The results are in and we have a clear winner. If you want a “green” clean, use a bar of soap and skip the liquids. Using a life-cycle comparison, liquid options have an environmental footprint 10 times that of a traditional bar of soap!
First off we can compare how they are produced. Manufacturers load body wash and shampoos with chemicals made from petroleum to increase their foaming properties and sweet fragrance. Then they package it in plastic (more fossil fuels). In contrast, a traditional soap is simply a combination of lye and natural oil, like coconut.
Looking at transportation needs, we can imagine bars of soap stacked in neat, orderly boxes. Now try to picture squirt bottles arriving at the store. All those curved plastic contours and wasted space equals a lot less product in each delivery truck. And their main ingredient is water, which adds to the weight of those trucks. More and heavier trucks equal a heavier carbon footprint.
Then, how do we dispose of all that plastic packaging? Again, only with a big environmental impact.
Finally, with a liquid we end up using 6 times as much as scrubbing with a bar. The squirt of a plastic bottle doesn’t allow for easy portion control.
Here are lots of “green” choices for soaps, shampoos and even dog washes. You may also find some locally crafted at your farmers’ market. See how easy it is to Raise the Bar!