Green Tip: Switching to Bar Soap

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I recently read some great advice. 

When trying to transition to a zero-waste lifestyle, you should work on one room at a time. I’ve decided that I’m going to start in the bathroom and work my way out, and you’ll see several posts sharing the changes I’m making soon.

The easiest rule of thumb in making sustainable changes is to take a look at all of the plastic things that you own and find ways to eliminate them. I’ll bet your bathroom is filled with plastic bottles and tools. I know mine is.

“But Kelly,” you say to me, “I recycle those plastic things.” So do I, but...

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Here’s why plastic is such a culprit:

  • It was created to last, like, forever. It doesn’t go away and just breaks up into teeny tiny other pieces of plastic.

  • It’s being found alllll over the planet in places it isn’t supposed to be. Just a couple of terrifying examples:

    • Little pieces that you wouldn’t notice drinking have been found in bottles of water. In fact, the World Health Organization has found microplastics in 90% of water bottles. YUCK.
    • Microplastics have been found in the skin of the fish that we’re eating. You’re literally eating plastic garbage that’s in the ocean. The same can be said for other products in our food chain.
  • Here’s a really great, quick read with other reasons why plastic sucks so much (emphasis on quick).

The Challenge

Here’s your first challenge. Finish up your last bottle of body wash and switch to bar soap. It’s that easy. While bar soap isn’t 100% zero waste, the paper wrapping or cardboard box it comes in is much better for the planet than that giant plastic bottle of body wash. It’s also not anymore expensive than what you’re currently using, making it that much easier of a transition. In fact, in many instances, it’s much, much less expensive.

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Here are some that I’ve been trying lately:

Benson Soap Mill

I’m putting my favorite choice first. This stuff is all-natural and made with locally-sourced ingredients and smells amazing! Plus, their tagline is “because you’re filthy.” I love that.

They also have a Soap Club where for a one-time price of $25, you get a bar of soap, a soap dish, 10% off of your purchases for the rest of eternity, and access to occasional free samples. I haven’t pulled the trigger on the membership yet, but it’s in my plans to. You can find them here.

Romzek Creations

I found some of their cute gift boxes and gifted them to friends for Christmas this year, and in the process, fell in love with their products. Their soap is handcrafted and really pretty. You can get a set of 3 bars for $12 here.

(While not soap, I’m pretty sure that their green tea & ginger whipped body butter is made from the tears of angels, even though it’s not listed on their ingredient list.)

Aveeno Gentle Cleansing Moisturizing Bar

A brand that may be a little more familiar and accessible at your local drugstore is Aveeno. I’ve loved the above two options for my body, but this one has been the best for my face so far. It’s definitely affordable, too, at just over $3 from Amazon (or wherever, probably).

 Plastic bottle waste versus bar soap waste

Plastic bottle waste versus bar soap waste

Locusts & Wild Honey

One of my favorite small businesses, their soaps are made from natural products, and it leaves my skin feeling so, so soft. I also learned a neat trick from them - if you put your bar of soap into a little cloth bag and let the soap lather through the cloth, you don’t lose any of the little flakes that fall off, making your bar stretch further! Find them here.

And finally,

Method Bar Soap Energy Boost

I’m a huge believer in aromatherapy and using scent to adjust your mood. I saw this in Target’s all-natural beauty section. I love the way this stuff smells, and its citrusy scent gets my blood flowing. Find it for under $4 here.

There! An easy, easy, easy change that is both cost-effective, not time-consuming, and frankly, not scary like some zero-waste changes can be. Are you going to give this a go? Let me know in the comments!

More reading:

Check out my previous post, The Best Birthday Freebies.