Thursday, August 14, 2008

Using Less... Soap?

This tip of the day all started at work. Cinnamon Carl always teases me about all the things I'm doing to "go green." He also claims that he is going to counteract everything I do with something un-eco-friendly. (I hope he's joking.) Mrs. Rizzo thought that was hysterical and prompted me to continue telling him all my ways of greening myself. And so, the Green Tip of the Day was born. (Don't worry, I've already offset Carl's determined counteractions by having some of my co-workers switch to the Diva Cup and ask for my homemade deodorant sample!)

Since I was sending my co-workers e-mails with my tips that a lot of times would link to my blog, I figured I'd just start writing the tips on my blog and simply have them come here.

So for today's tip, I am talking about using less (specifically, soap). That's what going green is really about, living sustainably on what we have, and buying less of what we need and re-thinking what we don't. Plus, as was pointed out in this article, many of the chemicals and ingredients that are in our soaps, body washes, and other cleansing products are harming sea life and other species.

I'm not saying that I think people should give up soap, although there are some people who swear by it. I myself have cut down a lot in this area, already going the no 'poo route as well as the oil-cleansing method.

I've heard that you really don't need soap, just a good scrub-down with a loofah or washcloth. I do still soap up the pits and the nether regions, but as for the limbs, all they get is a good loofahing. (Here's some info on growing your own loofah!) The feet just get baking soda. (I tried using baking soda on the underarms, but it seemed a little too harsh on delicate skin.)

I found this soap in my local Mexican market, and it contains only neutral soap base, glycerine, and perfume.

Nice and mild, without all the harsh ingredients. And it lasts a long time, since I only use a tiny bit in the shower.

I did go out and purposely buy some hand-washing soap recently, but that was in order to use less in the long run. You see, these are those foaming kind of soap dispensers, which automatically turn your soap and water concoction into a nice foam, therefore using less soap with each pump. And since you only have to fill these dispensers about a fourth of the way with soap, you're using less that way, too.

These were on sale for a dollar at Target, so I got one for each sink.

I figure that not only will we use less soap this way, we'll eventually save more plastic, since we won't have to buy refill soap as often. (I would buy bar soap for the sinks, but with boys, well, the bars would just end up dirty, gloppy messes.)

There are some companies like Lush that use very little packaging, and even have things like solid shampoo bars, which are supposed to last a very long time. They also eliminate the need for plastic bottles.

To answer your question, no, I don't stink. At least no one has told me that I do, and the people I hang out with would definitely say something. (The boys wouldn't even come near me when I hennaed my hair because of the stench.)

Seriously, give it a shot. Try just rinsing with water the next time you're in the shower, except for any bits you can't imagine not coming in contact with soap.

I promise I won't call you a dirty hippy.

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