News + Information
Washing Our Hands of Palm Oil April 17 2017, 0 Comments
Did you know Palm Oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil in the world? Palm and its derivatives are in about 50% of all packages products on store shelves and 70% of all cosmetics. It’s also a primary ingredient in soap. It’s inexpensive, easy to use and helps make a great bar of soap. But it comes at a steep cost to the environment.
You are probably aware of the bad rap Palm Oil is receiving. Palm Oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction and driving a number of species like the Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Elephant and the Sumatran and Bornean orangutan to the brink of extinction. https://www.ran.org/palm_oil
At Earth Soap Company, we have always used Sustainable Palm Oil, but RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified Palm Oil has been under fire for several years from environmentalists and organizations who feel it is not doing enough to protect the forests or animals and is nothing more than a greenwashing scheme. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Forests-Reports/Certifying-Destruction/
Therefore, over the last year, we have switched all of our soaps over to a Palm-Free formula and we are thrilled with the results. The premium oils and nut butters we are using to replace palm oil lend to an even creamier more luxurious lather!
We realize there is no easy answer on the palm oil issue https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-palm-oil-successful-rspo-certification and we will continue to put pressure on producers to improve the sustainability of palm oil production.
Until we are certain that RSPO certification does mean protection of forests, human rights and species, we will continue to be palm free.
5 Easy Green Resolutions for 2017 January 05 2017, 0 Comments
Go Green this Spring! March 23 2015, 0 Comments
It’s officially Spring and there is no better time to make a few simple changes for a greener life-style. Join us in Going Green[er] this Spring. You don’t have to start living a "zero waste" life, though that would be something to aspire to, and you don’t need to stop showering (please don’t). There are plenty of small, simple changes you can make that add up to a greener life-style. You may not feel like you can make a big difference, but if we ALL take a step towards being greener; now that could be a serious impact.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi
Stay tuned for our daily tips and in the meantime, here are a few websites to get you started:
EarthShare provides free green tips, categorized by season.
Green is Universal offers some easy ways you can start to live greener.
GreenPeace lists tips to help create a healthier environment for you and your family, as well as for the Earth.
And for the kids:
National Geographic Kids has a number of tips, and to really get the kids involved, check out Earth Saver’s Club for Kids. They have tips, games and projects. Kids can even join as a member and take a Pledge to help save the planet.
"Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference." - Jane Goodall
One of my favorite ways to make an impact is to always carry a bag (paper or biodegradable, of course) with me on walks and pick up any trash I come across. Comment below and let us know your favorite tips for going green this spring.
Tips to Reduce Food Waste March 16 2015, 0 Comments
Try some of these great tips from the New York Times to reduce food waste. See if there is anything you and your family can do to reduce food waste in your home. We all can reduce our footprint by making small everyday changes.
Some of my favorite tips to reduce food waste are:
Save orange rinds, especially those from juiced oranges. Dry them and use as fire kindling, where they release a delightful aroma against the wood smoke.
Freezer bags are wonderful, but food is better if it’s wrapped tightly before it goes into the freezer bag. Label and date everything. Painter’s tape and a Sharpie work well.
Stop peeling so many of your vegetables. Carrots, parsnips, cucumbers and many others are just fine to eat with a good scrub.
Rinse herbs lightly, roll them in paper towels and refrigerate in a plastic bag with the top left open. Or, if you have shelf space in your refrigerator, trim the ends off a bunch, put it in a glass of water like a bouquet, and cover with a plastic bag.
Give vegetables some space. Allow air to circulate. Most vegetables are best left in plastic bags that are open and punched with holes. (Onions and potatoes are outliers. Leave them in a cabinet or pantry, alone in the dark, away from the other vegetables and each other.)
Keep lemons in the fridge. Wrap zested lemons in plastic, and keep extra lemon halves cut side down in a bowl or on a plate to be used for salad dressings. Put them down the garbage disposal to make the house smell good.
