Happy Monday and welcome to the sixth installment of "The low-impact loo," a special series of product-centric posts dedicated to a part of the home that's hard to ignore when both nature and Mother Nature call: the bathroom. We spend a good amount of time in the bathroom — most of us start and end our days in there — and it's an easy place to lower your environmental impact in numerous ways without sacrificing an ounce of style or comfort. 


Following up on last week's post where I spotlighted various eco-friendly medicine cabinet must-haves, today I'm taking a look at a shower staple that if you don't already have ... well, I don't know what to tell you. I'm talking about bar soap, the foundation of all bathroom-bound personal care products.


While many of us have our preferred brand of name-brand bar soap that maintains a constant presence in our shower — Dial, Dove, Ivory, Irish Spring, your grandmother's favorite, Cashmere Bouquet, and the list goes on and on  — it's worth investigating lesser known brands that clean and then some without the use of iffy chemical ingredients such as triclosan that can wreak havoc on aquatic ecosystems once they're washed down the drain. Because really, the only soap-related drama in your household, environmental or otherwise, should occur on daytime network television.


Below you'll find a dozen lather-worthy soaps that boasts various eco-attributes: cruelty-free, castile (olive oil-based), vegan/vegetarian (free of animal tallow), handcrafted, organic, and on. Plus, all of them boast lovely and invigorating scents courtesy of essential oils and plant-based ingredients. Personally, I jump around when it comes to bar soaps so I've actually tried out a few of the below (for the past several months, I've been big on tea tree oil-based ones). Is there a type of eco-friendly soap that's a constant fixture in your shower? There are tons out there so tell me about it in the comments section ...


Organic Lavender Eucalyptus Soap @ SkinnySkinny ($9)


Scent of Autumn Soap @ Beekman 1802 Mercantile ($10)













Sea Salt Scrub Soap @ Duross & Langel ($7.50)















Save Water Soap @ CB2 ($9.95)
















Peppermint Bar Soap @ Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps ($4.49)















Saipua Saltwater Soap @ Terrain ($10)
















Indian Lemongrass with Rosemary Bar Soap @ Pangea Organics ($8)















Prickly Pear Soap @ A Wild Soapbar ($6)















Sabon Organic Bar Soap @ Sabon ($9)
















Weleda Calendula Baby Soap @ C.O. Bigelow ($7)















Pure Olive Oil Soap @ Kiss My Face ($2.99 - 4 oz)















Cleansing Bar - Tea Tree Oil Therapy @ Desert Essence ($3.99)


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The low-impact loo: Bar soap
The next time your bar of soap is reduced to a tiny sliver, consider replacing it with a bar that produces a luxurious lather without the help of artificial col