Non-Toxic Cleaning

Spotlight on Vermont Soap

Vermont Soap is basking in the Member Deals Spotlight this week! From June 17th – 23rd, member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of their organic, locally made body care and cleaning products, so it’s a great time to stock up and save. Read on to learn more about this company on a mission to help us keep clean using natural non-toxic alternatives to the chemical-based personal care products on the market:

 

 

History

More than 20 years ago, Vermont Soap Founder and self-proclaimed “Soapman” Larry Plesant bought a small environmental products company that also manufactured small amounts of liquid castile soap. The purchase covered little more than the castile soap recipe and a machine that filled the bottles, but the price was right, and the Soapman never looked back. He was driven to create natural soap products as a result of his own challenges with sensitive skin and the lack of options available at the time for individuals who experienced adverse reactions to chemical detergents. From these humble beginnings sprang a vibrant local business that now produces dozens of home and body care products and ships them across the US and beyond. 

These days, Vermont Soap has grown by leaps and bounds but continues to pride itself on producing high-quality Certified Organic alternatives to the often irritating, chemical, and detergent-based personal care products now in general use. They manufacture handmade cold process bar soaps for sensitive skin, liquid soaps for body care and home care, the first truly organic shower gels, numerous organic nontoxic cleaners, and much more. As a member of the 1% For The Planet network, Vermont Soap pledges 1% of its sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.

Their website has a handy tool to help you determine your skin type and learn which of their products are best suited to you. Their blog also offers a wealth of resources to help you make the most of your personal and home care products.

Mission Statement:

  • Vermont Soap recognizes that human beings are now at a critical juncture in relation to our planet and that viable alternatives must be created to lead us into a sustainable future.
  • Vermont Soap was created to manufacture and market high-quality, unique and natural personal care products of usefulness and value; and to be an example of how corporations can be a tool for positive social change.
  • Vermont Soap emphasizes the wholeness and integration of the company departments through communication, participation in the growth process, and acceptance of responsibility among co-workers.
  • Vermont Soap pledges to conduct business in an environmentally aware manner emphasizing reuse and recycling, the use of natural base ingredients, and the application of appropriate technology.

 

Vermont Soap’s Ecological Mindset from Terrier Tenacity on Vimeo.

Spotlight on Vermont Soap

Vermont Soap is basking in the Member Deals Spotlight this week! From June 13th – 19th, member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of their organic, locally made body care and cleaning products, so it’s a great time to stock up and save. Read on to learn more about this company on a mission to help us keep clean using 100% natural and non-toxic alternatives to the chemical-based personal care products on the market:

 

 

History

More than 20 years ago, Vermont Soap Founder and self-proclaimed “Soapman” Larry Plesant bought a small environmental products company that also manufactured small amounts of liquid castile soap. The purchase covered little more than the castile soap recipe and a machine that filled the bottles, but the price was right, and the Soapman never looked back. He was driven to create natural soap products as a result of his own challenges with sensitive skin and the lack of options available at the time for individuals who experienced adverse reactions to chemical detergents. From these humble beginnings sprang a vibrant local business that now produces dozens of home and body care products and ships them across the US and beyond. 

Mission Statement:

We recognize that human beings are now at a critical juncture in relation to our planet and that viable alternatives must be created to lead us into a sustainable future.
Vermont Soap was created to manufacture and market high quality, unique and natural personal care products of usefulness and value; and to be an example of how corporations can be a tool for positive social change.
We emphasize the wholeness and integration of the company departments through communication, participation in the growth process, and acceptance of responsibility among co-workers.
We pledge to conduct our business in an environmentally aware manner emphasizing reuse and recycling, the use of natural base ingredients, and the application of appropriate technology.

 

 

Greening Your Spring Cleaning

Call it the cleaning cupboard’s dirty little secret: many household cleaning products contain a variety of toxic chemicals that can harm your family’s health.  These come in the form of carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, organ toxicants, reproductive and developmental disruptors, neurotoxins, and respiratory hazards. There are over 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use, most of which have not been tested for exposure to human health and the environment. Chemical exposure is increasingly linked to chronic illnesses including asthma, allergies, cancer, obesity, and reproductive harm. These chemicals enter our bodies via the air we breathe, through our skin, and through the water we drink.

