The treekids are students who live at Dickinson College's Center for Sustainable Living, aka the Treehouse. We strive to change our lifestyles to make less of an impact on the environment. But what really happens in the life of a Treekid? Are short showers and cozy sweaters all there is to being a Treekid?
We went on our house retreat this past weekend to a lovely cabin about an hour away from campus. Unfortunately, one of the cars got a flat tire on a windy mountain road after running over a very large rock. It was rather an ordeal, as the spare tire was also flat. Those in the car ended up spending 6 hours on the side of the road until the tow truck came to take them to the cabin. Once they got there, it was a blast. But treekids do know how to enjoy ourselves on the side of the road for the day- playing music, eating hummus, exploring, telling stories, and looking at the stars.
After a wonderful semester in Australia, it was quite weird coming back to Dickinson. My classes last semester consisted of meditation and sharing circles about our feelings on the environment. I spent every afternoon on the beach, worked on a community garden for credit, and gave my final presentation without even bringing shoes to class. After that, it’s hard to be back to real classes with real homework and papers. While I might not have missed how hard I always work at Dickinson, I did miss the treehouse SO much. The night before I came back, I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to see my house and reunite with my housemates. It has been a hard transition already, but made so much easier by the other treekids. Whether we’re sitting on the couch in the kitchen and talking, playing in a kiddie pool in the backyard, or just quietly doing homework in the common room, my housemates offer such a support system and source of happiness. After my first day of school breakdown, I was so happy to come back to the house to unwind. Since, I have found more of a balance between Australian life and Dickinson life (I no longer wear shoes in my environmental policy class), and I’m excited to have fun treehouse shenanigans with my fellow treekids this semester.
One of my goals for the semester was to understand what is in my beauty products, and when possible try to make my own. What I am finding out is that making my own products would be fairly labor and time intensive (at least for a college student.)
BUT that finding better alternatives to products is fairly easy.
If started out on a gradual slope. Last semester I began using Suave with all natural Shea butter, by far not perfect but a small step forward. Then, before the semester even started I started using Organix organic coconut milk shampoo and conditioner. It’s made out of egg whites and coconut milk mostly…and also very expensive for the quantity…so also not the best option for me, but so far I have loved how it has made my hair feel! I don’t want to go back to inorganic hair products.
I am realizing just how many chemicals are in the products I previously used. So my new challenge is to only use organic or all natural beauty and hygiene products for two weeks!
In order to do this I will be:
Washing my hair with baking soda (after I finish my other organic shampoo) 1tbs baking soda per cup of water (this can be increased with hair thickness and length)
Conditioning with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Also 1tbs per cup of water, only applied to hair below the scalp. Can also be increased for hair texture, thickness, and length.
Deep Conditioning with Organic Coconut Milk (most likely once a week) http://saisun.hubpages.com/hub/Going-Nuts-for-Coconut-Milk-Hair-Conditioner
Using a 100% vegetable soap (The Honey & Black Seed Soap pictured above)
Tom’s Natural Toothpaste
Tom’s Natural Deodorant (Not the best natural choice, It contains aluminum like most deodorants, which is not environmentally friendly and has been linked to breast cancer.) Hopefully, I will find a better alternative soon.
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm and Lotion
Some of the other tree kids may be joining in on my escapes.
It’s going to be quite the adventure. Feel free to ask questions about what I am doing and what you can do!
The semester is winding down which means lots of papers and projects and finals are coming up SO soon. And I realize that particularly for these bigger projects, I check Facebook A LOT to procrastinate from doing work. It’s not even like I’m doing anything on Facebook, I’m literally doing nothing but looking for something else to pop up on my newsfeed to distract me a little longer. So it seems that since I’m actually not doing anything on the site, it wouldn’t take up a lot of my time. Oh but it does. Every 5 minutes I end up turning to Facebook to stop the endless misery that is my work right now. But this is not so good for my work load. So last week I officially called it quits on my Facebook page and gave a friend from home my password to change it so I couldn’t go on for the rest of the semester. How has this impacted my life? First of all, I find myself still typing Facebook into the browser and then realizing I can’t go on. Also, I’ve looked to the Treehouse tumblr to provide some entertainment- we follow environmental tumblrs so this is at least semi-productive. Finally, my baking escapades have come to rule my life as I made apple pie, bread sticks and cookies in three consecutive days. I’m also running out of flour. As this blog post has been the most time-kill I’ve had in the past week, I must get back to my endless working. Wish me luck on the next few facebook-free days! Here’s to breaking the screen addiction.
I have been going on a BAKING SPREE! My new strategy for procrastination is baking things I’ve never made before. So legit, every other night I’m in the kitchen baking. I’ve made cinnamon buns, bagels, artisan bread and soft pretzels! This is what’s left of the pretzels I made tonight. Most of them were gone within the first 5 minutes of coming out of the oven. These baking projects all start around 8 or 9 at night, so when the treekids come back from long nights of work, there are yummy treats waiting for them. I’m already planning on making apple pie this weekend! =)