This Saturday (5th June) is World Environment Day, and as you may well have already guessed, it’s a cause we always get behind here at Little Soap. Protecting our planet- and educating others on the best ways that they too can help to fight the damage being inflicted on the earth- is a huge passion and one that we will never give up on. With this in mind, we’re delighted to share with you three little sustainable swaps to make for World Environment Day- so that you too can join the fight to protect our planet. This year’s theme is Ecosystem Restoration, so we’re focusing on ways that we can help to revive our damaged ecosystems. Here are just three easy swaps to get you started…
Swap out products that do not use responsibly sourced palm oil
We’ve written about our use of palm oil before, but it’s absolutely worth repeating. We do use palm oil at Little Soap Company. BUT- and it is a big but- we do so only from accredited organic, RSPO-certified sustainable plantations. The issue of the use of palm oil is topic that we have carried out extensive research into and one that we care deeply about. We wanted to be able to break the link between palm oil and the destruction of orangutan habitat and this is why we chose to use RSPO sustainable palm oil in our soap bars- despite the fact that eliminating it would have be a whole lot easier!
The fact remains that our belief is this: the issue is not palm; the issue is deforestation and lack of local alternatives. If there was no palm there would STILL be deforestation- and on a far larger scale too, as palm is a faster yield that needs less space. The locals are not able to just pack up tools and go home- they need an income! So if we boycott palm oil, we do not solve the problem as a whole- and that is why we chose to continue to use it, but source is sustainably.
If we all switched to using a different type of vegetable oil, this could result in two unintended consequences:
1. There would be a big rise in demand for land to grow other vegetable oil crops to replace the demand for palm oil – all agriculture has a footprint and this could lead to even more precious forests being lost.
2. The price of palm oil could drop, actually increasing demand in other areas of the world such as India and China, and for uses such as biofuels.
Here at Little Soap, we want to help transform the industry- to call for palm oil companies to produce responsible palm oil and stop clearing forests. We’ve pledged to use only organic, certified sustainable palm oil in our products, which means that the palm oil has been produced without harming the rainforests that orangutans and so many other species depend on for their survival. We recommend that you do your research and buy from brands with a similar stance to ours.
Swap out plastic wherever you can
Get yourself a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, drinking straw. Ditch the plastic toothbrush, the plastic razors and the plastic bags. Swap plastic, full stop.
Knowing what we do about where plastic can end up and how long it can take to biodegrade (THOUSANDS of years!) it makes sense to cut it out wherever we can, and to reuse and recycle wherever we can, too. Each year millions of marine life is harmed simply because we humans have not disposed of plastic correctly- and this doesn’t just affect the creatures in the sea. Eventually the plastic particles end up in our food chain, which means that we too are ingesting materials we just weren’t designed to consume.
Aside from dangers to the undersea ecosystems, plastic poses a threat to wildlife on land too. Each year, we send a hugely significant amount of plastic to landfill in the UK and it really has to stop! So make those swaps, and let’s change the future.
Swap out animal products
Potentially controversial, but hear us out. We do not judge anyone here at Little Soap, and we try not to promote one way of living over another. But we do believe in following a plant-based diet and there are many reasons why we think that swapping out animal based products from just one or two meals a week can make a huge difference. And who knows- it might just prompt an entire lifestyle change for you too.
Your eating habits can have a huge impact on ecosystems around the world and by making small changes, you can help to restore them. Eating less meat and dairy products, reducing food waste and eating locally to cut down on transportation and packaging are great places to start. You can also choose organic produce to fight back against the use of pesticides and fertilisers.
We never claim to be perfect here at Little Soap, and the sustainable swaps we’ve outlined in this post are ones that we’ve all been working on throughout the years. But we do believe that they are great places to start, and what better time than right now, in honour of World Environment Day?