Monday, July 12, 2010

Why I am not "green." Illustrated.

Yes, it is true, I don't understand the liberal mind. 

So, we get to our southern California hotel room, and we are confronted with a brand new kind of soap... er, I mean waste reducing exfoliating body cleanser.

The package tells us the following (among other eco-reassuring things): "This innovative ergonomically shaped 'waste reducing' soap has been designed to eliminate the unused center of traditional soap bars."

You got that? The middle of traditional bar soap tends to go unused, thus creating waste. Happily, this new "green" soap is specifically designed to eliminate that previously unnoticed environmental hazard.

A closer look....
My husband actually thought that my kids (who destroy everything) had vandalized the soap.

My dear daughter was perplexed and repulsed, calling the soap "disgusting environmentalist green dysfunctional non-sanitary soap."  But how do you really feel, honey?

Okay, so can you guess the irony? Here is a visual of the irony:

Visual irony, continued (before and after shots):

That is correct. The "waste reducing" soap breaks up easily into big wasteful chunks of soap, much larger than any "unused center" of traditional soaps. The useless, chunky pieces are then thrown in the trash. 

But wait! It gets better! There is a secondary soap available for hotel patrons, presented right next to the ergonomically correct reduced-waste (highly wasteful) soap. This secondary soap is produced and marketed by the same "green" company:

Do you see more irony? Why, if you flatten it out a bit, that little round soap looks almost like it could be....the missing soap center! 

But that can't be right, because then we would not only have to throw out the big chunks of waste from the reduced-waste soap, but also the unused center of the little round secondary soap as well. Thus, we not only defeat the purpose of the reduced-waste "green" soap, but we actually create more waste (by far) than the old traditional bar of soap.

It seems to me that the tale of the soap is a metaphor for the liberal mindset: You get to feel good inside about accomplishing nothing (and usually making things worse). 



  1. This cracks me up!!!
    This donut shaped soap is new to me. I have nothing to add, but loved the last sentence.

  2. So funny! So true! I don't get it!!!

  3. Ha!! I love Cecliy's face! Says it all!

  4. Well, I say, liberals have got to have jobs. I think making "environmentally friendly soap" is about all that many of them can do.

    After all, they are not big in the doing (working) department just the "being" department.

    It's ugly. That's what I have to say about this soap. Yes, that is what the utilitarian mind set creates, a kind of industrial looking ugliness.

    I'll be sticking with my french milled soaps, thank you very much.

    I'll be sticking with my L' fact, your post has motivated me to go to this french soap boutique this week and drop $50.00 on their beautiful products--a company that employees thousands of people, not a few weed heads in Portland, Oregon.

    Who would want to rub this bizarro anti-soap on their body?

    Gosh, you have to wonder, "What's even in it?"

  5. I'm with Jenny- I love the look on Cecily's face!!

    OK so as completely obnoxious as that was- and it was- it COULD be worse. One of the gifts in my husband's stocking last Christmas was a metal bar of soapless soap. I have no idea how it works- or if it works- but he was happy and put it with his camping equipment. Bizarro.

    And what's more bizarro is that i just spent 5 minute googling this silly item and CANNOT find it! Hope they didn't yank it off the shelf b/c it delivers a lethal amount of plutonium or something...

  6. Methinks some liberal thought it was a clever way of making a buck. So the question is...who is dumber? The inventor of the holey-soap or the hotel chain that bought into the scam?

  7. I'm actually all for going green (even though I'm not currently!) but this is ridiculous!

    Ummm, isn't soap like totally biodegradeable? All it needs is water, right? Yeah, I don't see the harm in wasting a small center. Plus, they cut out way more than a small center!

    Fancy marketing to make money. But hilarious!

  8. I'm pretty sure the hotel is even dumber than the soap makers. I've been meaning to write a post about going green-but can't seem to formulate it. Let's just say-you summed up my thoughts with soap.

