Stick with the bar

I heard a short story on NPR this morning about liquid body washes outselling bar soap for the first time.  Liquid body washes are doubly un-green — both more expensive (wastes green from your wallet) and worse for the environment.  On the cost side, liquid body wash is mostly made of water, so you’re paying a premium for water with some added soap.  This also adds to the environmental cost — with all the extra water, the bottles of body wash occupy more cargo space, requiring more trucks on our roads and more burned fuel.

Body wash comes in plastic bottles, creating more waste than bar soap packaging.  At best, people recycle those bottles (using lots of water to rinse them thoroughly), and, at worst, many head straight to our landfills.

Your best bet is bar soap, the more minimal the packaging the better.  Make bar soap greener:

  • Recycle the paper or cardboard packaging.
  • Buy from a local soap maker — some may skip the packaging altogether, especially if you ask!
  • Keep the bar of soap in a dry corner of the shower to minimize waste.
  • Use less soap — you can probably get by with less than you’re using right now.  Your skin will thank you!


  1. And that’s not even the half of it. Most body washes contain phthalates which are horrible estrogen mimicking chemicals that have been linked to all sorts of cancer.

    I actually had a severe dry skin episode a few years ago and pretty much stopped using soap all together (except for hands and the few obvious spots on the body that need a little). My skin feels soooo much better and really, unless you’re out swimming in the oil spill, water is all you need to get clean.

    1. hergreenlife says:

      I completely agree with limiting use of soap to certain body parts. While camping last summer, I rarely used soap even when washing my hands (the campground bathrooms lacked soap dispensers, and I didn’t carry soap with me every time I visited them, not to mention the lack of soap during pit stops on the hiking trail). At the end of the trip, my hands were amazingly soft, no lotion required!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s