Category Archives: For the Planet

Your Journey to Minimalism

Recently I’ve been thinking about ‘Stuffitis’ and what role does it play in my life. Makes me think of “The Little Mermaid” song…” look at this stuff, isn’t it neat, how many collections can one hold.” I have always been nonmaterialistic, but how much stuff do I possess that I really need and what is clutter that is unnecessary in my home. But the thought of reducing all those items in my home seems overwhelming, where to start and with what. So, I thought I would share what I’ve decided are my steps on the journey to minimalism. I hope you’ll join me.

Word to the wise – start slow, clear out one room at a time. Make this journey to minimalism, not a dash, but a habit.

One room at a time

The goal of minimalism is to have fewer possessions and not create unneeded clutter in your home. Less clutter allows you to really focus on the things that make you happy in life, the things you really need. It also helps you focus on family and the time you spend with them, rather than looking for that lost item amongst all your stuff. The stress of needing to organize. There are businesses that have been created to allow you to store your stuff, meaning it is not even in your home to use, but you have placed it in a safe place for future use.

Pick one room, and focus on decluttering that one space before moving on to another. This is the best way to avoid overwhelming yourself. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Create a system and stick to it

Don’t create a mess trying to declutter, this will just create more stress. I recommend labeling four large piles calling them to keep, donate, recycle, and landfill. For most of us clearing out our wardrobe is the hardest, saying just let me keep this when I weigh 10lbs less. If you haven’t worn it in 12 months, you will not wear it again.

Do you have a Capsule Closet?

You know what we are talking about, you say that this one piece of clothing isn’t going to go out of fashion and they go with other items in your wardrobe. Believe me, it goes out of fashion. I recommend creating a closet based on these rules:

  • Don’t keep anything you feel uncomfortable in.
  • If you haven’t worn it in 12 months, donate it.
  • Stick with a similar color palette to make sure all your clothes coordinate.

Go paperless as much as possible

Paperless is the way to go and I love it. I carry all my files around with me wherever I go and I can access them with a moment’s notice. Go through your papers and shred the unimportant letters, don’t put them in a drawer to be forgotten. Going paperless not only declutters the house, but it reduces your carbon footprint.

Spend on creating memories, not gathering materials

Each time you create an experience with those you love, you are receiving so much more than any material item can bring you. For holidays and birthdays give experiences over material gifts. Buy the family an activity they can do together or a trip you can all enjoy with each other.

Replace, recycle – don’t add

It will be hard, but resist adding more possession to your stockpile. When things need to be replaced, replace them, but don’t accumulate more. When my husband and I shop we think about what we are replacing when we purchase something, not what we are adding to our already accumulated possessions. Think about all those items you have in your wardrobe that are worn on average once a year and what you could have done with that money spent. Resist as many new purchases as you can by waiting until you have something that needs replacing. You’ll thank me on the coin in your wallet and the decluttered space you have.

Plan your meals

The average person wastes more food per year then you’d like me to share. This typically happens because you purchase food planning to cook and then you don’t or you just don’t use what you purchased. This is not only wasteful, but it is a shame that so many go hungry and we waste so much food. Planning what you’ll eat will take a little time in advance, but you’ll be happy when you have a shorter grocery bill, you use all that you buy, and your family has good meals thoughtfully planned out to get through the week.

Even though I’ve started my own journey to minimalism I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface and I know I’ll keep learning more about my family and our habits, how we live, and how we can be more minimal, but effective. Would love for you to share your minimalism tips with me. Happy travels!

5 Zero Waste Strategies

We live in a society that consumes, consumes, consumes and it is taking a toll on our planet. The average American throws out 4.4. pounds of trash a day and more and more disposables are ending up in landfills and floating in our oceans.

We’ve seen the campaigns about straws, but that is just the tip of the iceberg, our consumption is going to consume our environments if we don’t take care.

On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, we were on the beach early in the morning visiting with fisherman and watching them go out into the ocean. Along the beach was plastic and trash that had washed up on the shore and there were women picking up the trash, trying to clean it. Trash from other places far away littering the beach in a community. Imagine the fish and other creatures this trash harms.

So with all this consumption, what can we do to move towards a more waste-free life? Here are 5 strategies to try.

Compost

The easiest way to reduce your food waste is to go to the grocery store with a list and be mindful of what you buy so that you actually use it. The second easiest way is to compost your waste. We toss out about one-third of all food we grow. That is a true waste and if we don’t compost properly the food isn’t able to decompose properly. Instead, they break down under oxygen-free conditions, creating gases that include methane that pollute our breathing air.

Many cities are offering curbside compost removal and there are also community compost sites. A favorite tip we learned this year was to reduce odors, freeze your food scraps and add old shredded newspaper to the bottom of the bin.

Leftovers

Instead of storing your leftovers in plastic containers, try reusing containers from products you have purchased or pick up some mason jars and use those beauties. There are also food storage containers like Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel containers.

