Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Not tested on animals – cleaning etc

The wonderful world of SOAP

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Animal Testing, Cosmetics, Not tested on animals - cleaning etc, Palm Oil | 0 comments

Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account? ~Jean Paul Richter

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Me (third from left) proudly displaying my soap bounty with my lovely class mates !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have recently dipped my toe into the wonderfully intriguing world of soap making, having completed a day class with Remington & Emmett.  I cannot sing the praises of this course and the gorgeous, funny ladies who ran it, Nicki and Cheryl, highly enough. (They are so passionate about the palm oil issue that they even sponsor an orangutan and reminded us to download the new palm oil app so you can scan products at the supermarket to find out if they contain palm oil or not. My kind of people !!). They also do some other alluring courses which I am planning to get myself into.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Suffice to say that when you slather something on it, presumably on a daily basis, you want it to be something which is not only kind and beneficial to your body and pleasant to smell but also not harmful to our environment or animals.

Hence, when selecting said kind soap, there are a few issues which come to mind.

1. Does it contain palm oil ? Palm oil is in so many products these days, including soap, and you may have heard about the devastation it’s demand is reeking on the forests in Indonesia and Borneo, resulting in orangutans and other animals having nowhere to live. So, avoid products containing non sustainably sourced palm oil. Palm Oil Investigations is a wonderfully informative site to find out more about this issue. Remember that our woeful labelling system still enables palm oil to be referred to as “vegetable oil” (bring in the palm oil app I say).

2. Does it contain animal products ? The type of animal product often found in soap and it’s acceptability to you will vary. It can be anything from the very common (and gross sounding) ingredient of beef or pig fat (labelled as sodium tallowate)  to goats milk, lanolin and honey.

3. Has it been tested on animals ? Animal testing is still regularly carried out on many cosmetic and hygiene products such as soap which is so sad and unnecessary. Please don’t financially support companies who continue to do so. With so many companies out there taking a stand against animal testing, it does not make any sense to support the greedy, thoughtless ones who do.

The main stream supermarket soaps which most of us buy as they are convenient and cheap, don’t do well in these categories. The Shop Ethical Guide gives them a rating according to their stand on these (and other) issues. It’s interesting to see which of the big names fail so terribly (Nivea, coming in at last place, shame on you !). The Choose Cruelty Free list and PETA’s Great Cruelty Free Soap Bars are good places to hunt down an ethical soap.

My fella is a massive fuss pot and will only buy the likes of Coles Revitalising Citrus Fresh Soap (or anything else on special). I attribute this to him being a bloke with zero interest in soap – and wanting something cheap and convenient. It has an overwhelming citrusy smell (no doubt attributed to the Ethidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 21100 and CI 12120 found in the list of ingredients on the back !)- perhaps to disguise the rendered beef fat it contains – mmm, mmmm !! . So, I am on the hunt for an acceptable substitute, complete with a pre-requisite of rounded edges (!).

Soaps I covet ?

I hold Veronica Foale Essentials from Tasmania solely responsible for my recurring fantasy of sitting in my (as yet non existent) country cottage after fleeing my government job, whimsically making my living by selling my beautifully scented soaps, as all my rescue animals frolic about the undulating green hills outside. I love her warts n’ all writing style too which can be found on her blog (seriously, check it out, she is a great writer). A large number of her soaps are animal product free, all are palm oil free and the combination of scents are just delectable (Caramel Apple Cider anyone ??). She sells at markets around Hobart but they can be easily ordered on line too – it is a perfect time to order too with a 15 % discount available right now as her business celebrates it’s first birthday.

As for the larger companies, I am a fan of :

Biologika : Hand and body washes galore (we have the lemon myrtle one – t’is lovely) as well as some fab sounding soap bars. Very affordable, ethical, cruelty free Australian company.

Lush : – their range is massive and the cheese wheel like wedges of delights never fail to suck me in when I venture into their shops. The “Honey I washed the Kids” is my fave. What could one not like about being slathered in honeycomb and toffee ? Lush, in general, is such a good, kind business to buy from in all respects.

