As people become increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of the products we use, there’s a lot of discussion about reducing waste.
Have you ever wondered where sustainable soaps fit into the mix?
Find out what exactly sustainable soaps are, how choosing an eco-friendly soap helps the planet and how to use every last bit of your soap to ensure zero waste.
What are Sustainable Soaps?
For our purposes, let’s focus on sustainability from an environmental perspective. Let’s keep it simple and use the National Geographic Societies’ definition: Sustainability is the practice of using natural resources responsibly today, so they are available for future generations tomorrow.
Viewed from this perspective, we need to consider how the ingredients to make the soap are sourced, the process used to make the soap, as well as the packaging and transport of the soap.
Sustainable soaps are soaps that are crafted from renewable ingredients that can biodegrade, therefore leaving zero harmful waste behind.Using a soap made of natural ingredients is one way to promote sustainability.
Some commercial soaps contain synthetic ingredients, including forever chemicals, which are ingredients that never break down and may pollute waterways and disturb ecosystems when they are washed down the drain.
However, just because an ingredient is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s sustainable. For example, palm oil is a natural ingredient often used in soap, but it is linked with deforestation and loss of biodiversity due to high demand and ruthless cultivation practices.
Aside from the ingredients in the soap itself, you need to consider whether your soap comes in plastic-free packaging or not.
Reducing Waste with Sustainable Soaps
Plastic packaging is one of the biggest contributors to landfills. We use soap and shampoo every day, which means the average household cycles through a huge number of these products.
Many soaps come in plastic packaging, with liquid soaps being the most unsustainable because single-use plastic bottles are thrown out after use, even though they could be refilled or recycled.
Bar soap can be more eco-friendly because it can use plastic-free packaging such as recycled cardboard.
Also, be on the lookout for soap boxes that show that the cardboard is made from sustainably cultivated wood. These will often have logos that show FSC certification.
Bar soap is less energy-intensive to create than liquid soap and is also more efficient to transport because it tends to weigh less than the equivalent amount of liquid soap.
The Benefits of Natural Soap
Natural soap has many benefits for both the environment and your skin health. Eco-friendly soap should be biodegradable, meaning it can be broken down naturally by microorganisms.
After all, you don’t want something that you regularly wash down the drain to linger in the ground or waterways.
Natural soap is free of plastic and chemicals that may be irritating or harmful to your skin, such as parabens.
Parabens are a type of preservative that can pass through your skin into your body and have been linked with hormone disruption, although the studies aren’t conclusive.
Phthalates are another type of chemical that is used as a solvent in cosmetic fragrances and has been associated with harmful effects. Synthetic dyes and fragrances may also cause dryness or itchiness, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Using a truly natural soap is a good way to ensure you stay away from any potentially nasty ingredients.
How to Choose Sustainable Soaps
Sustainable soaps are all about reducing waste, so the most eco-friendly soap option is natural bar soap. Choose natural soaps that are not packaged or come in plastic-free recyclable or compostable packaging.
If you prefer liquid soap but want to follow zero waste principles, then choose an eco-friendly soap company that offers refills.
Finally, be sure to check the ingredients of the soap you’re buying to make sure there are no synthetic dyes, forever chemicals, or unsustainable natural ingredients on the label.
Give Sustainable Soaps a Try and Do Your Part for Reducing Waste
Now that you know what sustainable soaps are, you’re ready to make a responsible decision about which type of soap you buy. For a plastic-free natural soap that supports reducing waste, check out CleanO2’s sustainable soaps.
Our line of eco-friendly soaps is made with a very special ingredient: carbon captured from the commercial heating industry!
CleanO2 is the first carbon capture company to harness a carbon sequestration process to turn CO2 emissions into natural soap, preventing them from entering the atmosphere.
We don’t stop at using carbon capture to make our soap bars. We minimize our carbon footprint by partnering with local suppliers to cut down on shipping distances. (We also plant a mangrove tree for every eCommerce order, to mitigate emissions from transportation.)
We recommend using a shower mitt made with an open-weave fabric to help wick water away and make each soap bar last longer (not to mention provide fantastic exfoliation).
And no sustainable soap is complete without a handy soap lift to help it drain and stay dry between uses. Join us in helping the planet, one long-lasting sustainable soap at a time!