SWITCHING TO SOAP

Soap -

SWITCHING TO SOAP

In an effort to reduce plastic waste, many people are swapping their shower gels for soap bars. Here is why swapping gels for soaps can help benefit the environment: 

Soap is produced by a chemical reaction called saponification. Saponification is when an alkaline solution, usually lye, is combined with fats or oils to cause a chemical reaction. This reaction turns the original ingredients into a mixture of salt and fatty acids; a completely different chemical structure than the sum of the original ingredients. 

Lye itself generally has a low environmental footprint because it is a by-product of the chemical industry, and combining lye with other natural ingredients and plastic-free packaging can make soaps a much more eco-friendly way of keeping fresh. 

That said, here are some other ingredients to avoid:

Palm Oil
This comes from the palm fruit and it's uses contribute to the deforestation of ancient forests, endangering wildlife and destroying communities.
Non-organic Oils and other non-organic Ingredients
Non-organic ingredients may come from crops that have been genetically modified. These crops weaken ecosystems, deplete soils, and require fertilizers and pesticides which pollute soil and groundwater. 
Animal Fats (Tallow)
Animal fat used in soap is a by-product of the meat industry, and therefore the environmental impacts are those of the livestock and meat processing industries. 
This includes intensive use of water, land and energy, 14.5% of the global total of greenhouse gas emissions, mass deforestation, and high levels of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions. Look for vegan soaps to avoid soaps that contain animal fats.
Man-made Ingredients:
Other cleansing, foaming, moisturising, emulsifying and hardening agents used in soap can be either naturally derived from plants, vegetables, minerals and animal by-products such as honey or milk, or artificially manipulated in a lab in ways that don't occur in nature.
Artificial ingredients are less environmentally friendly, because the production of these ingredients causes more impact to the environment. These chemicals also eventually end up in our water supply system and are harmful to marine life. 
Ingredients tested on Animals:
Many ingredients that go into soaps are tested on animals. Aside from welfare issues, animal research facilities are extremely energy intensive, cause air and water pollution and soil contamination, and generate significant amounts of waste. 
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To summarise:

 

Choose

 

• Organic ingredients

• All-natural ingredients 

 

Avoid:

 

• Palm oil

• Animal tallow

• Brands that test on animals

 

...And also look for:

 

• Soap in eco-friendly packaging

• Soap made locally to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation


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