Eco Sprout Laundry Detergent

This is the third natural, cruelty-free laundry detergent I’ve tried (the first two were from The Honest Company and Method). The company, Eco Sprout, makes nothing but products that facilitate cloth diapering. I found its detergent at Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique in Cary, NC, while shopping with a friend. I don’t have kids to cloth diaper, but I do have an interest in super tough cruelty-free detergent, so I decided to give it a try.

This laundry detergent is different from the other detergents I’ve reviewed because it’s a powdered formula instead of liquid. It’s safe for HE machines. It comes in a pouch with explicit usage directions printed on the back: first time use, how much to use for different types of loads, use for clothes other than diapers, etc. I switched between this detergent and others over the course of several weeks, and I found that this product worked really well on my clothes, just like the others.

But because this is made to tackle some of the most disgusting messes imaginable, I decided to put it to a real test. I volunteer at a therapeutic horseback riding facility, and in addition to working with riders with special needs and grooming and taking the horses, I sometimes take home the horses’ saddle pads to wash. The saddle pads (the cloth pads that go between the saddle and the horse’s back) get washed maybe 8 times a year. They are used on 10 horses every day, including hot, sticky summer days (oh, and horses sweat, in case you didn’t know). So these saddle pads are filthy–I’m talking caked-on dirt and sweat that you could literally scrape off with your fingernails–and hairy and stinky. I used 4 tablespoons of this detergent (the max amount recommended), hot water, and the “heavily soiled” setting on my HE washer. The pads came out clean and sweet smelling. I have washed these same pads on several occasions over the years, and I have never seen them so clean. And speaking of sweet smelling, the  green tea fragrance is fantastic. This is the best-smelling detergent I’ve ever used.

In short, give this stuff a try. You can buy a 4 ounce package to try on the Eco Sprout site for $2.95.

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Method Laundry Detergent

For the past few months, I have been trying three natural and cruelty-free laundry detergents. This week, I’ll be reviewing two of them (I already reviewed the third, The Honest Company’s laundry detergent). Overall, I prefer all of them to traditional synthetic detergents.

The first one I used was Method‘s Laundry Detergent. It’s a liquid detergent that comes in a tall plastic (recyclable) bottle with a pump dispenser. It’s ultra concentrated and safe for HE washing machines (learn much more about Method’s laundry detergent here). You only need 4 pumps of liquid for a normal load of laundry. That pump is reason enough for me to buy only this detergent for the rest of my life–I love that I don’t have to measure with a separate cup and possibly spill detergent (I know I sound like one of those inept infomercial people, but in this case it’s really true)–it’s SO convenient. The detergent itself works very well. The fragrance is subtle but very nice (I tried the Fresh Air scent). And when you run out, you can buy a very economical and environmentally friendly refill pack.

The company also makes a fabric softener, which is the only natural and cruelty-free fabric softener that I know of. I will definitely be trying that!

Also, if you buy any product on the Method site in the month of June, the company will donate 15% of sales to the ASPCA. That sound you just heard was my heart leaping out of my chest. 🙂

All-Natural Sunblock Options

Now that it’s almost summer, I wanted to gather and share information about natural sunscreens. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate normal sunblock: the sticky, greasy feeling; the chemical or artificial smell; and the way it never seems to come all the way off in the shower. I have been hunting for natural sunblock to replace the couple bottles of artificial stuff that I’ve been trying to use up. Below I’ve listed some great looking sunblocks that are natural and cruelty free.

(Disclaimer: I have not actually tried any of these products. This list is really just to make you aware of how many natural options there are!)

