Monday, May 10, 2010

Artisanal body care and home cleaning products

As we move towards more localized economies, food security is high on the "important" list.  But so are locally made body care and home cleaning products.  The Oklahoma Food Cooperative and our local farmers markets offer an amazing array of artisanal soaps, body care, and home cleaning products.

I have tried many different soaps from the food cooperative (presently I'm using a bar of Barb Wire and Roses from Rowdy Stickhorse).  Every one I have bought has been an amazing value.  Sure, they are priced more than the supermarket soaps, but they last much longer, 2-3 months a bar even with daily copious use in showers and hand washing. The scents are light and typically are naturally derived, and you don't get that after-wash "soap scum feeling". 

At my house, all of the deodorant, air freshener, housing cleaning, and laundry powders are made right here in Oklahoma by local producers.

Here's a funny story about the laundry powder.  When I first bought it, I looked at the tiny little scoop that came with it and thought, "This can't be right, I better use more."  And so I did.  I later spoke with the producer, and mentioned that, she laughed and said, "Well, I'm happy to sell you all the soap you need, but you really only need one of those scoops per standard laundry load."  So the next time I did laundry, I tried that and sure enough, that was all I needed.  Which just goes to show how we are conditioned by the "system" to use more than we need, and to expect less.

There are a lot of noxious chemicals used in the making of conventional body care, laundry, and house cleaning products.  While the prices seem low, because you always have to use more (thanks to their dependence upon low quality fillers that add nothing but quantity to the product), over time you actually spend more on conventional products than you will spend on the (initially) higher priced, but much higher quality and longer lasting artisanal body care and home cleaning products.

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