"Community is much more than belonging to something;
it’s about doing something together which makes belonging matter"
~ Brian Solis
At Bodlondeb we're always conscious of ensuring how we treat the planet and looking at how we can do things better. In our efforts to ensure our retreats cause as minimal impact as possible we approached Dr Bronners to see if they could help. They were kind enough to send us some products to use at Bodlondeb Studio and Retreat for cleaning and caring for the space. They also invited Alina along to learn a bit more about how to better use the products in order to better serve the Bodlondeb community when retreating.
Below is Alina's musings on Earth Day and her experiencing learning more about how what we choose to use effects the world around us...
Alina's Earth day experience
When Earth Day rolls around, I am filled with hope and nervousness in equal parts.
In truth, as humans and as animals, we are built to connect with the incredible world around us. We don't live *on* the earth, we live *with* it.
You can feel it when you step into nature, whether in the wilderness or the patch of grass in the city centre. When you connect with the Earth, you feel the responsibility we all have in protecting the habitat we share. I know I do.
That's why, over the years, I have learnt to become much more selective with what I buy and how much.
Everything we use comes from somewhere and leaves a trace, with a human and resource cost.
So when I was invited to a presentation by Dr Bronner's about their beliefs and actions for socially and environmentally responsible products, I was intrigued.
My familiarity with Dr Bronner's soaps comes from my parents talking about the brand positively, especially when struggling with sensitive skin. Naturally, I wanted to know more!
Over the course of the session, one of my biggest takeaways was the concept of Regenerative Organic Certification.
Built on the concept of restoring what we have taken out of the soil, this relatively new certification aims to highlight that "organic" doesn't go far enough in addressing the extractive impact that industrial agriculture has on the land.
It was really refreshing to hear someone talk candidly about the impact our actions have on the world and people around us. (I also recommend checking out Aja Barber for conversations around climate, consumption, capitalism & sustainability.)
I also really loved learning more about the essential oils used in the products and how they are produced. It was hugely insightful to see what the process is, and seeing the impact that agroforestry and transparent, humane working practices have on the communities who farm and process crops.
My particular favourite was learning about tea tree and getting to try the scented soap, as it reminded me of when my mum would put tea tree oil in my hair before plaiting it.
It felt really special to get to hear more from a company that is invested in restoring the Earth, and I am really pleased to be able to reflect on this in light of Earth Day 2023.
What's the takeaway for this blog?
People think individuals can't make an impact but if we're all doing a little bit here and there just through the choices we make, we can show our values through our purchases and the market does change (think about the growth of the meat alternatives market over the past ten years).
Slow down and take a breath before you buy something. We all have different items we choose to use or bring into our spaces. Whatever you decide to use, maybe ask yourself if that item reflects you. Consider where it came from, who made it, and how it was made.
Spend some time in nature, however you can.
Connect with the nature around you.
For anyone who wants to turn their solid soap bars into liquid soap, follow this recipe!
1 x Soap bar - Grated
1 x 3 litres of water (you won't need all of it)
1 x Large pot
1 x Wooden Spoon
1 x Funnel
1 x Stick blender
1 x Ladle
A couple of hand soap bottles plus an additional bottle to store your additional liquid for refilling.
1. Take your pot, put in half of your water and put it on a medium heat until the water is warm.
2. Grate your soap.
3. Put 3/4 of your soap flakes into your heated water. Once your soap flakes are in your pot, turn up the heat until the water starts to boil and then turn the heat back down to a medium heat until all your soap is dissolved.
4. Once your soap is dissolved, turn off the heat and just leave your pot to sit and naturally cool overnight or for about 12 hours.
5. When you return to it, it'll be a gel, blend it.
6. Decant into your various containers.
- If it looks too thick, add more water, heat and allow to cool again.
- If it looks too thin, add the rest of your soap, heat and allow to cool again.
It won't have exactly the same consistency you're used to with off the shelf soaps but it works, saves a ton of money and especially if you live with other people and go through soap like crazy, it can be a great alternative!
*Important note: This is not an advert. Dr Bronner's kindly sent out free samples of their product for our use at our enquiry because we're currently investigating products to make Bodlondeb and Both Feet as eco friendly as possible.
Note: This was half of what was produced from one bar of soap...