Friday, August 8, 2014

I don't know why it took so long for me to realize such an obvious thing: whenever possible, buy the powdered or dry form of items for which it really doesn't make much difference.
Purchasing the water content of diluted ingredients just doesn't make sense.

The density of water is about 60 lb / cubic foot (about 1000 kg / cubic meter).
1 gallon weighs about 8 lb (3.8 kg) and takes up 231 cubic inches (3,800 cubic centimeters)
Think of all the energy spent in transporting mostly water (80% of liquid laundry detergent, according to this article).


Some will argue that powder leaves unmelted residue on clothes.
That is very true and there is a very simple fix: dissolve the laundry powder yourself before adding to the wash. I use an empty yogurt container and a used plastic knife (I usually dislike those intensely but they are perfect for this use). A few stirs and voila! you're done and it was fun.

Bonus: if it's not liquid, it doesn't need to come in a plastic bottle. Your waste can be reduced to just a cardboard box. One less landfill issue to worry about.

Recently glossed over a rather scathing article about almond milk and other plant-based milks (which are my bread and butter, pun intended). They are right about the purchasing of mostly water. You know what? One can also buy powdered almond, coconut, etc. milks. The box seems expensive because it's so much at a time once dissolved, but I bet it's worth the investment.


I love Milk Paint which comes in small packages of powdered color (pigments mixed with milk protein and lime) to which you just need to add water. Seems like a safe and environmentally friendly option.

So yeah. Dry goods.


  1. I never saw milk paint before! No VOC's, and I love the simple paper packaging. This is brilliant!

  2. Milk paint is a wonderful product to use - it changes the experience of painting too.
    I wish there was only the kraft paper bag without the plastic inside though...

    1. So after reading this post, I visited a Roman artifacts museum a few hours south of Paris. The ancient artwork used milk paint. I don't know why I never pieced it together- these ancient surfaces were all colored with the stuff.

      Now I'm visiting my hometown, and my mom said the barn in back and some of the furniture in our childhood home was painted with milk paint. She told me it lasts for centuries and is impossible to get off :) It's just beautiful! I wish I had something to paint now.

  3. I had the same thought process. However, regarding laundry detergent, more salt is likely to be used as filler in powder than liquid form. In my ecological decision making tree, keeping water as clean as possible when I use it has even higher priority than carbon footprint. I do intend to make my own detergent eventually, and I just read somebody was using marseille bar soap in her washing machine without it gunking up. In the meantime, I am using about a quarter of the manufacturer recommended dose and my clothes are coming out clean.

    1. That's a great point about the water! Totally agree. I want to try marseille soap flakes as well - sadly they are easier to find in Europe (France in particular) than in the US. While researching the olive oil soaps, I got quite disappointed because a lot of them are not 100% olive oil, but are mixed with palm and/or glycerin. The only ones I trust to be really clean so far are Aleppo soap and Nabulsi soap. Thank you for the tip about salt! I will check my laundry powder asap. Also, I hear that polyester fabrics release micro-particles of polyester in the water when being washed, so we need to be mindful about our fabric choices as well.