Thursday, January 3, 2013
I am thrilled to share one of my newest discoveries with my readers; at long last, I've found home haircolor that isn't tested on animals! Ever since I found out that Revlon's status as a cruelty-free company has been "revoked," I've been searching for an inexpensive, readily available, at-home haircolor that isn't animal tested. It looks like DeveloPlus Satin is it! The Satin line of permanent haircolor comes in 72 shades and has some of the best copper tones I've seen. DeveloPlus is PETA-listed as a cruelty-free company and the color and its developer are easily ordered from Amazon. I highly recommend researching a bit on the DeveloPlus site for suggestions on shade selection and on types of developer recommended for your hair type and desired result. You will need to buy your own gloves and mixing bowl or bottle for application. Good luck, all! Happy coloring!
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
Hi, Kind Ones; I'm finally back, hopefully for good. I've been Pinterest surfing way too much lately, and enjoying it out of all proportion. The time did not slide idly by, though, as I've been doing some experimenting with homemade recipes for laundry brews and other household necessities, many of which we've all seen on Pinterest, and have some tips on and reviews of some of these DIYs for you. At least now you won't have to waste hours on Pinterest looking for the best cleaning recipes. How I suffer for my readers . . . ; )
In today's post, we'll take on DIY powdered laundry detergent. Recipes for this are ubiquitous on the web, and I won't bore you by giving you a photographic odyssey of the process. The basic recipes I tweaked came from two sources: Savvy Brown and In My Vegan Life. Both sources used similar ingredients and are great recipes, which I, of course, altered slightly for personal preference.
Actual names of borax, washing soda, and baking soda are provided in parentheses below for those interested in sourcing materials from companies that do not test on animals.
1 cup borax (aka: Sodium Borate)
1 cup washing soda (not, I repeat, not baking soda) (aka: Soda Ash; Sodium Carbonate)
1 bar real soap (castile or laundry bar soap; I used Dr. Bronner's Lavender -- vegans, be aware that Fels-Naptha is made of animal tallow) (Kirk's Castile also works well)
Essential oils (if you want; I added quite a bit, but really didn't need to since my soap is scented -- a waste of good essential oil)
Baking soda (about half a cup) (aka: Sodium Bicarbonate)
Oxo Brite (an oxygen bleach; about a cup; see below)
To make, you grate the bar of soap with a hand grater, or in the food processor (so much easier and faster). Then you dump the soap, borax, and washing soda in a container with a good lid and shake it vigorously. Done. So cheap and cheerful, since you only use about two to three tablespoons per load.
But, I hear some of you asking, aren't most readily available borax and washing soda brands tested on animals? Yes, and there's the rub. So I'll level with you: this time, I used regular old mean 20 Mule Team Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda for this, since I already had them and they were starting to get rock-solid in their boxes. But, on In My Vegan Life, I read that oxygen bleach, like my good old dependable Oxo Brite (not tested on animals), is basically the same thing as washing soda, but with some whiteners mixed in. Okay, I can deal with that, as I am not going to use this detergent to wash my dark clothes. Both borax and washing soda will fade dark colors. You have been warned. I want to use this for sheets, towels, stained whites, our white slipcovers, and other light-colored clothes we have that look a bit dingy. In other words, for everything but my clothes, which are all funereally dark. And borax is as old as the hills, so likely hasn't been tested on animals in about a hundred years. I am, however, adamant about finding a generic brand so I don't line Dial's pockets. I am on it.
Please see the generic chemical names of borax, washing soda, and baking soda above to find non-animal tested alternatives (easily found online).
So, you ask, does it work? Yes. Swimmingly. It appears to be getting out what I thought were permanent stains, albeit slowly and with multiple washings. It works well. Now, if I can find generic borax, The Kind Carnivores will be able to save some serious cash on our laundry.
What some recipes for homemade laundry detergents don't tell you:
- Don't bother adding essential oils, or paying tons of money for great-smelling scented soaps (unless you want to or are line-drying). The only times you will smell the scent are when you add the detergent to the machine and again when you move your clothes to the dryer. By the time my clothes came out of the dryer, I couldn't smell any of the lavender scent from either the Dr. B's soap or the essential oil I added, which was really strong going in. Your clothes will just smell clean. Don't waste your money. I'm thinking of using Kirk's Castile soap next time; it costs much less than Dr. Bronner's.