Dr Bronner’s Castile Soaps – I’ve been buying the big 950ml liquid soaps but they do the cakes of soap too (as well as other things such as toothpaste). Beautiful scents (cherry blossom and citrus orange are in my shower right now), affordably priced and oozing with virtuous credentials. They are Leaping Bunny accredited (ie no animal testing), vegan and give back financially to a whole array of wonderful causes such as Compassion In World Farming. Lovely rags to riches tale too which is always good when it’s happened to a nice person which Dr Bronner most certainly was.

Finally, to wrap up……

Does anybody else frugally take hotel soaps with them when they leave ? I tend to do so due to 1. a fore mentioned frugality and 2. not being able to reconcile with the fact that this almost full cake of soap is going to be thrown away after just a couple of lathers of my skin. Cringe-fully wasteful.  Luckily, to assist with this dilemma, in steps Soap Aid, who have identified this need by collecting barely used soaps from hotels around Australia, making them into fresh bars and shipping them off to be distributed in India and other disadvantaged countries where children die from hygiene related illnesses from not washing their hands. What a brilliant initiative.

Any thing soap related you want to share ? I love hearing from you !

 

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Laundry

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Not tested on animals - cleaning etc | 2 comments

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do” – Jana Stanfield

 

laundry

 

 

There is a two fold purpose for this not very scintillating sounding blog topic.

1. Public humiliation in order to make me clean up our disgrace of a laundry.

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Before……horror scene !

 

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1 hour later !!!!

2. To promote some animal and environmentally friendly laundry options (as well as demonising some of the well known brands who still test on animals).

Many of us make an effort to ensure our shampoos and make up have not been tested on animals but forget that the many items that we use around the house are also often tested on animals and / or are harmful for the environment. I hope that the following guide helps you to source a kind product and reward the companies who are doing the right thing with your patronage and avoid those who aren’t.

This page from the Shop Ethical guide is very easy to follow and points out the good, the bad and the in between clearly. This page from Animals Australia names and shames well known companies who still test their products on animals.

My household has been using the Australian made Earth Choice brand for a while which is very affordable, can be bought in bulk and easily sourced at Coles and Woolies. I like the fact that they also appear on the Choose Cruelty Free list and they are animal product free.

If you prefer to avoid the big supermarkets, Tri Nature ticks all the environmentally and animal friendly credentials. As do the products sold by the lovely company Ethikool who are passionate about raising awareness and funds for the orangutans in Borneo (who are losing their forests and lives to the devastating palm oil plantations). All their products are staunchly palm oil free and they have some great deals if you buy in bulk.

As for the well known companies to AVOID, don’t give your money to :

* Drive, Omo, Comfort and Surf owned by Unilever who get a big, black cross from reliable sources including the Ethical Shopping Guide and PETA’s Cruelty Free Guide for a range of issues, including animal testing and worker exploitation.

* Cold Power, Spree, Dynamo, Fab and Fluffy owned by Colgate-Palmolive are criticised by the Ethical Shopping Guide for animal testing (however they are reported by PETA’s Cruelty Free Guide as “working for a regulatory change” which means they only test on animals when required by law.)

Regrettably, in my mega laundry clean up I found some of these products (Comfort) in our cupboards. The great thing about this blog is that I am learning as I go too.

A rather gross fact that I did learn during my research was that Di Hydrogenated Tallow Dimethyl Ammoium Choride is a fan-dangled name for horse / sheep fat often found in fabric softner. I much prefer the Spotless crew’s (Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming) alternative suggestion of putting equal parts bicarb soda and vinegar in with your rinse water for your towels and sheets. I also like their tip of adding lemon juice to rinse water to  whiten whites. Much less toxic sounding option than bleach.

How do your laundry products stack up in the kindness stakes ?

If you want to learn more about animal testing – the suffering it involves, why it is unnecessary and what you can do to help combat it, visit the informative Humane Research Australia site.

 

 

 

 

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