Read the rest at
Organic Vegan Banana Ice Cream Recipe March 09 2015, 0 Comments
Try our super easy, good for you organic vegan banana ice cream!
Three ripe organic frozen bananas
Splash of organic almond milk
Chop three ripe bananas into half inch pieces and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Place the chopped frozen bananas with a splash of almond milk into a food processor and blend.
Blend until the bananas are the consistency of a thick soft serve ice cream. The texture reminds me of a creamy custard.
Add in cacao nibs and walnuts, pulse to combine.
Sometimes I add splash more almond milk and a half of scoop of protein powder for a healthy after work out snack.
15 "Healthy" Foods That Aren't March 02 2015, 0 Comments
Here's the unfortunate truth about 15 "healthy" products that come plastered with health-related claims but consistently fall short in the nutritional department. Some may surprise you, some may not. Thankfully we have some suggestions as to what to buy instead.
Twig & Flake Cereals
Just because a cereal is organic, made with whole grains, high in fiber, or studded with flax seeds doesn't mean it's automatically good for you. Organic sugar is still sugar—and a lot of organic cereals pack just as much of the sweet stuff as conventional brands. Don't be fooled by high-fiber cereals, either: They're frequently supplemented with added fiber (read: not as absorbable) to make up for the fact that they're full of over-processed, refined grains.
What's better: Look for cereals that have less than 6 grams of sugar per serving—these 10 picks are a good place to start—and short ingredients lists. Go for whole grains, freeze-dried fruits, and unprocessed nuts, not artificial sweeteners or added fibers.
Most packaged chips that claim to be chockfull of vegetables are made mostly of potato starch or corn flour. Usually, the only "veggie" you're getting is a weak tint of color from vegetable powders.
What's better: Try making your own chips with real veggies with these 5 simple recipes. Or look for chips where kale, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts are first on the ingredient list. These "chips" are easy to spot because they look more like veggies and less like potato chips.
Photo by Michael Maes/Getty Images
In the coffee-shop sea of oversized croissants, muffins, and bagels, a fruit-and-yogurt parfait may seem like the best option. Many are rich in protein and calcium—and ridiculously high in sugar. Most have at least 30 grams of sugar, while some even surpass the 50-gram mark. Compare that to the to the 4 grams of sugar in a Starbucks croissant.
What's better: Head to the refrigerated section at your coffee shop and look for single cups of plain yogurt and some fresh fruit. Mix the fruit into the yogurt and add a touch of stevia or honey and voilà: your own fruit-and-yogurt parfait with way less sugar than premade cups.
Fiber-Fortified Granola Bars
Many high-fiber granola bars pack more than a third of your daily fiber needs in just 140 calories. But these bars aren't getting their roughage from oats or nuts: Most are fortified with extract of the chicory root, a tasteless plant that's high in fiber. The real problem is in the rest of the ingredients list: Many bars are littered with added sugars, refined oils, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives.
What's better: If you're going to eat granola bars, make sure the ingredient list is short and replete with naturally high-fiber ingredients like nuts and whole grains. We like PaleoKrunch Original Grainless Granola, which has 7 grams of fiber and only 6 grams of sugar per bar.
Bottled Green Juices
While it's nice to think you're getting all the benefits of spinach in a green refrigerated drink, you're likely getting more sugar than anything else. Some of these smoothie-like juices pack upwards of 50 grams of sugar per bottle, mostly from fruit. And although that's a natural source, it will still hit your bloodstream like a bag of Skittles.
What's better: Try a zero-calorie sparkling water or stevia-sweetened drink like Bai5, and eat your veggies (or juice them at home) instead, like with these 10 amazing green juice recipes.
See the next ten at Prevention.com
Why You Should Stop Using Antibacterial Soap January 20 2014, 0 Comments
For years, public health experts have said anti-bacterial soaps are no more effective than plain soap and water and have even warned of the potential dangers of triclosan overuse – this isn’t new science. Finally, on Dec. 16, 2013 the FDA issued a proposed rule that would require manufacturers to provide more substantial data to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps or pull their products from store shelves.