- Don't bother making a scented fabric softener at home. Again, essential oils just don't make it through the dryer. Adding EOs to white vinegar is a pain in the ass, as I hate shaking a full gallon of the stuff to try to get it to blend. It won't. And you'll never smell it anyway. EOs on washcloths in the dryer? Didn't work for me.
- Vinegar in the rinse cycle, I discovered, is highly beneficial when paired with a soap-based laundry soap. It ensures that any leftover soap scum after washing is rinsed from your laundry. Given the potential vinegar stink factor, I'm trying out a lavender-infused vinegar. Hopefully the scent will last and I won't need to use commercial fabric softener anymore.
- I've read that balls of foil in the dryer help to eliminate static cling.
- DIY fabric softeners made with baking soda and white vinegar (and EOs) do not work. They can't, since by blending them, you have neutralized them. Remember the third grade volcano? It's a chemistry thing.
- Borax and washing soda will fade dark clothing! Use only on stuff you want to fade, like whites and lighter colors.
- You can dump some vinegar in the rinse dispenser to soften your clothes and remove any residue left by the soap, but it is possible you will smell a bit of it in your dried clothing. I'm working on lavender-infused vinegar to see if that will help mask the hardcore vinegar smell.
- As usual, pre-treat all stains. If whites are stained, try using hydrogen peroxide. If stains are on colors, I use Ecover's stain remover.
- And, as I think you know already, this detergent will not suds up like you might be used to, which is a good thing for front loaders.
- If you want lovely-smelling, scented laundry, and I do, you will likely have to use a commercially prepared fabric softener. There are great cruelty-free choices available now, so check out some of the Mrs. Meyers or Caldrea scents. I want to try the new Bluebell one from Mrs. M.
A disclaimer: I am in no way paid by or an employee of any of the companies I mention or recommend here on The Kind Carnivore. I personally buy all the stuff I review here, and am given no products to test by any companies. If this ever changes, I will inform my readers in a blurb like this. I just want to share my experiences and opinions to help those looking for cruelty-free alternatives to traditional products find the best, most effective ones available.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Hello, Kind Ones. Today's post is painful to write, and will likely be painful to read. But the work of Yun-Fei Tou makes it impossible to deny the harsh reality of animal euthanasia. I first read about Yun-Fei Tou's works yesterday on the blog Our Hen House. Jasmin Singer's article for Art of the Animal introduced me to the work of this artist, who takes photographic portraits of street dogs moments before their deaths in the gas chambers of Tiawanese pounds.
Fearing the photographs would be exploitative, I nevertheless checked out the artist's work on National Geographic and was moved to tears by his dignified treatment of these unwanted dogs. Yun-Fei Tou captures the pathos of these dogs' situation and the tragedy of their lives. These wonderful animals, domesticated and bred by us to be our companions, have been denied by humanity, betrayed by those who hold responsibility for their lives. Too often we say we cannot face the reality of these dogs' fate. Too often, we turn away from the dogs most in need of our care and intervention. Too often we think of them, when we think of them at all, as "problem" dogs -- they might be vicious or rabid or mangy. Well, maybe. However, these poor dogs are much more likely to have never been given a chance to be part of a family, to have never had proper medical care and food, and to have never known what it feels like to endure a human touch that is not abusive. These dogs are not the problem -- we are.
Yun-Fei Tou told Focus Taiwan: "I don’t tell people what they should do. My works aren’t propaganda or templates that instruct people, but I hope the images can inspire people to take action" (qtd. in Singer). I won't tell you what to do either, but I ask you, Kind Ones, to allow his works instruct you, to let these portraits move you to take action. You can campaign against euthanasia of adoptable dogs in your neighborhood. You can support the Human Society International's Street Dog Defender Program. You can adopt your dogs from animal shelters or pounds. We do not want to support pounds, but the dogs there are in desperate need of your attention and consideration. It is not the dog's fault he ended up at the pound rather than at a no-kill shelter. Please, please acknowledge the beinghood and individuality of these dogs and help them live the happy lives we owe them. Please.
Photo by Yun-Fei Tou.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Humane Society of the United States World Spay Day Portal. Thanks, all!