Life

Why You Should Make the Switch from Body Wash to Soap

Bar soap isn't as boring as it used to be

Body wash is super convenient: it's already a liquid so lathers up quickly, you can't accidently drop it, it comes in a plastic bottle so it doesn't leave your shower shelf/edge/floor all messy, you can put it on a luxurious loofa, and it comes in lots of wonderful scents. So, how am I going to convince you to make the switch back to bar soap? Here are a few of the main reasons:


Nasty Chemicals

There are way more unnecessary chemicals in body wash than in soap. Things like phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and sulfates, all of which can mess with the way your body produces hormones or the ways your cells replicate, which can cause cancer. Many other ingredients like fragrance and colors in body wash may also cause skin irritation. That seems counterintuitive, no? Shouldn't the soap remove things that irritate your skin?

Fragrance

The term "fragrance," for now at least, is a term that allows companies to keep their signature scents as proprietary secrets. It means they do not have to disclose all of the ingredients in their products. Many of the ingredients that have been known to fall under the term fragrance have been linked to various diseases including cancers. Be aware, unscented and fragrance free are not the same. Unscented products may still include chemicals used to mask the scent of other ingredients in the product.

Cost

Bars of soap are less expensive than body wash and serve the same purpose. Even if you get fancier bar soap, it will probably still save you money.

Luxury

You can get soap sock things that will help make the soap lather up just as nicely (if not more luxuriously) than body wash on a loofa. This will also help with the slipperiness and mess on the shelf. Another option is to buy felted soap (available in many places), or if you are feeling crafty, you can make your own. This is just one of many tutorials online.

Beautiful Smells

If you do still want your soap to smell pretty, opt for soaps that include natural essentials oils like lavender, peppermint, or rose. These won't be counted under "fragrance" and are safer because they occur naturally in the plants.
Waste. While oftentimes the plastic bottles that body wash comes in are recyclable, recycling for plastic isn't perfect. A lot of plastic still gets into our waterways, which can come back to us in ways we don't want.

So, for your health, consider making the switch from body wash to bars of soap. It will save you money, and protect you from the various chemicals that might lead to cancer and irritation later in life. Hopefully these facts will be enough to convince you to give bar soap another chance.

Roundups

12 Essentials for Packing a Plastic Free Lunch

our favorite reusable items for packing lunch for the kids (and yourself!)

As all the kids are going back to school, it's time to get ready to start getting creative when it comes to packing lunches. While plastic sandwich bags may be convenient, they aren't the healthiest and are only adding to the plastic problem in our oceans. Instead, stock up on some of these lunchbox essentials. They are reusable, washable, and healthier than a bag full of plastic containers. We also have a roundup of general food storage containers you might want to check out.

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Everyone has their favorite water bottle - a Camelbak with the chewy straw, or a new shiny S'well bottle, or the Hydroflask that keeps your drink icy for days. And, we know that reusable plastic water bottles have some perks- lightweight, see through, indestructible- but they also have one big drawback, the plastic. Plastics, even ones that are BPA free, are often made of chemicals that can seep into water and affect your health. So, that's where this big question comes into play. Do I have to (or should I) ditch my beloved Nalgene with all my stickers from travels throughout the years?

Our answer is - you don't have to pitch it, but it probably shouldn't be your primary bottle either. You can stop reading here and check our our roundup of a dozen glass and stainless steel reusable water bottles if that's enough info for you, or you can keep reading and well give you some tips and nuggets of info on why those tips will make a difference.

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Roundups

A Dozen Reusable Water Bottles

Our top picks for glass and stainless steel water bottles

If you've made it here, you probably already know that bottled water isn't great. Plastic in general can also be tough because of the ever popular BPA and it's sister chemicals. So, we collected 12 of our favorite plastic-free, reusable water bottles so you don't have to go hunting. Many of these brands make many types of bottle and cups. Feel free to poke around to find a size or shape that might work better for you, but keep in mind always go for glass or stainless steel. That assures that even if the plastic bottles are BPA free, you won't have to worry about BPA replacements. It's often tough to find bottles without plastic lids, but if the water isn't constantly touching the lid, a plastic lid usually isn't something to get too worried about.

If you have some old plastic reusable water bottles kicking around (who doesn't!) then check out our advice about how to use them safely.

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Science

Having Trouble Keeping a Healthy Weight?

Here's why chemicals might be keeping you from shedding those last few pounds

If you're eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, but just can't seem to hit a healthy weight, it might be something you've never thought about. Obesogens, a term coined in 2006 to refer to chemicals that cause us to gain and hold on to weight, and can influence weight loss. Now, we know that maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is influenced by what seems like a bajillion factors, and is a complicated issue with no easy solution. But, it looks like obesogens are a piece of the puzzle and definitely something you want to be aware about. Data shows that obesity is an increasing problem. Over one-third of both adults and children in the U.S. are obese or overweight (1, 5). Even for people who regularly work out or have superhuman strength to say no to desserts, obesogens are having an impact. Unfortunately, as obesogen research is in its early stages, we still don't know everything about these chemicals and how they affect weight gain, but as of now, here's what we do know.

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Cleaning is important, you should definitely do it. While it can be a not very fun chore, unless you relate to Monica on a spiritual level, it really is something that should be done regularly. Besides germs, cleaning removes all the yucky (and potentially chemically laden) dust and dirt that can collect in your home over time. While it might seem like you should also disinfect your surfaces when you clean to kill any crazy germs that might be hanging out, it's not as necessary as you might think. And, using a strong, commercial disinfectant is definitely not needed or advised. Do you really want to use something all over your home that comes with a huge caution or warning sign on it?

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Life

Gifts! Gifts! Gifts!

Plastic-free, zero waste, and full of heart

As the holidays start to sneak up on us, we have been pulling together some of our favorite homemade gifts. All of which happen to be plastic-free, zero waste, edible (because food!). Bonus, they are all delicious and help cut down on both the plastic you and your loved ones are exposed to, plus how much ends up in the environment. Not to mention they look really awesome and a homemade gift is a unique way to show you really care. One more benefit, you can pull them together super last minute, get pretty much everything you need at the grocery store (most of it in bulk even) and avoid the heinous parking scene at the mall.

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Family

Non-Toxic Bassinets and Cosleepers

All well-reviewed and safe for your newborn to sleep in all night (or day) long

*whispers* The baby's asleep! *silent celebrating* And, while the baby is snoozing away, you can actually eat some food and shower. While getting the baby to sleep can be a bit of a headache, figuring out where you will be gently laying them down in the first few months once they are asleep shouldn't be. So, we did all of the hair pulling research to narrow it down to a selection of 8 non-toxic bassinets and cosleepers that parents and experts agree are great options. Without further ado, here are the top picks.

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