I was not and may not always be a do-it-yourself mom. My children are young and we don’t have many obligations and expectations after school. This is prime time for experimenting with homemade dishwasher tabs, face washes, and recipes.
However, I feel we do need some store bought products in our arsenal. Why?
1) It tells manufacturers these items are in demand and we want chemicals out of our products. Money talks. Many of us are in a very powerful consumer group right now. We are already seeing some changes being made, for example Johnsons removing formaldehyde releasers from their products or Kraft removing yellow dye #5 from their products.
2) Convenience. Busy moms do not always have time to whip up a new concoction (especially if it fails). We already put a lot of pressure on ourselves. A shortcut never means failure.
We do need to be mindful about excess consumerism. Only buy what you need and recycle bottles and reuse to store homemade products. If a product does not work for you pass it along to a friend.
I love DIY mom’s, but if I will make my own laundry detergent is yet to be determined. I am still skeptical of Borax that is called for in many recipes I have researched. Castile soap and vinegar in the rinse cycle is working well (soft clothes) and has proven extremely cost effective compared to buying ‘free and clear’ laundry soap every week.
Our previous brands were not as safe as we had believed; we were another casualty of ‘green-washing.’
Below are my top trusted store-bought brands:
- Amy’s Kitchen
- Cascadian Farms
- Mom’s Best
- Plum Organics
- Meijer Organics line
- Among Friends
- Rainbow Light (Vitamins)
- Earth’s Best (Baby formula)
- Enjoy Life
- Nature’s Path Organic
- Happy Baby Organics
- Saffron Road
Bath, Body, and Hair:
- Shea Moisture
- Acure Organics
- Young Living Essential oils
Beauty and Skincare:
- Acure Organics
- Ava Anderson Non toxic
- Young Living Essential oils
Soap, Laundry, and Dish Soap. Non toxic Cleaners:
- Dr. Bronner’s
- Gaia Natural Cleaners
- Young Living Essential oils (Lemon, Thieves line of products)
Essential Oils: Young Living is my first and most trusted choice in essential oils.
I’ve added 4 more suggestions for the novice seeking a change to non-toxic living.
(If you want to view 1 through 4 from the post A Change to Simple and Non toxic products click here.)
Week 5: Watch one documentary about something, anything.
Download on your smartphone or tablet device. Watch on Netflix. Rent at the library. These films are poignant and eye-opening.
- GMO OMG “How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice?” 
2. The Human Experiment “The Human Experiment lifts the veil on the shocking reality that thousands of untested chemicals are in our everyday products, our homes and inside of us. Simultaneously, the prevalence of many diseases continues to rise.” 
See the Trailer: http://ktffilms.com/
3. Unacceptable Levels “A film about chemicals in our bodies and how they got there” 
“…you don’t have to take on the world to change it. Just pick one thing in your life – water, food, vaccines, the law…it doesn’t matter, just pick something. Become curious about it and start asking questions, and then find some of the answers – just like I did.” – Ed Brown, Unacceptable Levels 
Week 6: Make one homemade product you can continuously self produce.
For example, homemade sugar scrubs for feet and hands. It’s cheap (sugar, coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, and some essential oils) and easy. Also, an all purpose cleaner made with Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, vinegar, and lemon essential oils. (Always use glass with citrus oils).
Week 7: Buy one new product line that you can trust.
If you search for 100% organic products, you can rest assured it’s also Non-GMO.  I trust this cookie brand by Among Friends. No strangely named ingredients and it lists acceptable substitutes if you are vegan.
You can make them sans eggs and add ground flax seed for added Omega 3’s and fiber. We often use these as ‘breakfast cookies.’ They are low sugar and filling.
(Note: If a recipe calls for 1 egg you can substitute with this: Mix 1 TBSP ground organic flax seed with 2 TBSP water, let sit 10 minutes. Use as your egg substitute).
Week 8: Visit a whole foods or natural food store. Again.
Try a different section this time. I love the bulk food section. Cook with rice often? Give Quinoa a try. Love bean soup? Stock up on red and white lentils and make a new soup recipe. You only need 1 cup of dried chickpeas to make your own hummus (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon and some seasonings equals a simple homemade hummus).
This is fairly simple once you make the appropriate switches in your products and foods. When you find what works you stick with it. Please continue to utilize websites like http://www.nongmoproject.org/ and http://www.ewg.org/ for further information.
This is a step by step process and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Focus on what you can do today.
 The Non GMO project: www.nongmoproject.org GMO Facts: Frequently asked Questions
 GMO OMG documentary: http://www.gmofilm.com/
 The Human Experiment film: http://thehumanexperimentmovie.com/ Narrated and produced by Sean Penn.
 Unacceptable Levels film: http://www.unacceptablelevels.com/about/
Note: Rocky Mountain oils also offers therapeutic grade essential oils. I started out using them but switched to Young Living due to Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise of quality. To view Young Living’s product line: www/youngliving.com/genbumom