Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reinventing the Wheel

Though it seems that the most green change a person living in an industrial society can make these days is to consume less (though, wouldn't it send the global economy into a tailspin if everyone compacted not to consume anything ever again?), I find immense pleasure in discovering new (to me), perhaps somewhat oblique products that help me to achieve my goal of living closer to the Earth.

Along came bike-blended soap, by Gaiam, and I have been itching to post my discovery, but torn by my desire to post fewer consumption-related ideas (not to mention that I haven't actually tried the soap yet). But what could be better? It's created using only human power, contains only vegetable and essential oils, plus organic spices and herbs, and in fact promotes health in its factory workers. I use soap every day - and different kinds of it (which I've come to realize of late I don't really need) - so it wouldn't go unused. Then again, do I really need five different soap scents? I suppose I could give away a few as gifts, or just store them under the sink until I'm ready to use them.

In a previous post I mused on the lesser of two evils. Here, I wonder: Is bar soap better than liquid soap, from the environmental standpoint? My medical professional friends prefer liquid soaps, at least for the bathroom and kitchen sink areas, as it is better at deterring the spread of bacteria. I had been convinced for some time, though, that bar soap lasts longer and uses less packaging, and therefore is gentler on our Mother and siblings. So which is it? Bulk liquid soap, or minimal-packaging bar soap? (Presently I'm using a little of each...)

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