shampoo and conditioner bars, for example the ones from LUSH, but I don’t think that I will use the other one ever again…unfortunately.
Conditioner seems to be not as easy to make as body lotion for example, so I will stick to my „No Conditioner- but oily hair mask“ idea and keep looking for other package-free conditioners.

What do you think about this article, do you agree that we should also share our unsuccessful experiences and what do you think about authenticity when it comes to blogs?

Thanks for reading!
xx, Sophie

What we ate in Thailand Part #2

It’s time for my second Thailand Food-Post! I will share with you the food we had on my birthday in Koh Lanta, a not so delicious meal in Koh Phi Phi and the best Pad Thain in Bangkok. Enjoy!

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Pineapple fried rice – my favourite type of fried rice!
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My birthday croissant and an omlette at „Faim de Loup“ in Koh Lanta

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Spring roles with sweet chili sauce

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Deep fried veggies, not so healthy but so delicious!

 

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Again, fried pineapple rice
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Thai pancake with banana and chocolate sauce
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Street food in Koh Lanta
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Weird noodles in Koh Phi Phi
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The best Pad Thai ever (and the cheapest we had) in Bangkok with loads of peanuts and a spring role!

Enjoy your week!

xx, Sophie

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a beautiful island next to Townsville in Queensland, Australia.
You need to take a ferry in order to visit „Maggie“ and they have busses on the island which means you can get from A to B quite easily.
The island’s actual name is Yunbenun but when James Cook explored Australia, his compass didn’t work properly and that’s why he called it „Magnetic Island“, or „Maggie“. The reason we wanted to go to Magnetic Island is, apart from the beautiful national park, the Bungalow Bay Koala Village.

This is a Koala Sanctuary where you can meet Koalas and other animals like big lizards, crocs and even snakes and wombats. I am still not sure if I really like the idea of carrying a Koala or a snake (animal rights -wise) but they follow a set of regulations in order to protect the animals. All in all, it was a great experience and Koalas really smell like eucalyptus!!!

Maggie also has many beautiful beaches and snorkeling routes. Make sure to feed the Rock Wallabies in the evening near Geoffrey Bay. You can get appropriate Wallaby food at your hostel and spend your evening with these cute creatures!

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Thanks for reading, have a great week!

xx, Sophie

What we ate in Indonesia Part #1

Hey there,
today I don’t want to talk a lot, I prepared some Food posts for you. In the following weeks I will share some meals we had in Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. As you will see, we had local food, as well as some western meals on some occasions. I hope you enjoy :)!

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„Fruit Platter“ at our Surf Camp for breakfast (A two-course breakfast with a fresh juice was included every day, breakfast was usually too much to eat though, especially when you wanted to surf afterwards 😅) 
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Poached egg with toast
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My absolute favourite: Coconut rice with some fruit and honey
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Pad Thai with tofu and peanuts
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Pad Thai with falafel and peanuts
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Pizza on our last day at camp
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Street food: Fried tofu and rice for only 12 Rp (less than a euro)
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Veggie Burger at our Surf Camp
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Indian Naan Bread with sauce and dip
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My pasta-obsessed friend (love you <3!!) had pasta with green pesto and olive oil
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Superfood Açai Bowl
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Fried rice with eggs (20Rp)
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Fried Banana – soo delicious! (10Rp)

Have a good week!

xx, Sophie

Camp America – An Announcement

Note: When you read this, I will already be on my way to the USA.

Camp America is an organisation that provides cultural exchange programs for young people from the age of 18. Every year thousands of people from all around the world travel to the US in order to work in a summer camp for kids and teens.
Since American students have 12 weeks of summer vacation, it is very common to spend some weeks in a summer camp.

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In camp there are different job positions, you can be a lifeguard, a general counsellor or a specialist.
As it is a cultural exchange program, you will be working with Americans who are often former campers at their camp, probably many Britons (everyone in Great Britain knows this program), people from western Europe and even Australians and New Zealanders often take part.

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Types of Camps

There are different types of Camps and if you have preferences, you will be able to add this in you application. These are the camp types:

  • Private Camps
  • Jewish Camps
  • Christian Camps
  • Special Needs Camps (e.g. working with children and adults who have a disability)
  • Underprivileged Camps (Free of charge for the campers)
  • Girl Scout Camps
  • Day Camps
  • Single Sex Camps

I had no preferences in my application and I know have the honor to work in an underprivileged camp in New York.

YES, I WILL SPEND NINE WEEKS IN FREAKING NEW YORK!

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Working at Camp

You can either work as a counsellor, or as Campower.
Working as a counsellor means looking after the kids and you usually share a bunk with them and your co-counsellors. You will also be involved in different activities the campers have every day. Another option is being a specialist and teaching the kids something. You can basically be a specialist for every kind of sports.
Dance, soccer, basketball, equestrian, ropes, tennis etc.
But camps need also specialists for arts and crafts, nature, they need lifeguards, or even specialists for girl power.
In general, working at camp can be a very, very rewarding experience!

Campower staff can be working in a kitchen or be part of the maintenance staff. Basically they experience camp in a different way than the counsellors, since they are not responsible for the kids.

I will be working as a general counsellor and also as an arts and crafts specialist, which means I will be doing arts projects with the kids and also be a counsellor.
I really hope that I can also occasionally teach ballet or jazz modern classes, but the dance counsellor job in our camp mainly focussed on hip hop and street dance, which I am definitely not good at 😂

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How to apply for Camp America

If you want to spend your summer working at a camp in the USA, you need to apply on the CA-website or if you are German, at AIFS. You also need to be free at least from mid June till September. The application process is quite extensive.

You have to write a lot about yourself, why you want to work at a camp, tell them about the experience you have with children, you need at least two skills you can write about (sports, art etc.) and need two references from your teacher or trainer (must not be part of your family).
Additionally, you need to film a video about yourself, presenting your skills and your life, you have to fill in a medical form with your doctor’s signature, you need a certificate of good conduct and CA or AIFS will interview you.

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After your interview with your organization where they will make sure that you are capable of doing such a job, your application will be uploaded and all camp directors have access to it. If they are interested in hiring you, they will contact you and arrange a interview via skype. If they think you are suitable for a job at their camp they will ask if they can hire you. Now that you are hired, you have to apply for a VISA and go to a local embassy to get it approved. During your summer, you will have a medical insurance and if you are a „first year“, they will also book your flights and care of almost everything.
Now you can prepare yourself for camp, get in touch with other counsellors and be over excited for the hopefully best summer of your life 😄!

After your time at camp, you will have another four weeks to travel in the country, usually internationals will travel together, but you can also travel alone or book a Camp America-Track. This part is of course optional and you can choose the amount of days you would like to spend travelling.

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What do you think about this program? Would you be interested in working in a summer camp in the United States?

xx, (overly-excited) Sophie

 

Pictures in this post are not mine, they are from the movie „The Parent Trap“ with Lindsay Lohan from 1998. If you click on the images, you will directly get to the source where I found them.