Living Plastic Free: Recipes!

This month, as part of LoaTree’s ongoing Better World Series, we have been hosting a number of events aimed at educating the public about the risks of plastic pollution. Each event has been focused on encouraging creative strategies to reduce plastic use and consumption, and has prepared participants for the well-known #PlasticFreeJuly campaign.

Kicking things off in our third Wave of the Better World Series was eco-adventurer, film-maker and well-known plastics reduction advocate, Alison Teal. She joined Executive Director of 5 Gyres, Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, for a discussion which highlighted local and international efforts to halt the rising tide of plastic pollution.

Alison Teal stuck around over the weekend to join LoaTree and Explore Ecology for a beach cleanup in Santa Barbara, which was followed by a Do It Yourself Living Plastic Free Workshop. 

At this workshop, participants were joined by Ventura-based ‘The Refill Shoppe’ to create unique, up-cycled products including produce bags, toothpaste, laundry detergent, coconut scrub, and dry shampoo. These items were made with non-toxic ingredients and taken home in re-used and re-usable jars and containers.

All the guests were so excited about these products, that we felt we had to share the recipes with our community!


Natural Toothpaste Ingredients

Natural Toothpaste Instructions

  1. Melt or slightly soften coconut oil on your stove or using a blow dryer.
  2. Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If using semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork, if not, use a spoon. If you are using completely melted coconut oil, you will need to stir several times while the mixture cools to keep the baking soda incorporated.
  3. Put mixture into small glass jar
  4. Let cool completely. Once the mixture has solidified, give it another good stir (the baking soda may be settled on the bottom.)
  5. To use: dip toothbrush in and scrape small amount onto bristles. Could also use a small spoon to put on toothbrush.


Dry Shampoo Ingredients

Dry Shampoo Instructions

  1. Put the drops of essential oil into the arrowroot or cornstarch and mix with a spoon. Store the mix in a small jar or old powder container.
  2. Apply with an old make-up brush to the roots or oily parts of your hair. Applying with the brush is optional, but it removes the need to comb through as much and is better for styled hair. If you don’t use the brush, comb the powder through your hair and style as usual.


Sugar Scrub Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar (white or brown sugar – preferably organic)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Optional: essential oils of your preference. We recommend citrus!

Sugar Scrub Instructions

  1. Heat up coconut oil on the stove or with a blow dryer.
  2. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
  3. Use 1 tablespoon as needed in the shower. Scrub skin with the mixture and rinse will. it will leave your skin feeling like silk.




Laundry Soap Ingredients

How to Make Laundry Soap

  1. Grate the soap using a hand grater or food processor. Grate into fine particles so it dissolves easily.
  2. Mix with the washing soda and borax (use gloves or a spoon as these can by drying if used directly on skin)
  3. Store in an air-tight glass jar.
  4. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Add 1 tablespoon of oxygen booster if needed… I use this on white loads.



Let’s face it, plastic is a problem. Which is why we’ve partnered with Save the Mermaids to join in on #PlasticFreeJuly: a month-long challenge to ditch single-use plastics starting on July 1st.  Throughout the month, we ask that you join individuals and organizations worldwide vowing to refuse plastic products. As you opt for alternatives to plastic, we ask that you document your journey– take pictures of the plastic you find impossible to avoid and tag us!

Join in on the challenge and sign up here >>>


The Better World Series is a year-long effort designed by LoaTree that is comprised of five ‘waves’ addressing some of the most important topics of our time. It seeks to gather, activate and mobilize participants through in-person events, intimate discussions, and digital campaigns.

Still to come in 2017 is our Sustainable Agriculture wave featuring a number of regional farmers and producers addressing the realities of farming and ranching in the era of climate change and other challenges (September), and our Art as Activism wave featuring internationally renowned artist Faviana Rodriquez, who will showcase her art while discussing art as a tool for social change and movement building (October). Email to join our mailing list or for more information.

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