The Bee’s Knees

For those of you who are up to date on your global environmental crises, the title of this post may have triggered a sense of anxiety by reminding you of the world’s rapidly declining bee population.  I assure you, however, that this is not what I’m here to talk about (despite the fact that it is a very serious problem).  So calm down before you stress yourself out and sit tight while I dish out some knowledge on chap-stick.  That’s right, chap-stick (well, technically the proper term would be lip-balm, as ChapStick is just a brand name, but who cares about technicalities, right?).

Until recently, I couldn’t leave the house without one of these bad boys: 

Burt’s Bees was my lifeline; it was the only thing keeping me from the dreaded fate of chapped lips – and I know I’m not alone in this.  My own mother once told me that if she was going to be stranded on a desert island, she would make sure she had a tube of Burt’s Bees.

However, unbeknownst to many, Burt’s Bees was acquired by The Clorox Company in 2007.  Okay, so what?  What’s the big deal?  Well, until recently, it wasn’t a big deal.  But a few months ago, Clorox donated a sizable amount of  money to support anti-GMO labeling legislation.  Regardless of  your personal opinions on GMOs, it’s reasonable to suggest that we deserve to know whether or not our food has been genetically modified or not.  Because of the less-than-transparent dealings of Clorox and an endless desire to “stick it to the man,” I now refuse to purchase Burt’s Bees lip-balm.

But that leaves me with a sort of dilemma – where can I turn for relief from the unbridled agony that is chapped lips?  Well, as it turns out, I don’t have to turn anywhere.

Homemade lip-balm is simple and requires minimal effort and time.  Gone are the days of having to support corporations with whom you don’t agree in order to get your lip-balm fix!  Plus, nothing says “I have sustainable habits” like “I make my own chap-stick” (this is open to debate).

Happy, sustainable, chapped-lip-free people

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 part beeswax
  • 2 parts pure shea, cocoa, or mango butter
  • 2 parts coconut oil
  • 20 drops essential oil (I use peppermint oil, but feel free to go crazy experimenting with others)

Most, if not all, of these ingredients can be obtained at your local health-food store.

Fill a small saucepan with an inch or so of water.  Combine the beeswax, shea/cocoa/mango butter, and coconut oil in a mason jar, and place the jar in the water.  Make sure no water gets in the jar!  Heat on low-medium on the stove until the ingredients are melted and mix together (I use a disposable chopstick for this).  Add your essential oil and stir again.

Now comes the hardest part: obtaining empty chap-stick tubes.  Trust me, they’re not easy to find, so I recommend ordering them online.  Once your ingredients are all melted and mixed up, carefully pour the molten lip-balm into your container of choice and let cool.

There you have it, your very own homemade, sustainable, anti-corporate chap-stick!

The finished product

Rock on, my sustainable friends.



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