In addition to the hazards associated with human health, one must also consider the dangers to our environment. The chemicals in our cleaning products are released into the environment through evaporation of volatile compounds into the air and also by escaping down the drain as a residual product. Once the chemicals enter our water, they can have adverse effects on water quality and aquatic life. We all live downstream!

What can you do as a consumer?

Read Labels

Cleaning product manufacturers are not legally required to disclose ingredients on their packaging, but thankfully, there are a handful of companies that believe in full ingredient disclosure. Choosing to support these companies with your hard-earned dollars is a vote for consumer transparency. Seventh Generation offers this handy guide to the Top 12 Chemicals of Concern to avoid in cleaning products. Familiarizing yourself with this list will ensure that you know what to look for when scanning labels. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) also offers handy resources to help you avoid toxic petrochemicals in household products.  If you’re interested in a particular cleaning product that does not list its ingredients, check their website or try contacting the product manufacturer. This extra step takes some time and effort, but the more we practice it, the more manufacturers become aware that ingredient transparency is a priority.

Skip the Antibacterials and Antimicrobials

To borrow a line from Sandor Katz, “the problem with killing 99.9 percent of bacteria is that most of them protect us from the few that can make us sick”. An FDA advisory committee study found that using antibacterial soaps provides no benefits over plain soap and water and can actually bring more harm than good, due to chemicals like Triclosan. Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity and has been shown to disrupt hormone balance and thyroid function. Additionally, Triclosan and other antibacterial ingredients may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Make Your Own

Another creative solution is to consider making your own cleaning products at home. This option is extremely budget-friendly and surprisingly simple. For example, vinegar diluted with a bit of water makes an excellent glass and surface cleaner. Making a paste of baking soda and water yields a fabulous scouring scrub. It’s important to note that “clean” does not have a particular scent; however, if you enjoy natural fragrances in your cleaning products, Aura Cacia offers an array of home care essential oils and recipes for DIY household cleaning products that are delightful to the senses.

Take Action

Thanks in part to a robust Come Clean campaign spearheaded by Seventh Generation, there’s a bill up for debate known as the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (H.R. 5205), which requires manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally added ingredients on their product labels and websites. Take action by telling your representatives that you value chemical labeling transparency.

Products to look for at the Co-op

You’ll find an array of non-toxic, petrochemical-free household cleaning products at the Co-op. Look for brands like Vermont Soap, Seventh Generation, Ecover, and Earth Friendly Products. You’ll find many of these brands featured in our Member Deals spotlight and in weekly sales throughout April and May.

Spotlight on Earth Friendly Products/ECOS

Happy Earth Day!! In honor of Mother Earth, it’s a perfect time to green up your Spring cleaning routine with Earth Friendly Products & ECOS! They’re featured in our Member Deals Spotlight this week and all of their products are 20% off for member-owners from April 20th – 26th. Read on to learn more about this family owned and operated company offering safe, effective cleaning products for people and the planet for nearly 50 years.

Their Story:

Earth Friendly Products, makers of the ECOS line of cleaning products, has been a family owned and operated business since 1967. Their team is made up of mothers, fathers, chemists, visionaries and pioneers who passionately uphold the idea that everyone should have access to delightful, affordable cleaning products.

Making ECOS products in their four carbon-neutral plants has enabled the company to keep prices low and quality high, shattering the myth that buying “green” has to be expensive.

Formulated with pure, thoughtful science and manufactured using Zero-Waste guidelines, ECOS is made in facilities powered by renewable energy. Created with mindful ingredients that are safer for people and the planet, ECOS is the delightfully Plantlicious™ way to protect your family and home.

Their Promise:

“We promise to make green cleaning a reality for all by using sustainable practices that protect people and the planet. By formulating products from the goodness of plants in facilities powered by 100% renewable energy, we empower a natural clean at a price you can afford. Made with love from the inside out, we hope you’ll experience the difference in each bottle of ECOS™”

Why Choose ECOS/Earth Friendly Products?