Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homegrown Collective GREENBOX Review for June 2014

Homegrown Collective sends the best DIY GREENBOX ever.  Really!  This month's box is about staying safe in the sun!  Everything you need to make your own sunscreen (!!!), bug spray and after-sun aloe lotion bars are included in the box this month.

The boxes are sent on the 27th of the month and are sent Priority Mail which I *love.*

The Cost: $39.99 plus shipping.  Use code BITBOX10 to get 10% off ANY length subscription!

What You Get: Everything you need to complete a wonderful home project!  The first month I got a box I made lip balm and a sugar scrub.  The second box taught me how to make cheese!  The third box was homemade ketchup and mustard!  These are SO much fun.  If you are on the edge of crafty these are perfect.  If you want to do a project with your kids, this is perfect.  If you just want to test your prowess at being eco-conscious and/or a little more "sustainable," this GREENBOX can't be beat!

When I say they include everything, I mean everything.  EVERYTHING!  I'm so in love with this box right now.  Do you see the giant aloe leaf in the back?  Yes.  It's from a real plant.  I die.

 All the projects are designed to be easy to make.  And really, they are!  I decided to make the bug spray first because I'm allergic to mosquitos.
Now, I know that the real way to keep mosquitos from me is to use DEET.  But I still love to use things like citronella even though they aren't as effective (and I am allergic so I do have to be reasonable and use what works when I need to).
However, here at home in my garden, I am now using my new homemade bug spray!!  Yes, it was that quick and easy!

Here is the first stage of bug spray!  It's got soybean oil, witch hazel and dried chamomile flowers in it!  After a day of keeping this near my computer and shaking it as often as I thought of it, it was ready to strain.
Then I added the aloe vera (from the real leaf!) and the citronella and eucalyptus essential oils.  Pour it into the spray bottle that they provided and Voila! Bug Spray a la Sarah!

Hmm... I definitely need a better label.  Anyway, this smells so good and I just spray it around where I'm working so the little gnats stay away.  This was SO fun and easy to make!

Next, I made the After-Sun Aloe Lotion Bars!  I added a little bit of lemongrass scent that didn't come with the box (thats whats in the top right corner).

 I followed the directions and made a little double boiler type set up on my stove.  I filled a little skillet with water, then put a glass bowl inside it so I could melt the beeswax pastilles.  It took a little longer than I was expecting but I think thats because I had the heat only on 5.  Homegrown Collective even provided a wooden mixing "spoon".

Here's what it looks like when everything is melted.  It has soybean oil in it which gives it an SPF of 15 and I used the real aloe again right from the big leaf they sent.  The next challenge was pouring it.  If I had thought of that ahead of time, I would have used a glass measuring cup and not just a bowl.

See the cute silicon ducky mold they gave us all??  I'm so using this for soaps later.

My pouring skill needs to improve, for sure.  You do have to pour fast because it solidifies really quickly once you take it off the heat.  They provided rose petals which I was supposed to press into the tops of my ducky molds but I didnt get to it quick enough.
I also used one of my silicon cupcake holders to make a bigger "bar" and put rose petals in that.  When I poured in the lotion, all the petals floated to the top and are now embedded inside.  Whoops!
These pop out super easily because the mold is silicon.  They also harden up pretty fast and can be used within an hour or two.
I think when I do this again I will use less beeswax than it calls for because I found these someone hard.  You're supposed to be able to lotion yourself up after a sunburn, but I find I have to press pretty hard to get this to transfer to my skin.

VERDICT: I still need to make the sunscreen!  Homemade sunscreen, I can't believe it!  I love this box.  If you are the least bit crafty or if you just want to be a little more eco-conscious, this box is awesome.  It's fun to do with friends and everything is easy enough that you can make these with kids, too.  Besides the stove part, I suppose.  I have never had a bad box from these people.  I honestly don't think I can quit!  Love, love, love my Homegrown Collective GREENBOX!

If you want to sign up and get your own GREENBOX, don't forget to use code BITBOX10 to get 10% off your subscription!!


  1. I put this subscription on hold last month so I could save a little $$. Now I reeeally wish I kept it. This box is LOADED!!! And being out here I could use EVERY SINGLE one of those summertime remedies. I'm so regretting not continuing my sub thru this month :(

    1. It's hard because it is more on the pricey side, I know. It's so good, though, I'm afraid I'll miss something awesome. I so sad you missed out!! I'm sure when you come back, it'll be another awesome box :)