  9. This is great! I love it! :) haha We do recycle, try to turn the lights off when we leave a room, etc, but this is RIDICULOUS!
    However, I think that I would rather have the "brilliant" mind who designed this concept to be working on something this useless than attempting to work on something that actually matters. :)

  10. Haha! This is great! I'm with Second Chances...I thought soap was biodegradable? The soap in my shower eventually disappears. :)

  11. could not agree more! answer is not to create two new soap types, but to USE THE ORIGINAL SOAP HOLE!!! c'mon people.
    i got teased by the inlaws when they came to our house and found that I, the environemntal engineer, didn't recycle. i tried to explain that it doesn't matter how much you recycle if you use tons to begin with...we just buy everything unpackaged (fresh foods) and juice from concentrate (no bottles) etc. and eat it all! they still didn't understand...but it really irks me.

  12. Too funny! That's the first thing I thought about the donut soap - have these people never used soap before? Don't they know it'll wear down and fall apart in less than half the time? (kinda reminds me of the snickers "half the fat" bars - well, duh, because they're half the size!)
    Apparently they manufactured them, realized their mistake, and then had to provide the "real" soap bar to make up for it.
    Oh, and soap isn't biodegradeable unless it's marked "biodegradeable", and even then requires soil usually to help it degrade so doesn't degrade in your average sewer system. And traditional exfoliating soaps actually contain little tiny plastic beads instead of salt or sugar to exfoliate, so definitely unbiodegradeable. The "green" kind might be different in that regard, but I wouldn't assume just based on the green label.

  13. Wow, that's crazy and silly! Call Me Mama has some good soap insights.

  14. This is so funny, and like Ann the last sentence is GREAT.

    I have such issues with this, my problem is I usually am with the liberal "green freaks" but only because I'm a health nut and therefore like to buy things like no chemicals in them etc. Those things therefore ten to be the same things the green freaks use, ALAS! what's a girl to do? haha.

  15. I'm with Barbie - I'm not a crazy hippy, but having endo I've migrated to using no-chemical cleaners and beauty care products and thus am aligned with the "green" movement whether I like it or not. I try to avoid the mass marketed stuff and go with simpler is better - vinegar and lemon juice over high-priced "green" cleaners, etc.

  16. Ha, you guys are so funny, and I must tell you that I am actually (sensible) green in a lot of ways. Just not crazy, liberal "green"! I am a partial "crunchy-con" for sure. But I won't cross the line into lunacy, ha ha!!

  17. I have to share this with Fiance... this is the kind of stuff that drives him crazy! Lol.

  18. Soap btw isn't totally environmentally friendly... if you dumped soap in a stream it would hurt the surrounding environment. But you can use natural soaps that are friendly. It's not that hard to find healthy soap haha.. no need for donut soap lol.

  19. Leila you should forward this to the company and see if you get a reply. :)

  20. Exactly Leila! I lean toward crunchy myself but hate the stupid green movement, I tell Grant often that I hate that I agree with alot of their stuff by default! But honestly, you are right, I dont' go kooky!

  21. Wow! That is hilarious! Hi:) I'm new to the blogging world and when I read on your page "Welcome to the blog I swore I'd never have", I laughed and thought, Hey! She and I think alike! ha

    I don't know too much about you yet but the fact that you are a mother of 8 and you are Catholic is AWESOME! I am Catholic and the baby of 6 and I love big families:)

  22. Prepare for traffic. This is hilarious.

  23. Hilarious!

    While I am more liberal than most who I've become blog friends with, I can laugh at myself - and whoever came up with this brilliant idea!

  24. my thoughts are that you crack me up!

  25. my favorite blog post ever!!! haha

  26. This is nuts!!! What will they think up next?

    Imagine the factory workers that are making this stuff, I bet they are cracking up as it passes on the assembly line!

  27. This is SO funny! My husband and I both had a good laugh. I know what you mean too--we're a little bit "crunchy-con," but mostly when it comes to what we eat. And Joann--I LOVE L'OCCITANE!

  28. It looks like a toilet seat. That is just wrong.

  29. This seems like it should be one of those fake commercials on SNL. Right up there with "Oops, I crapped my pants" diapers.

  30. I looked back at this to see where the holey soap came from... I thought someone made this soap-homemade- and that it might be a play on words and the 'holey' aka 'holy' soap 'washed' your 'dirtiness' away ;) hahha. I was way off. Hmm.


