Monday, January 17, 2011

Sustainability of soap ingredients

Hi again,

today I'd like to raise a little awareness on the sustainability of the ingredients we use to make our lovely soaps. As you can see from the new look of this blog, I care a lot about the environment and the sustainability issue is what made me start soaping in the first place. The idea of showering, bathing and cleaning with something that not only is pleasant, but that also is 100% biodegradable and nice to our beloved and only Earth is something that makes me very proud and the reason why I keep soapmaking up.

First of all, stay clear as much as possible of PALM OIL!!! There are tons of reasons for this, and I know it's sad because palm oil makes great soaps, but do we really want our soaps to be cause of so much trouble??
personally, I prefer to use olive oil or rice barn oil, which are cheap and I know are locally produced. Plus they make a great soap too! I wish I could avoid coconut oil too, but it adds so much to the soap that I can't avoid using a bit on some batches. Even so, I always try to use the smaller percentage possible, so that the environmental footprint is at its least.

Secondly, let's talk about organic ingredients. As I've read in many places, nowadays buying "organic"-marked products doesn't necessarily mean that that product is made reducing its carbon footprint or the damages its production causes to the environment. Actually, the label and the certifying bodies most often than not unreliable (that's what taught me a friend working on quality control in one of Italy's biggest food retailers in the country), thus buying organic and sustainable products has become much more complicated than buying organic marked products. 

So how do we do it? Well, I'm no guru on this matter, but what I generally do (which is pretty simple) is I check where the product came from - the nearer the better, since it means less transportation therefore less pollution. I always try to buy season fruit and vegetables, so that they don't need heating or other polluting and unnatural means to be grown - plus they taste better and are cheaper. For example, I don't buy fresh tomatoes in winter or oranges during summer. And of course I try to grow my own vegetables, I have a small balcony, where I keep all the pots and stuff to grow peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, herbs and other things during summer. I love to do it, plus they taste sooo good after you've made so much effort into growing them, lol!

One last thing I do, is I try to buy from farmers or retailers I know, and I buy local milk so that I know it didn't come from far away. And lastly, for the things I really can't find here, I go to the natural shop and buy them there. They may be not as "organic" as I hope, but I believe they are still a bit better and greener than what you can get at a general discount supermarket.

I'm sure you have load of better ideas, and you can also check the green living section for more links and ideas on this subject. The important point I wanted to stress here is: think about it before you buy, think about all the chemicals and pollution the things you put into your soap could have, that could end up in your and your friend's skin.... and buy wisely! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Just to let you know I felt the same way about palm oil too. Then I found a company that sells substaniable palm oil so I feel o.k. about using it. The love post and you have some very good tips we all could follow. Rebekah


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