I got really pissed off at myself a few weeks ago. I was at the grocery store, and we needed more hand soap. There was a two-for-one special on my lovely Palmolive soap, so I grabbed it. Now I have one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen, but double the plastic consumption.
I didn’t even think about this until I was driving home, because until that point I was just refilling something that we were out of. I got to thinking about the BIG bottles of soap that people buy to refill their tiny bottles, and how that saves SOME consumption, but still adds to the problem.
That’s when it hit me: I spend SO much time in this one, specific store in my city, just smelling all of the great bars of handmade soap… why didn’t I just go and buy one of those, instead?
Well, now I have to wait until I use the two bottles of hand soap that I have, but I DID go directly to that store the next chance I had and bought the awesome, lavender bar of soap that is made by hand right here in ‘Schland.
Sure, maybe I’m supporting terrorism by buying soap that is made in someone’s kitchen out of liposuction fat… but I highly doubt it, since this stuff is certified bio (organic), unlike my Palmolive.
I have to mention here that I LOVE to stand around smelling things, expecially soap. Handmade soap, yeah!!! I am totally that girl that stands in Lush or at any farmer’s market stand and smells EVERY variety of soap available. My friends can vouch for this. I especially love lavender and chai scented things. So it’s shocking that I didn’t think to do this one sooner.
My friend Corrie told me a few years ago (before she got married), that she always uses lavender dish soap because it makes her happy, even when she’s pissed about doing the dishes. Ever since she said that (wrote that, specifically, as a response to an angry blog I wrote about ALWAYS having to do the dishes), I’ve had a great reaction to lavender as well. So I usually have lavender scented hand soap, since it makes me want to wash my hands, even though I generally don’t do it unless I have to.
Using bar soap instead of soap-dispenser soap is great and green on multiple levels:
First, it’s organic, which means that whenever the stuff goes down the drain, it’s not AS bad for the environment as the Palmolive.
Second, it comes in a thin piece of recycled paper wrapping, which I can re-recycle.
Third, I’m not buying a plastic container every time I refill that has to be recycled (if it falls into the category that can be recycled).
Granted, there might be a few downsides, but the downsides are up to you and how you feel about them. Obviously, hand soap might retain some of the bacteria from your hands that a pump dispenser won’t. If you’re a parent, this is like cryptonite. Second, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the nice and easily cleaned plastic dispenser. Third, a soap dish often has to be washed, and often takes up more counter-space than the dispenser does.
But those are each person’s issues to deal with. I’m ok with all of those downsides. And I’m excited to go shopping and buy a soap dish (insert Fight Club pun about finding a soap dish that describes me and my personality), which I will do when I have the time, since my two dispensers aren’t empty yet.