Your Basic Sunscreen

Honest Sunscreen (The Honest Companyhonest-sunscreen

  • Cream
  • Active ingredient(s): Zinc Oxide (20%)
  • SPF 30
  • 3 ounces for $13.95
  • Water resistant (40 minutes)
  • Other: paraben free, phthalates free, fragrance free, petrochemical free, dye free, hypoallergenic

Your Spray Sunscreen

Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen–Broad Spectrum Sport Spray (Alba BotanicaALBA_sun

  • Spray lotion
  • Active ingredient(s): Homosalate (12%), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (7.5%), Octocrylene (7%), Ethylhexyl Salicylate (5%), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (3%)
  • SPF 40
  • 4 ounces for $10.99
  • Very water resistant (80 minutes)
  • Other: Paraben free, phthalates free, sulfate free, no artificial colors

Your Face’s Sunscreen

Face Factor for Face and Neck (Kiss My Face

KMF_facesun

  • Cream
  • Active ingredient(s): Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (6%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Zinc Oxide (2.5%)
  • SPF 50
  • 2 ounces for $13.95
  • Water resistant (40 minutes)
  • Other: Paraben free, phthalates free, sulfate free, fragrance free

Your Kid’s Sunscreen

Kid’s Natural Sunscreen Broad Spectrum (JASON

JASON_Kids

  • Cream
  • Active ingredient(s): Homosalate (10%), Octocrylene (10%), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (7.5%)
  • SPF 45
  • 4 ounces for $11.20
  • Water resistant (40 minutes)
  • Other: Tear free

Your Sport Sunscreen

Aqua Block Sunscreen Lotion (Nature’s Gate)

aquablock

  • Cream
  • Active ingredient(s): Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), Zinc Oxide (6.9%)
  • SPF 50
  • 4 ounces for $10.69
  • Very water resistant (80 minutes)
  • Other: Fragrance free, paraben free, phthalates free

Your Suntanning Sunscreen

Natural Hawaiian Dry Oil Sunscreen (Alba Botanica)

ALBA_oilsun

  • Spray oil
  • Active ingredient(s): Homosalate (10%), Ethylhexyl Salicylate (5%), Octocrylene (3%)
  • SPF 15
  • 4.5 ounces for $10.99
  • Water resistant (40 minutes)
  • Other: Paraben free, phthalates free, sulfate free, no artificial colors

  Your Stick Sunscreen

Natural Sunscreen Stick (Yes To Cucumbers)

YT_SUNSTICK

  • Stick
  • Active ingredient(s): Zinc Oxide (10.8%), Titanium Dioxide (4.9%)
  • SPF 30
  • 0.5 ounces for $8.99
  • Water resistant (40 minutes)
  • Other: Hypoallergenic, paraben free, petroleum free, sulfate free

 

 

Sign the Petition to Protect Captive Chimpanzees

Courtesy of HSUS

Courtesy of HSUS

Check out this article from the Humane Society of the United States:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a proposal to protect all chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act. While wild chimpanzees have long been recognized as endangered, existing regulations deprive captive chimpanzees in the United States of protection under the ESA.

In his recent blog post, Wayne Pacelle (President and CEO of the HSUS) wrote:

The HSUS, along with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, The Fund for Animals, Humane Society International, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society submitted a petition, prepared by HSUS attorneys, to list all chimpanzees as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, regardless of whether they are captive or wild.

Click the link at the bottom of the article to sign the petition to urge U.S. FWS officials to accept the proposal and protect chimpanzees.

Abba Gentle Conditioner

Abba makes plant derived hair care products that are only sold in salons. It is one of the very, very few salon products that is not only sulfate free, phthalate free, and paraben free, but also 100% vegan (no animal testing and no animal products). To get an idea of how rare that is, google “cruelty free hair salon products” and see what you get. It’s pretty much only Paul Mitchel, Giovanni, and Abba.

The only Abba hair care product I’ve tried is the Gentle Conditioner. And it’s probably the only one I will try because I love it so much. I bought it as a set with the Gentle Shampoo, which was okay but didn’t give me a squeaky clean feeling (in other words, it seemed to weigh my hair down, which is a common failing of sulfate-free shampoos in my opinion). But the conditioner is perfect for me. It’s very light and seems to absorb into my hair immediately. I use it every day as a leave-in conditioner after I get out of the shower as the last step in my morning hair regime.