Tips for living lightly

What is castile soap and why do we use it?

Castile soap is named after an olive oil soap that originated in Castile, Spain. It is a pure soap made from vegetable oils (no animal fats). Like all soaps, it is made by mixing an oil with an alkali (sodium hydroxide for solid soap, and potassium hydroxide for liquid soap). These react together in a process called saponification, after which none of the alkali agent remains. Here at Living Lightly Home we love (and sell) Dr Bronner’s castile soap, which contains only natural ingredients (most are organic and certified fair trade). This soap is fully biodegradable. Dr Bronner’s products are...

Read more →


A note about vinegar

White vinegar is an absolute powerhouse in the natural cleaning toolkit, and I use it in most of my homemade cleaning products. However, we don’t sell it here at Living Lightly Home, because white vinegar can be purchased cheaply from your local supermarket or food co-op, and it isn’t worth the extra shipping costs involved in sending it around the country. Every now and then people raise concerns about cheap white vinegar, suggesting that it may be made from acetic acid derived from petrochemicals, rather than being naturally fermented. The fact is, most supermarket (or food co-op) white vinegar IS...

Read more →


Tips for no-waste grocery shopping

Up until about a year ago, our family did most of our grocery shopping at the supermarket. Supermarkets seem convenient in that everything we want is available in one place. However, they’re not convenient for the planet, or for our own health, particularly with the mountains of plastic packaging involved. With just a few changes to our shopping routine, we now produce almost no waste from our weekly grocery shopping. We’ve also found that shopping this way is actually quicker and cheaper than when we used to go to the supermarket. Based on our experience of making the switch, here...

Read more →


Why we don't sell gum rosin / tree resin for your beeswax wraps

Many of the commercial beeswax wraps sold at markets and online use a product called “gum rosin” (also known as tree resin, colophony, gum damar, or pine resin). Many of the DIY recipes available online also call for this ingredient to be used to give the beeswax extra “cling”. When I started researching these products, I was alarmed to find that the Chemical Safety Data Sheet for gum rosin / pine resin includes the following warnings1: Ingestion of large quantities may cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and stomach, and produce gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. Repeated or prolonged...

Read more →


Why no-waste?

At Living Lightly Home we are committed to providing products that support a no-waste lifestyle. We aim to support you in switching from single-use products to more sustainable options that do not end up as landfill after one or two uses. Why? Basically – plastic is FOREVER. When we throw a bit of gladwrap or a plastic straw in the bin, it DOESN’T go away. Plastic never breaks down. It just comes apart into tiny little pieces which are now being found floating in seawater, and layered on the seabed, as well as in the bodies of fish and other...

Read more →