Use bar soap, shampoo, and more

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Liquid soaps and shampoos contain mostly water and require extra energy to transport; not to mention the plastic bottles they come in. Skip the waste by switching to bar soaps for your body and hair.


We may have grown up in homes with liquid hand soap, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner, which generally are not refillable. Unfortunately, with these, we are paying for a lot of water to be shipped across the country, or even across oceans, and for the plastic packaging to hold the liquid. That ends up contributing to large-scale climate emissions.

To understand why bar options are better than liquid, we can follow its life cycle:

Manufacture — Liquid soap has ten times the carbon footprint of bar soap. This is primarily due to the wasteful plastic used and the chemicals required in the processes (like petroleum).

Storage and transport — Bar soaps are packed efficiently, using less space as they are much smaller and lighter than the equivalent amount of liquid soap. Water is relatively quite heavy!

At Home — We tend to waste more soap when using liquid options. Also, for many, showering with liquid soap requires the addition of an item, like a loofah or sponge, which requires more resources to make.

Waste — Most plastic containers end up in a landfill. Even if recycled, the plastic process is less efficient than other material recycling. Moreover, the chemicals released from the liquid soap are harder to deal with and require more wastewater treatment.

These are all great reasons to go with the bar option! Purchasing bars of soap, shampoo, and conditioners is an easy way to save countless plastic bottles. One shampoo bar = three bottles of liquid shampoo, and in a much smaller package. Further, given the plastic bottle squeeze-to-use design, there is no more annoying waste at the end.

Lately, bars have become more common, so there are more and more great options to choose from. Check them out and join the trend!


• How do you use a shampoo or conditioner bar? One option is to rub the bar in between your wet hands to work up a lather, then work that through your hair. Alternatively, you can rub the bar directly on your hair, working downward to avoid tangles.

• Are options at your local store limited? Search online to explore other brands of bar soap, bar shampoo, and bar conditioner. Have fun trying out something new. You may discover it works much better than your current approach!

• Remember that not all companies that flaunt their green products are truly greener or worth paying extra. Basic bar soap is more than enough to do the job in most cases.

• To store your shampoo bar, it is best to use a soap dish with some ventilation to help it last as long as possible. Something simple that lets the bottom of the bar dry will do the job.

• When looking for shampoo bars, you might consider looking for the following types of products:

- Sulfate-free — Plant-derived sulfates may be better for you, while regular sulfates may not.

- Fragrance-free — Fragrances add unnecessary ingredients, including synthetic chemicals, which you may not want.

- Activated charcoal — This helps remove impurities in your hair and does not have negative environmental impacts.

• Consider going with bar soaps with a paper package or no packaging at all to avoid extra plastic where you can.

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