Green Soap?


Monday I mentioned an amusing bar of soap.  I couldn’t get my pictures uploaded then, but I’d love to hear what you think about this. 

When we got to our room at the state park lodge Friday night, on the bathroom counter was a box with a hole in it.  The soap inside also had a hole in it. 


It didn’t photograph well, so here is the text from the back of the box:

This innovative ergonomically shaped “waste reducing” soap has
been designed to eliminate the unused center of traditional soap
bars.  This soap is cruelty free and contains no animal fat or
byproducts.  This carton is made from natural recycled packaging
printed with soy based inks.

Now the hole was smaller when I first opened the package.  This photo was taken after dh and I had each showered with it a couple of times.  Since this was a fairly large bar (about 2′ x 3.5″) the cutout center was actually almost as big as many hotel soaps.  I was surprised that as we used the bar, it got thinner and the hole in the middle got larger without the outer size of the bar changing much at all. 

It’s an interesting thing that they took the time and space to tell what the package and ink were made from, but no ingredients were listed for the soap itself.  Seems like it would be more vital to know the contents of the stuff that you’re rubbing on your skin, doesn’t it?  If it doesn’t contain lard, then what are the oils in it?  What if I were allergic to them?

I also thought it was funny that “waste reducing” was in quotation marks.  Does that mean that they really don’t believe it for a minute, but it sounds good?  Or does it just mean that they needed a new soapbox editor? 

Now I’d like an opinion…

Does soap with a hole in the middle “eliminate the unused center” of the bar?  Well, yeah, obviously it eliminates the center, but does it actually leave less soap unused when it’s all done?  That is the real question.

Okay, so it’s not a world-changing issue, but I thought it was an interesting concept.  And I’m wondering how it actually works out in the end.  Do they throw away less soap or more? 

What do you think? 

Or are you just thinking that any normal person would never have spent this much time talking about a bar of soap? 



About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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9 Responses to Green Soap?

  1. It seems to my you are getting less soap and most likely paying more for it.  So the real winner is the company.  They will be more profitable.

  2. homefire says:

    I’m sure you’re right.  As always on this environmental stuff, the consumer pays.  But you didn’t answer the question! 

  3. ElizabethDNB says:

    We try to use only enviromentaly friendly, recycled, vegan products around here.  I do think that it does eliminate wasted soap, but also think that the ingredients would be the most important thing to list.  In fact if they just listed the ingredients I could figure out for myself that it is a cruelty free product that our family would indeed use.  On the other hand I am in marketing and know that how I think is not how most people think, and many people are much more concerned with the lable than the content, or just don’t think about it at all unless it is in their face like that, but then do want to do the right thing when given the easliy available oppurtunity.  Does that make sense?

  4. homefire says:

    @ElizabethDNB – Thanks for your input.  So you’ve seen this trick before?  Since I never throw away soap, it was kind of amusing to me (what wasted soap??) but I know most people throw away lots of things without ever thinking about it.I think you’re right that people just don’t want to take the time, so they’ll support causes like this when it’s obvious and they don’t have to go out of their way.  Another thing that seemed dumb to me, though, was the fact that soap was in a box, no matter how eco-friendly the ink.  Isn’t that a lot of wasted packaging?  Surely paper would have done the trick and cut down on waste.

  5. ElizabethDNB says:

    @homefire – good point.  And yes, I’ve heard of it.  It is most common in hotels and hostels.

  6. mamaglop says:

    I save the soap slivers and tie them together into a ball in a nylon stocking so I can use them some more.  I don’t think you waste less soap, it’s just shaped differently.  Now that some time has passed, what sort of soap sliver did you end up with?  I”ve heard the case for abortion argued in similar fashion to the reason for the hole, that it stops child abuse… of course, by eliminating the child (soap center) completely you can prevent abuse (waste)!  Kind of like arguing for preventing knee problems in football players by amputating…

  7. homefire says:

    @mamaglop – “Kind of like arguing for preventing knee problems in football players by amputating…”  Oh, ouch.  That made me laugh.  We decided that if you were the type to throw away bits of soap, that you would waste a great deal MORE by using that soap.  It would leave, instead of one sliver, several slivers, because as it got thinner, it broke into pieces, so there were just more bits that were too small to use.  Of course, since we always “weld” the old soap sliver onto the new bar and use it all up, it didn’t make much difference to us! 

  8. kkk says:

    I got one of these at a hotel in Atlanta a few weeks ago.  I kept it and took it home to use it there.  I found that it actually results in MORE unusable soap as it gets smaller, as the soap pieces quickly turn into a pile of odd-shaped shards that are virtually unusable. Another gimmick that just doesn’t work they way they said it would.  GREEN!  HAH!

  9. Tom says:

    We ran into these in Atlanta last week, too.  I laughed when I saw the (very tiny) print that said “Made in China” on the box–they made a 50g bar of soap as big as a 150g bar would be, thus taking up 3 times as much space on the container ship that brought the stuff over here.  So, it now takes three cargo ships to bring your motel soap from China instead of one.  Some green!

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