I recently read a great article by Joseph Stromberg at Smithsonianmag.com that lays out Five Reasons Why You Should Probably Stop Using Antibacterial Soap. The article gives some pretty compelling reasons to stop using anti-bacterial soaps NOW; here’s a rundown:
1.) Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than conventional soap and water.
"I suspect there are a lot of consumers who assume that by using an antibacterial soap product, they are protecting themselves from illness, protecting their families," Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the FDA's drug center, told the AP. "But we don't have any evidence that that is really the case over simple soap and water."
2.) Antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The reason that the FDA is making manufacturers prove these products' efficacy is because of a range of possible health risks associated with triclosan, and bacterial resistance is first on the list.
This is currently a huge (and scary) problem in medicine; the World Health Organization calls it a "threat to global health security."
3.) The soaps could act as endocrine disruptors. (Yikes!) Triclosan appears to interfere with the body's regulation of thyroid hormone, perhaps because it chemically resembles the hormone closely enough that it can bind to its receptor sites. There are worries that it could lead to problems such as infertility, artificially-advanced early puberty, obesity and cancer.
4.) The soaps might lead to other health problems, too. There's evidence that children with prolonged exposure to triclosan have a higher chance of developing allergies. Scientists speculate that this could be a result of reduced exposure to bacteria, which could be necessary for proper immune system functioning and development.
5.) Antibacterial soaps are bad for the environment. When we use a lot of triclosan in soap, that means a lot of triclosan gets flushed down the drain. Once in the environment, triclosan can disrupt algae's ability to perform photosynthesis.
The chemical is also fat-soluble-meaning that it builds up in fatty tissues-so scientists are concerned that it can biomagnify, appearing at greater levels in the tissues of animals higher up the food chain.
The bottom line: Washing your hands frequently with conventional soap and water is still the best way to prevent the spread of germs.
Read the entire article here; smithsonianmag.com
To your health, you’re worth it.
Shopping for Safer Cosmetics; it just got easier November 18 2013, 0 Comments
We’ve all been hearing a call for better labeling, ingredient transparency and removal of toxic ingredients. Labeling of GMOs, removal of Trans Fats, even Wal-Mart recently announced a new Chemical Reform Policy, that will require manufactures to eliminate certain chemicals, deemed toxic, from their products and to be more transparent on their labeling.
As consumers, it feels like we are being duped with every purchase. Wouldn’t be nice if manufacturers felt responsibility to look out for their consumers by only producing safe, non-toxic products? Until then, we have to be our own advocates.
Well, the fight to get safer products on the shelves just got a little easier. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database recently released a smart phone app, Skin Deep. This app is a tool to help you, the consumer, make smarter decisions about the cosmetics and beauty products you are buying.
The first screen on the app list some pretty shocking information about the cosmetic industry. It lists the following:
- Cosmetics are under-regulated and commonly made from chemicals that have not been thoroughly tested
- Cosmetics manufacturers can use almost any ingredients they choose
- The federal Food and Drug Administration cannot require safety tests or recall harmful products
It gives excellent and concise information on the ‘Top Problem Products’ and ‘Top Ingredients to Avoid’. However, my favorite feature is the ‘Scan a Barcode’ feature. You can literally scan the product at the store, and an overall rating will show up. (You can find additional information on Skin Deep’s rating system here.) It lists any health concerns and even lists hazard scores on specific ingredients.
I particularly liked the additional information it gives on sunscreens. The app tells you the level of protection you are actually getting on UvB, UvA and UvAB along with sunscreen stability.
The app also has social media buttons; twitter, facebook and google+ links so you can share your knowledge with others. Isn’t that clever?
Anyway, I think this is an awesome app for anyone looking to make smarter decisions at the beauty counter, and who wouldn’t want that. After all, we have the power to influence the industry by what we buy and, perhaps more importantly, what we don’t buy.
Happy (and safer) shopping. You’re worth it.