Why is bar soap the better environmental choice?

I thought a bar soap was a hotel novelty for when I forgot to grab my body wash on the way out the door. I didn't think of it as trendy or as part of a lifestyle movement. And I definitely didn't think of it as a legitimate daily contribution to leaving a better environmental legacy for my children. But then, my wife created a bar soap with her mother in a kitchen in Claresholm, Alberta, and my life changed.

You can love a Better Bathing bar for a number of reasons. The ample variety. The colours. The artisanal craftsmanship. The aromas. The feel during and after washing. The simplicity of the ingredients. Or that it caters to every skin type. But one of the most popular reasons that we all reach for better in our daily care is because it is the better environmental choice!

The easiest environmental benefit to see is the packaging. A big hunk of petroleum-based plastic, or a thin piece of recyclable and biodegradable piece of card-stock. The check mark is an easy win for the Bar. But this environmental trend of solid soap being the better choice goes much deeper. Here are three other areas where researchers found a big environmental swing in favour of bar over liquid;

Energy;

According to our reference study, liquid soaps consume 5x more energy for raw material production and 20x more energy for packaging production!! Luckily, there are products and practices that allow people to reuse the packaging, but the raw material production and then the carbon footprint of shipping water-based product still make bar soap a winner in this category. 

Ecotoxicity;

In our reference study for this blog, it was actually noted that there are 'no ecotoxic emissions from the use of bar soap because it only contains natural oils.' What surprised us was the percentage of chemical emissions after wastewater treatment for liquid soaps!!

Table Showing Natural Bar Soaps Emit Zero Toxins Into Water From Use

 

Rate of Use;

It may seem like liquids are a bargain at the per unit cost, but we actually go through that volume at 6x the speed of a bar soap. That's right, SIX TIMES! This is why a single shampoo bar can offset three standard bottles of liquid shampoo. Your bar is a hyper-concentrated cleaning machine that when properly dried in between uses, can last months!

Bar Soap Impact;

Better Bathing bars aren't perfect. There are agricultural inputs and we know that agricultural practices have an environmental impact. The wood pulp industry is also not beyond reproach, with water emissions and clear-cutting both tarnishing the source of our packaging materials. But when compared to carbon footprint, fresh water ecotoxicity, and excess plastic packaging, it's pretty easy to choose!!

Why we #RaiseTheBar;

So, at the end of the day, is switching to a Better Bathing bar going to make a major impact on your environmental legacy? It won't be as impactful as switching to public transit, or cutting out meat and dairy, or installing solar panels on your home. But as a really easy to reach low-hanging piece of fruit that is also symbolic of a larger lifestyle commitment, we think it's worth reaching for every day of the week.