As usual, another holiday season has snuck up on us! Easter is just around the corner and as we started putting our White Chocolate Soap on the shelves, we got to thinking about the mass consumption of chocolate that’s about to take place around the world.
We know all too well how easy it is to be sucked into the vortex of brightly wrapped eggs and bunnies that fill supermarket shelves, but after learning a few key things about their ingredients your impulsive egg-buying practises may change drastically! The true cost of chocolate is more than you think…
- Many popular chocolates contain unsustainable palm oil, destroying the lives and habitats of orangutans in Borneo. If you haven’t heard about the palm oil issue, read up on it here.
- Chocolate is usually made with milk, and there are some sad things you may not know about the dairy industry. Read more here.
- 60% of all cocoa is sourced from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where working conditions are awful and child labour is rife. Most of these workers earn an average of $2.07 a day and have never even tasted chocolate in their life. You can learn more in this informative article.
We love chocolate as much as you do, but is a quick fix for that sweet tooth really worth all of the above mentioned suffering when there are so many delicious alternatives out there? Look for chocolate that is vegan and fair trade certified to be sure that you aren’t contributing to animal cruelty or slave trade. And as for the palm oil issue, there is an app which lets you scan barcodes to find out if they contain palm oil! How easy is that? Get it for your phone in the App Store.
Or, for a really fun and vegan alternative, you could try our White Chocolate Soap made with shea butter and peppermint oil which smells good enough to eat!
Here at The Australian Natural Soap Company we believe in giving back to the community. We are a small growing business ourselves and we understand the importance of receiving support and encouragement from those around us, so we came up with a concept that allows us to do that kindness for others.
With the release of our Donation Soap in late 2015 came the opportunity to raise awareness and funding for not-for-profit organizations that we see as the positive change makers of the modern world. We are passionate about doing the right thing when it comes to environmental and animal welfare issues, so these are the kind of groups we had in mind to work with.
Our first partnership for this project was a small team of dedicated volunteers who run the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage in Far East Gippsland.
Wombats are one of the beautiful Australian animals that fall victim to our roads all too often. Many drivers do not pay enough attention on the roads that pass through bush land that is home to many native creatures, resulting in unfortunate deaths and injuries of our treasured wildlife.
The Goongerah Wombat Orphanage is devoted to saving the lives of the injured and orphaned wombats that survive these accidents. Their work is endless and tiresome, but is fuelled by love and passion. The care of furry orphans from the wild entails unique methods for providing them with the food, bedding and medicine that they need in their vulnerable state of separation from the pouch.
Sometimes there are orphans so young they barely have fur, so it really is like taking in a baby! At this age they require very regular feeding and temperature control, which means many sleepless nights and constant attention from the carers. The milk formula that sustains the little ones is about $150 per five kilos. As they grow they are introduced to oats and sweet potatoes, which become their staple diet along with munching on grass.
They start out sleeping in handmade pouches until they are old enough to begin the move outside where bales of hay are provided for the big kids and any grown ups that have been released who return now and then when times are tough.
So, what these carers have taken on is months of expensive milk formula per orphan and maybe years of oats and vegetables to fill the always hungry wombat bellies, plus bedding and vet bills when health issues arise – all out of their own pocket!
So that, friends, is why we chose to donate to the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage and we are proud to have raised $336 through the sales of our Donation Soap in store and online. With many thanks from the GWO, and us, we hope that you will continue to support our endeavour to raise awareness and funding for those who are courageous enough to bring positive change into the world around them.
Avoiding commercialised romance and giving gifts that the earth will love you for!
Another hallmark holiday has arrived and along with it the bombardment of advertising pulling you into the hype of buying up big. The commercialized romance of Valentines Day has been exploiting lovers for many years now and although it serves as a great reminder to show our partners we care, there is an unfortunately sad side to this love story.
Impulsive, last minute or guilt fuelled shopping tends to lead us down a dark path to unsustainable, unethical and unnecessary gifts. Before you pick up that excessively packaged box of chocolates, giant shiny heart shaped balloon or fluffy stuffed animal, ask yourself the following questions:
– Where was it made? Did it get to you via dangerous sweatshop factories and cheap import companies or was it hand crafted by a local artist with a small business?
– What is it made of? Is it comprised of things that harm the environment and/or your body, or is it made with sustainable and natural materials?
– What is it’s purpose? Is it something that has a one time use before becoming trash or will your lover will actually use and appreciate it for a long time?
– Where will it end up? Will it be added to landfill to pollute the earth or will it breakdown when composted and leave no trace of its existence?
It’s a serious matter that all too often slips the minds of many. Where you shop has a larger impact on the world than you think, and simply by making changes to how you shop you have the power to make a difference. Show your loved one you care about them AND the planet by gifting them with something sustainable. It doesn’t even need to be a physical item, sometimes the best gifts are things you experience together!
But it is only a couple of days away now and if you don’t have the time to plan something special, we have you covered for gifts that tick all of the sustainable, ethical and mindful boxes! Visit us in one of our Melbourne stores to pick up some beautiful handmade soaps, natural perfumes or a personalized gift box put together thoughtfully by you!