Hug a tree.. February 8, 2019 13:49
You know, when I started this business, it wasn't out of any great desire to save the planet. I mean, that was nice, and all, but really, what can one small woman do?
The answer may surprise you...because it's actually a lot. Have any of you been fortunate enough to live in a community where organics recycling was a thing? You know...you can toss your coffee grounds...your lettuce ends...the food your kid swore they were hungry for... into an annoyingly biodegradable bag, and then into a yard waste/organics cart? Ever noticed how SMALL your regular garbage collection becomes?
I'd like to argue that the same principle applies to natural products for the home. In using shampoo bars, I'm no longer adding a plastic bottle to the "recycling". In using bar soap, there are no more plastic pumps. In working toward making my own body cream (it's coming, gang) I'm no longer using a plethora of squirt bottles made out of...you guessed it...plastic.
Plastics, you see, not only contain petroleum based substances, but require the uses of toxic chemicals to clean them for recycling. So, no matter what your intent in recycling - and it's FAR better than not - the processes that we have to use to get the lotion/shampoo/substance of choice off the plastic before recycling still are environmentally harmful.
Next week, I'm going to start playing with a new line - waxed fabric food wraps. I've got my testers all lined up, my raw materials are on the way, and I am ready to see what happens when I start playing with formulae for the coating.
Palm Oil January 7, 2019 20:26
Ohhh. This is big one. Every soap maker out there will tell you that "to palm or not to palm" is one of the bigger ethical dilemmas we face.
The wholesale harvest of palm forests has adversely impacted ecosystems. There is NO doubt about that. However, sustainable farmed palm oil, like that used in soaps from Mommy's Craft Basket, is a viable choice. All of our Palm Oil is RSPO certified. You can read more about that here: https://rspo.org/certification
The "big picture" reasons I have chosen to use RSPO certified palm oil are simple. First, by using sustainably produced palm oil, I am ensuring that the workers have jobs. While this seems like a somewhat reductive analysis, at the end of the day, families that have steady income have a better standard of living. They are able to educate their children (not all countries offer free public school), which in turn improves the lives of many. Second, it is a high-yield crop, which means, simply put, that a little goes a long way. Third, from a business owner standpoint, because it is a high-yield crop, I am able to keep my prices low, as one of my standard oils is a very affordable raw material.
The "small picture" reasons are even more simple. Palm oil makes a hard bar of soap - which means that it lasts longer. It also stabilizes the coconut oil's bubbles. And, finally, it allows me to make vegan soaps.
Is it a perfect system? No. Can we ensure 100% that there aren't issues in the supply chain? I wish, but no.
Do families like mine along the supply chain benefit by soap makers like me using it? Highly likely.
Does it allow me to provide a vegan, quality product at a price point that makes handmade soap affordable to many? Yes.
Lotion-free life January 5, 2019 10:39
Okay, I have to confess, that isn't me. This girl lives in Minnesota, and the lotion is slathered on my hands after I do the dishes.
But my body? This year that's a different story. I've changed nothing except using my own soap in the shower. I'll talk a little bit about the ingredients I use in later blog posts, but the benefits of handmade soap for your skin cannot be ignored.
My mom is a convert - and y'all, if you knew my mom, you'd understand why this is such a big deal. She's practical and no-nonsense. She doesn't buy into a whole lot of self-care. And now, she's giving her friends my soap as gifts. She hasn't quite convinced my dad to make the switch - we may just have to stealth swap it out. Because he won't use lotion - and his skin is aging, dry, and does the whole nasty crack thing. And in the winter, that's just painful.