Cleaning Solutions

Traditional cleaning products are packed full of chemicals that are harmful to you and the planet. They come in non-recyclable plastic packaging. Lucky for you, Soap Hope sells a variety of brands that provide natural, non-toxic cleaning solutions and come in eco-friendly packaging. These cleaning alternatives are excellent for your clothes, body, and home. Better Life, Indigo Wild, J.R. Watkins, and Seventh Generation have great alternatives that won’t harm you or the earth.

Beauty and Body Tools

Our everyday grooming products can be harmful to the planet too. Consider using recycled materials and renewable products that are good for your body and environment. EcoTools is a favorite of ours with their bamboo and recycled plastic products they are putting something old, back to use in a clean, green way.

BYOB

Bring your own bag! Cut down on those plastic bags by bringing your own to the party. Carrying reusable bags with you takes time to create the habit, but when accomplished makes a world of difference to you and the environment. Consider your own produce bags too if you want to take it an extra step.

These are just a few ways to get started, there are more ways to go zero waste and we’ll continue to give you tips!

Ways to go Plastic Free This July

We keep seeing #plasticfreejuly and if you aren’t celebrating, you should! This is a movement that was started in Western Australia in 2011 by a handful of people that wanted to empower individuals around the world to think about their plastic use and how it negatively impacts our world. Today this movement is celebrated by more than 150 countries worldwide. We know at Soap Hope that a simple thought and action can change the world. Just like shopping at Soap Hope helps empower women and end poverty, celebrating Plastic Free July means a world that can have less and less dependency on plastic that pollutes every corner of our world. The most powerful action is your ability to choose how you will cast your vote.

Before you start your path, no matter where you are on the journey to plastic free, be sure and sign up to be counted in this year’s challenge here.

Skip the Plastic Microbeads

Microplastics are a macro problem. As you may know, plastic degrades (breaks down into pieces), but it doesn’t biodegrade (break down through natural decomposition). This is a big problem and has grown over time. Over the last seven decades, we have steadily turned the sea into a gloopy plastic chowder.

These tiny microplastics will end up in our food. That’s right and don’t think you are safe just avoiding seafood, the food chain is more complex than just fish to human. We need to avoid purchasing products that contain these microplastics. These types of plastics can be found in bags, bottles, utensils, face/body washes, toys, laundry detergents, it is even in our clothes – polyester is a plastic.

If you are looking for alternatives to body, face, and laundry soaps look no further than Soap Hope. We work hard to avoid selling products that contain these environmentally harmful contaminants.

Avoid products with known microplastics

It’s in your body wash, your face cleansers, laundry soaps, and kinds of toothpaste. Do not support companies that do not protect the environment. Making a dollar today doesn’t do the world good tomorrow and we know that the choices we make today cast a vote for the type of world we want.

We love this website called Beat the Microbead, they have taken the time to share by a rating system which brands currently contain microbeads in their products by country. Check out the U.S. list here. Find out for yourself and find alternatives! If you want recommendations, send us a message.

Stop using single-use plastics

We have so many options around us to reuse, why use a single-use plastic? Avoid straws, plastic shopping bags, and plastic drink cups and bottles. Think reusable!

Single plastic uses are the biggest pollutant in the plastic world next to microbeads. We are big fans of Klean Kanteen reusable bottles and containers. They are setting new standards for durability and eco-friendly food and beverage containers. Klean Kanteen uses stainless steel bottles and containers that are BPA-free and easy to clean making that transition from plastic one use to everyday reuse simple and easy. Plus it doesn’t hurt they come in amazing colors. So find your hue and let the earth stay greener!

Recycle at home and in your community

Start recycling in your community if it doesn’t already exist and if it does get on board and start recycling at home. Tell recycling centers how much you appreciate and learn about the materials they do and do not accept. We are responsible for our environment and this is a fast way to start reducing plastic pollution in the environment. Looking to start or improve your recycling habits? Check out this great resource from Keep American Beautiful.

Give a Crap

Did you know that most toilet paper comes wrapped in plastic? We recommend seeking out brands that offer a choice of recycled paper. Seventh Generation offers recycled individually wrapped toilet paper and can be ordered right here. It comes in a cardboard box without any plastic wrapping. Come to think of it Seventh Generation offers eco-friendly 100% biodegradable or recycled product packaging for all their cleaning and home care products. A win for you and the planet!

Shop with sustainability in mind

When you shop for your everyday products you have the power to ignite change in the product offerings, we’ve seen this in the last few years where consumers demand more and more transparency in products and packaging.

At Soap Hope we take packaging and sustainability practices seriously and we encourage our customers to do the same in their own lives. The brands we carry on our shelves at Soap Hope strive to continually find more and more ways to package in a more simple and sustainable way.

We, ourselves sought out how we could play our part, we created these boxes called “ugly boxes”. You know when you order from those retail giants and they ship small items in huge boxes filled with plastic and air, that just drives us batty. We package most orders in cardboard ugly boxes that are made from scrap. Large orders are packaged in reused boxes from local businesses and we do not use plastic in our packaging. We use recycled materials only. We work hard to reduce waste in shipping our customers and we think everyone should work towards this effort. No more plastic air filled boxes, please!

What action will you take today to stop the plastic pollution of our planet?