Hostel life at Flutterby House in Costa Rica has swallowed me whole and replaced my blog life. My multitude of hobbies combined with volunteering at the hostel, massaging, an exquisite beach, beautiful company & travelling only with an iPhone has officially put blogging on the back burner. It is however the land of inspiration, with beautiful, interesting people passing through all the time, sharing their experiences and passions. I’ve been diving deep into my naturalistic tendencies; my beauty regime, replacing lots of products with varying combinations of baking soda and coconut oil. Sure makes travelling easier, although a massive bottle of coconut oil isn’t the lightest thing to carry around! I’m trying to rationalise and economise on the essential oils I carry around too and I sure am missing my Rosemary oil!
The Flutterby is as eco a hostel as I’ve found and in addition to reducing its draw on resources by reusing & recycling as much as possible, it also uses natural cleaning products wherever possible. We use a 50/50 white vinegar and water mix to clean surfaces and also spray onto sunburnt bodies. Sounds weird but seriously it works! It takes the bite out of the burn straight away and I’m convinced it also promotes healing so there’s less damage to the skin.
This week in response to my hair telling me that 5 months of sea salt, no conditioner, no trimming and barely brushing was enough, I got a very good hair cut from my beautiful friend Andi & started using apple cider vinegar (ACV) to rinse with.
Anyone who’s ever had a pickled onion or vinegar on their salad or (guilty pleasure) chips might think it might be stripping to the hair. It’s wonderfully cleansing and conditioning at the same time! I don’t know the full science behind it but I believe it’s something to do with removing all the gunk from the hair shaft to leave it naturally pure and soft.
I found a ‘recipe’ online for a rinse with 1/4 cup of ACV with 2 cups of water, play around and see what works for you. I’m using a small jar with a centimetre of ACV & the rest water and it works well and no it doesn’t smell too vinegary!
After shampooing, ideally with as natural a shampoo as possible (I’m using lush’s shampoo bar and I LOVE it) pour a little onto your roots, massage in well and then concentrate on the ends of the hair. Leave in till your next wash or rinse out after a couple of minutes.
At the same time, our friend Joseph, the local chocolatier, inspired me to make my own vinegar. It’s so ridiculously easy I don’t know why we don’t all do it!! We are abundant in tropical fruits here and my first experiment used the leftover pineapple that I couldn’t get round to eating. I chopped it into smallish chunks and put in a glass jar with a cheesecloth secured with an elastic band over the top. Then I left Mother Nature to do her work. It’s super hot here and there’s lots of bacteria in the air, good a bacteria too! I gave the jar a shake a couple of times a day and let it basically breakdown into its own juices. After 3 days there was a liquid smelling like vinegar and I left it for a couple more days before straining it out to use for my homemade chimichurri/ salsa. Wow what a special flavour it added!
Next I’m trying banana and looking more closely into the length of time to leave it to ferment into its own juices. I also want to try using my own vinegar in my conditioning hair rinse and then do it with fruit harvested by my own two hands for the full satisfying permaculture experience!
Let me know how you get on with vinegar, your personal experiences with it and which fruits you try to make your own with!