Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waste Not~Want Not


This is one of my favorite sayings. 

Around here, nothing goes to waste. Not food, not materials, not supplies, nothing.
  • 80% of our new chicken coop was built with reclaimed lumber. (You can read about it HERE.)
  • Our compost enclosure, our goats' field shelters, and the bunny yard are all constructed from wood salvaged in whole or in part from wood pallets.
  • An old parrot cage has been repurposed for use as our chick brooder (works GREAT!)
  • Manure from the horse, goats, or chickens gets added to the compost pile or directly to fields which will lay fallow to decompose and enrich the soil before the next planting.
  • Tin cans are rinsed and scrapped for money. Glass jars are recycled.
The list goes on and on, but you get the point.
Today's project was born out of my having finally finished shaping all the bars of fresh goat's milk soap I made HERE. I still have to cut pretty paper sleeves to wrap the bars in for storage, but I think that will be a project for this afternoon. I ended up with several bars of soap, some sample sized pieces and a whole bunch of soap shavings. "Was there something I could do with these?" I wondered and then, set myself to searching for ideas.
I found a post on Lisa's blog Fresh Eggs Daily for DIY Homemade Antibacterial Hand Soap HERE. I did not have all the ingredients, but I thought I would try it anyway substituting what I did have on hand. I liked the look of the hand soap dispenser created from a blue Ball mason jar. 

My Recipe:

4 1/4 cups water
4 oz goat's milk soap shavings
1 tspn liquid glycerin
1 tspn almond oil
1 tspn safflower oil

My Method:

 1. I poured the 4 cups of water into a stainless steel pot, stirred in the soap shavings, and brought the mixture to a gentle boil until all the soap is melted.

2. I removed the pan from the heat and added the glycerin, almond oil and safflower oil. Stir thoroughly.

3. Pour into pint sized mason jars.

4. Let the soap cool overnight. The end result is supposed to be a gel hand soap. Because I didn't follow the recipe exactly, I am not certain what I will end up with, but I was in the mood to experiment a little. As for the antibacterial aspect, mine is not- at least, it is not any more antibacterial than any other hand soap made with borax and lye. It smells heavenly, though and it only took about 20 minutes to make the hand soap from start to finish.

I do not have the pump to add to the top of the jars, but I am going to look around to see what I can come up with. I think that rather than buy one of these, I will simply wait until the soft soap I am currently using at the kitchen sink is empty and either refill that container or cannibalize the pump for parts. I like the idea of using the soap directly from the mason jar because I like the country chic feel of the jar. I also think the color of the hand soap in it is a quite pretty butter-cream yellow. And, I will definitely be using it to refill the bathroom handsoap dispenser when that is empty.

How do you reuse or repurpose things at your home?
Sonja ♥
Also, shared with Wildcrafting Wednesday Hop


  1. I love this! I try to reuse and reimagine everything I possibly can.

    We have a juicer and like to juice anything that is starting to go bad. I had some green apples this morning on their way out and I juiced them along with other veggies. All the pulp from the juice goes either into the compost or gets fed to the chickens!

    We used logs from trees we cut down to frame out our garden beds this year.

    Like you, we used reclaimed wood for fences and housing for our animals.

    Old ripped up t-shirts get used as rags for cleaning.

    I love mason jars and use them for food storage as well as drinking glasses and vases for flowers! Or sometimes as storage containers for odds and ends.

    Waste not, want not...for sure!

  2. Replies
    1. Good! I'll have to keep this in mind if I ever make soap again in the future. Great way to reuse the shavings.

  3. I like your philosphy and your nice, clear details on how you made the soap.

  4. Great idea! Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday! I try to recycle or re-purpose as many things as I can here too. My basement is filled with things I think I might re-use someday :)