Important information for our customers and Do-Gooders
Why is Do Good Soaps and Suds promoting the decreased use of plastics so fervently?
Here are just a handful of reasons, but the bottom line is that we consume and throw away far too much plastic. For those who don't know, plastic is a petroleum product. Manufacturing plastic is not only depleting our resources, but uses an incredible amount of energy to manufacture. And like all of you, we've seen the disaster we've created with plastics in our oceans, waterways, forests and urban landscapes. The earth cannot tolerate any more. Just in case that's not enough information, here are those handful of reasons we mentioned earlier:
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- We currently recover only 5% of the plastics we produce.
- The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic a year.
- Plastic accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste we generate.
Is sodium hydroxide (lye) in your final products? Why is there lye involved in the soap-making process?
Really, the question is, "Do you use sodium hydroxide (lye) to make your soap?" The answer is yes. We have to use sodium hydroxide. If we didn't use it, we wouldn't have soap. (Your great-great grandmother used the stuff to make her soap, we promise.) If you don't see that sodium hydroxide was used in the process, you've got detergent, not soap.
And the follow-up question is, "Is sodium hydroxide (lye) in the final product that I receive?" The answer to that question is no. By the time you get it, the soap has cured for over 6 weeks and all of the sodium hydroxide has been used up in the saponification process for making/curing the soap. That means that when this chemical reaction is complete (4-6 weeks after the lye and oils are combined to make the soap), the alkali/lye has turned the oils into soap. And there is nothing left of the sodium hydroxide. We'll do a whole blog on this chemistry lesson later, so stay tuned!
Why has Do Good Soaps chosen to use recycled/re-used shipping packaging?
We love fabulous new boxes with nifty logos on them just like every other North American. The problem is to make these boxes, more paper and cardboard products need to be made...and more forests destroyed. So we thought that our customers would be like us and want to save these precious trees...We've chosen to re-use boxes that other companies have already used once. We figured that our egos weren't really tied up with the need to show our brand everywhere...including that shipping package. We believe that having less ego is a good thing in an overly egotistical and branded world.
Does hand-made, small-batch soap really work?
Yes, it does. In fact, it's much better for you than all the commercial stuff out there. Remember, those commercial soaps use detergents, preservatives and all kinds of chemicals that are alkaline. They are alkaline for a couple of reasons: 1) to increase the shelf life of the product, and 2) to increase lather (which is absolutely unnecessary).
Are bars of soap hygienic?
This question is common because we've been sold the idea from the big corporations and Madison Avenue that liquid soaps are safer and have less bacteria associated with them. In fact, they call their "soaps" (really detergents) "anti-bacterial"...I digress. Bar soap is definitely hygienic. Yes, bacteria ends up on the soap after you use it, but so does everything. Remember our skin is a natural environment that contains bacteria, fungi and viruses that do not have negative consequences on our bodies health. The truth is that these wee organisms keep our skin healthy.
The bacteria on your soap bar are less of a problem than the bacteria you pick up from other places on your hands, like that cellphone or that door knob you just touched.
The "germs" on the bar of soap that you use in your home have no negative health effects because they are coming from you. Your body has adapted to live with its natural microbial environment. This is true of your family members who live in your home--you share the same air, germs and microorganisms. You've adapted.
And let's not forget, soap picks up the dirt and releases it as we use water to cleanse our hands and bodies. That outer layer of the soap bar lathers away and heads down the drain.
All that said, your soap bars are hygienic. (Isn't it even weird that we ask such questions when it comes to a cleaning product...a personal care product like soap?!)
Bars can be slippery and messy. Why use them? Are there any suggestions to make them easier to use?
Yes, soap can be slippery. Use a washcloth or a soap satchet/bag. Do Good Soaps and Suds will be putting out a few items in the next few months that might help you out if you have a touch of "fumble fingers"!
What ingredients does Do Good Soaps and Suds use?
Our ingredients vary depending on the product. But the bottom line is that everything here is all-natural. You won't find any preservatives, chemicals or unpronounceable words in anything that we make. You'll find on each of the product pages, a list of the ingredients used. We like to say that "love" is the first ingredient for each soap, lotion, balm, shampoo and deodorant we create.
How long do your all-natural products last?
Natural products that do not use preservatives, alkaline products or other chemicals to stabilize the soap need to be used within 6 months to a year from the date of purchase. The reason for this is simple. Natural ingredients and essential oils break down. You've heard it said, "Use it or lose it." That is an appropriate rule for all-natural soaps and personal care products.
Does Do Good Soaps and Suds direct any of their proceeds to environmental and other Do-Good organizations out there?
We are studying several worthy organizations out there for receiving 1-5% of our proceeds. Currently, we are considering the Jane Goodall Foundation, Earth Watch and the Natural Resources Defense Fund.
I have other questions, how can I reach you?
You can always reach us via firstname.lastname@example.org for general questions, and for ideas for the Do-Gooder Blog you can email email@example.com.