A simple “blue life” choice.
When commodity items like soap become familiar in a form that includes plastic, we sometimes don’t think about making the “old fashioned” choice. We’re used to a plastic pump bottle at every sink, and the sometimes slimey bar of soap seems like a messy choice.
Dealing with the mess.
Though liquid soap has been around since 1865 and possibly even earlier, it didn’t become mass-produced until 1980. Prior to that bar soap was the primary way to wash hands. A frequent complaint about bar soap was the slippery nature of the wetted soap and the lathery residue it left on counters and in soap dishes designed to contain it. Liquid soap in a plastic bottle is easy to use and all but eliminates the sudsy residue bar soaps left behind. Dispensers also aren’t slippery to handle. They are disposable and easy to replace. People didn’t have to spend time each week or day cleaning up the soap scum left from repeated uses of a bar of soap.
BUT Liquid Soap DOES Leave a MESS! Ecological considerations.
A 2009 study done at the Institute of Environmental Engineering concluded that liquid soaps leave a 25% larger carbon footprint than do bar soaps. Why is that? It takes more chemical feedstocks and processing to manufacturing liquid soap, 7 times more and that means 7 times more energy use and carbon emissions.
Other scientists found that liquid soap has 10x the carbon footprint of bar soap. Two major culprits here: The chemicals that are used to manufacture liquid soap, and the fact that the soap is packaged in wasteful plastic.
During use, liquid soap gets a little bit of bar soap’s lead back. People use about 30% less water when they wash their hands with liquid soap than with bar soap.
We use about seven times more liquid soap than bar soap for each hand wash. Even though we tend to use about 30 percent more heated water washing with bar soap, it is still the environmental winner. You won’t find slivers of soap bars washed up on your favorite beach – ever. That plastic liquid soap container is here for almost eternity.
Choose a bar of soap for YOUR Blue Life choice today!
There is another option – there always is! You can purchase a re-usable liquid soap dispenser and buy a huge container of liquid soap (and dispose of it for recycling or re-use when it is empty). That way you have reduced your negative impact by making a wiser and more blue choice.