Do you ever think how much our bathing habits have changed in just one generation?
We grew up hearing incredible stories of our mom and tias bathing in the cold rio in the Mexican pueblito they grew up in. My mom recalls how our abuelita taught her to use a wild plant as soap. They rubbed the plant leaves with water and it would produce a natural lather. When they couldn't find the plant, they would use a homemade soap made from manteca (pig fat).
Mija, nada se desperdiciaba en el pueblo. Todo venia de y se regresaba a la tierra.
While it was out of necessity, our mama and her family lived a sustainable lifestyle and bathed with biodegradable soaps that didn't contaminate the river they all depended on to survive.
Fast forward to today and we're no longer bathing in the river, but it's just as important to consider the health of our waterways and the chemicals we put on our bodies. Let's talk about why it's important to embrace the sustainable traditions of our ancestors and use biodegradable bath and body products.
Don't worry, we're not suggesting you bathe using a wild plantita from your garden or in a river (although that sounds fun!). We're about sustainable swaps inspired by La Cultura but with modern convenience.
What Does Biodegradable Mean?
When a product is marketed as 'biodegradable' it means it can break down back into the environment. Biodegradable products decompose naturally by bacteria or other living organisms and turn into natural elements that go back into the earth.
Some products marketed as biodegradable don't actually decompose easily in natural environments. Some bioplastics, for example, are marketed as biodegradable but don't actually break down in landfill conditions. Our rule of thumb is that if it was ever alive, then it will decompose. For example, the biodegradable body sponge we carry is made from 100% natural agave fibers. These easily decompose in your compost bin or backyard compost.
The Sad Truth About Conventional Products
Conventional soaps and shampoos are made with harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both the environment and our bodies.
Many popular shampoos and soaps contain questionable chemicals like sulfates, triclosan (now banned in soaps), and phosphates. These chemicals are used to make soaps and shampoo lather and give them a longer shelf life, but are not biodegradable and can be harmful to human health.
The simple act of rinsing your hair or body with conventional soaps has an impact on the environment. Chemicals from shampoo, conditioner and soaps go down your drain and seep into our water systems, endangering human health and wildlife.
Research by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that chemicals in personal care products can change the hormone levels in aquatic organisms, which can ultimately lead to a variety of health problems, including damaging their ability to reproduce.
When it comes to personal care products like shampoo and soap, biodegradable options are the way to go.
Gentle on the Planeta and Your Skin
Biodegradable haircare and body soaps are made with natural ingredients that won't harm our environment. These products are formulated with ingredients like essential oils, plant-based surfactants, and natural fragrances, ensuring that they break down naturally and go back to the earth.
For example, the cucumber melon biodegradable body wash is an effective, sudsy soap that cleans our skin like conventional body washes, but doesn't strip moisture or leave our skin dry. The biodegradable ingredients left our skin feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated. And it smells sooo good!
Importantly, they work just as well (if not better!) than conventional products. Brands like Plaine and Oneka are leading innovators in this space with over a decade of experience making earth-friendly, effective products. They pride themselves in making salon-quality, biodegradable hair care products.
We've Made it Easy
We know first-hand how hard it can be to find biodegradable products. When we first started on this journey, it felt impossible to find products that even mentioned the word biodegradable.
We've done the hard work for you and curated a range of biodegradable personal care products, such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The products we've curated are cruelty-free, vegan, and free from harmful chemicals.
Pa' un Mejor Futuro
Biodegradable shampoo and soap are essential for a more sustainable future. The next time you're looking for personal care products, choose biodegradable options and join us at VOLVERde in our mission to create a more sustainable, colorful future.
A + M