The Life-Changing Magic of Soap Nuts

When I was pregnant I got a few gems of advice from my friends who had already had kids. This is how I found out about the life-changing magic of soap nuts.

soap nuts

How had I never heard of this amazing nut that is essential tide pods that grow on trees? While Anna has imparted much wisdom to me over the years – this one is the most tangible. We were already trying to find ways to make the switch to natural cleaning but were intimidated by making our own soaps and jaded by the clever world of “natural” cleaning product marketing.

Soap nuts (also known as soap berries) are native to India so being on this side of the world didn’t make it harder to source them, in fact it probably make it easier – and definitely cheaper! For $9 US, I bought a bag of soap nuts that lasted us from the week before she was born to 9 months old – that’s a ton of laundry, since we used them for our typical washing needs but also a constant flow of dirty diapers. Continue reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Soap Nuts”

Gearing up for Plastic-Free July in Chiang Mai

How do we end up finding ourselves surrounded by so much disposable plastic?
…plastic grocery bags because we made an unplanned trip to the store, plastic packaging for the imported food we love, plastic cups and straws because even though we order drinks “for here” it sometimes still comes in a to-go cup, little plastic bags because some food at the market is pre-bagged, another landfill offender- styrofoam – because we wanted take out, an iced tea made in a plastic bag, inside a paper bag, and then put into another plastic bag with handles for carrying… it goes on.

Thailand has become entrenched in plastic and so have our lives. Our family has made small changes over the few years and yet it still seeps in constantly. So when we heard about Plastic-Free July, we were impressed and a little uncomfortable – we wanted to do it but we were (and are) worried about the things we’ll have to give up. Continue reading “Gearing up for Plastic-Free July in Chiang Mai”