What Makes Eco-Friendly Soap?
In the past few decades, environmental awareness has taken center stage in almost everything we do. Society has become increasingly aware of what our way of living has done to the environment and how much of the damage is still reversible, or at least can be stopped, if we act now. Because of this, many people have occupied themselves with making sure their purchase eco-friendly products. Companies also try to manufacture products with an eco-friendly stamp. One such product is eco-friendly soap.
There are many things that make a product eco-friendly. In the case of soap, it involves the labeling or packaging, the ingredients, and the process used to make the product. The first factor, labeling and packaging, involves what is used to package the soap. Ideally, companies should use biodegradable materials because this will have less effect on the environment. The cardboard boxes bar soaps come in make perfect packaging. However, the plastic bottles that liquid soap comes in is far from ideal because this will not biodegrade and will just act as a pollutant long after the product has been used.
The second factor involves the ingredients used to make the soap. Eco-friendly soap should be made with natural products. The main ingredients are lye, oils, and a softening agent. With these three ingredients alone, hundreds of different types of soap can be made. Ideally, there should be no chemicals and no synthetic materials in the soap. Chemicals and synthetic materials often leave by-products that turn into waste either during the process of making the soap or as the soap is used. A study done on drain systems in the United States has shown that the toxins found in commercial soaps are at their worst once they've been washed away and have gone down the drain. The chemicals pollute the water, and these have been linked to birth defects and a variety of illness.
Third, and finally, comes the process of making the soap itself. Large batches of soap made by commercial companies often use chemicals, which means the process used to make them is harmful to the environment. Ideally, soap should be made in the most natural way as possible, letting the lye react with the oil and allowing the final product to cure. Speeding up the process often involves chemicals, and this is less than ideal both for consumer and the environment.
Some commercial companies have focused on eco-friendly soap making, but this often results in expensive soap. Not only because they have to use all natural soap ingredients, but also because they have to pay for packaging and shipping, which also cost money and leave a larger carbon footprint. Taking these things into consideration, it is much better to make your own soap. However, for those who aren't inclined towards soap making, buying homemade soap is the next best thing.
Eco-friendly soap is worth the extra expense because it is really good for the skin and doesn't release any toxins. It is also worth it because the products are all natural and tend to last longer than their commercial counterparts. A combination of good ingredients, biodegradable packaging, and following a process without chemicals makes the best soap. All these factors are fulfilled when creating your own soap at home!