It’s easy to buy local when it comes to soap, even in tiny Hobart!
Getting rid of what you’ve got
Honestly, I don’t have much to get rid of in terms of soap. I’ve been buying soap package free for years from our local markets. However, our hand soap we had prior to this transition was one of those Dettol pump ones, smelt awesome but was in a non-recyclable bottle. I was careless enough to toss that out without a second thought. So don’t be like me; if you have an empty bottle of hand soap, keep it and use for bulk buying.
Bulk buying hand soap
Buying in bulk is one of the simplest ways to avoid plastic packaging. I grabbed an empty lemonade bottle I had lying around and took it to my local bulk buy store. Filled it up with hand soap for less than $5, poured it into my hand dispenser at home with some leftover to spare! If you have an empty hand soap dispenser, unscrew the lid and simply fill it back up. It will probably only need topping up every few months, so an inexpensive way to go zero waste.
Support your neighbours and buy locally
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, buy from local businesses. Don’t buy shitty, chemical filled shower gels from the chemist that cost you $20 and come in a plastic bottle. Buying local, handmade soap is the superior way to purchase soap and I’ll explain why. It’s usually better quality, actually smells like the ingredients it’s made from, and far more gentle for your skin. It’s easily accessible, you’ll usually find a soap stall at most local markets. For the vegans out there, you can always ask if their products are vegan too and they usually are.
There are a few businesses that I really trust with my precious soap. The Tasmanian Soap company have a great vegan range, and have a permanent shop at the Brooke street pier. They also sell at Salamanca Market and are stocked in stores all around Tassie. I bought a huge bag of soap off-cuts for $15 from these guys at a craft market last year, that was incredible value for money as well as great for zero waste purposes. When we eventually use this all up, I’ll simply head back down to the markets and stock up on more!
Make your own
I’ve always wanted to make my own soap, but truthfully it is quite a complicated process and often hard to get started when you have no experience. If you are feeling brave and want to make your own soap, there are literally thousands of recipes on the internet and youtube tutorials also. But I would recommend going to a soap making class or getting some guidance from an experienced soap maker first.
The main thing to be aware of is making sure not to get sucked into dodgy recipes that create a pH inbalance in your soap (often lye heavy), which can be potentially harmful to your skin. Read here about ways to test if your homemade soap is dodgy. This is why I leave it up to the local professionals.
For the Tasmanian Soap Company, head to https://thetasmaniansoapcompany.com.au/
For making soap that won’t hurt your skin, read http://www.soap-made-easy.com/soap-ph.html
Follow my Instagram @tassiegirlzerowaste