Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Soap . . .

Some people are lucky enough to become grandparents at a fairly young age--say 40 or 45, even 50.  I, however, was forced by inconsiderate children (they'll love reading that, I'm sure!!) to wait and wait and wait . . . I thought I'd never make it to grandparenthood.  My daughter was nearly 30 when she had that sweet little girl to your right! 

So, when I tell you that I used to make soaps in my hippie days . . . oh so many years ago when I was oh so young . . . it won't surprise any of you, my fair readers, that it was something like 40 years ago that I made soaps.  Suffice it to say that a lot has changed in 40 years.

So, in all fairness, alas, I must call myself a soap making newbie again.  How lucky am I?  To have had the experience of making soaps with lard and lye so many years ago, and then to be reincarnated to now and making soaps with avocado oils, Shea butters, etc. is pretty cool, I must say.  What a difference!! 

But I wish my generation had been a lot more green conscious when we were "growing up."  All this saving the environment, minimizing your carbon footprint, and tree hugging stuff is new to us oldies in the past ten years or so.  I, for one, am doing my best, but sometimes I slip up.  My slip ups are due to various things, but it's usually for one of two reasons:  laziness (sorry, sometimes I just get tired) or ignorance (some of this stuff I just can't imagine).

So imagine my horror when I determined that one of the products I've used in my recent soap making is a gross offender, environmentally.  Palm oil is a key ingredient in many of the soap recipes available these days.  Come to find out, it's a major, major source of deforestation and destruction of rain forests and thus contributes significantly to carbon dioxide emissions.  Eek!!!  I didn't learn this until I'd run out of the little bit of palm oil I'd purchased and began looking on the Internet at sources to replace it and for alternative products that can be successfully used in its place.

Now I understand that you can't believe everything you read--and everything on the Internet is not necessarily authoritative.  However, until I can do my own research on the subject, palm oil is O.U.T!!!  None of my soaps will contain palm oil in the future.  Certainly, I will honor the oil I've used and will use the products I've made with it--but I'll also honor the future by boycotting the use of it until further notice.  If and when I determine that palm oil is an acceptable ingredient environmentally, I'll begin to use it again.  But until then, it's curtains for palm oil!!

I'm going to be selling my soaps at the upcoming Share the Harvest Holiday Gift Market on October 16th at Jacob's Reward Farm.   My soaps are luxurious--sudsy and full of good oils, like avocado and jojoba, and I think you'll love them.  Hope you'll come and see all the pretty things we're getting ready for you!!