  31. Thank you for giving me a hearty laugh this morning!

  32. Little JoAnn, I just wanted to reply to what you said. Beside your obvious distaste for, and generalization of Oregonians and their fellow Green-initiative friends, I wanted to point out some statements I took issue with.

    "[L'Occitane is] a company that employees thousands of people, not a few weed heads in Portland, Oregon."

    I think those "weed heads," which are more than likely t-shirt-to-work wearing, middle-class income, home-owners just like a lot of us, deserve the patronage from the hotel. As with many smaller "green" products, it comes from a small company. (Link below) Apparently the other customers of these same hotels seem to enjoy the soap, even if it is simply that feeling of contributing to some amorphous greater good.

    Now that you've looked at the site (or not,) think about the state of the economy. Its small businesses like Natura, that are not only living an endosymbiotic existance inside the market, but are providing testing grounds for executive trainees. A breeding ground for ingenuity and innovation.

    Now, I'll be frank, doughnut soap is not the most original idea ever. Giving it a fair look:

    It is designed for hotels. Some people visit hotels for an extended duration, some a couple days visit, and depending on the hotel more than likely the majority of them are just staying the night. If you walked into your hotel room, and there was an already-used bar of soap, would you be very pleased? No, but they must keep the bathroom's stocked. Since their customers usually only use the outside of the soap bars, and they must dispose of used ones, the product was an economically and environmentally sound decision.

    On the munchkin soap. Each bar is individually poured into a mold, so even though it is fitting to the appearance of both, they were separately cooled. It was probably designed to be a fallback product, and they ended up selling along with their newer (but also untested and more risky) soap.

  33. The other thing that really struck me Jo-Ann:

    "Who would want to rub this bizarro anti-soap on their body?

    Gosh, you have to wonder, "What's even in it?" "

    Its soap... its not very complicated. Saponification is a simple process, basically fat cells are "activated" by an alkaline solution (Or a base for those of you that took high school chemistry) and the amino acids combine with the base to form both gylcerol and crude soap. Throw in a little bit of Aloe Vera, or maybe even some apricot and suddenly you've got yourself one mean clean chemical construction.

    So to bring light to your wonder: fat, anti-acid, and sweetly scented things.

    Oh don't forget the magical hippi dust.

    I used to be a "not-a-fan" of the green movement. Until I moved to California, I was too focused on the superstitious rumors of seemingly illogical green plans. After I came here and saw some of the amazing and brilliant things the Green movement has engendered, I'm a supporter. Now don't get me wrong, I completely agree that green-fans are too attached to the symbols and are too often too busy or uninterested to come to fully understand the practical application of Green technology.

    That aloofness from inspection can be seen in all sorts of endeavors, for example: those who do not question their own faith, or who simply accept a dismissive lie as a reply-greeting. ("Good, how are you?")

    The California compost dumps are my counter-example. It is a state-wide public-project (the liberals love their government programs) that supplies special trash cans to all the trash collecting companies, for compost material. Now in addition to the trash (which is now really more like the hazardous chemicals bin, as almost everything is recyclable/compostable). All of the compost collected from these cans (that are in every home that pays for trash collecting services,) are taken to old land-fills, where they mix it with rich soil, and fill in the old land-fills with what will be not only arable, but extremely healthy soil in twenty years.

    I've snooped around a bit, I've researched into things, I've expanded my education to everything I can get my hands on, and during my intellectualization, I've seen my fair share of ignorance (more often than not unintentional!) and blindness on both sides of every debate. I won't chastise you for your skeptical inspection into the products of the Green Movement, but rather I applaud you for it. I believe that progress is within the reach of our collective ingenuity. All we need is a healthy intellectual environment, one which does not discourage, but criticizes.

    It is only with your help that the green movement can reach its potential (or be of use), so I call on everyone who reads this post, just as you would reach out and counsel a friend in a crisis of the soul; reach out and help all your fellow human beings who are stagnating in fear and superstition. Help them stand united, and help us all build the intellectual community we have the potential to create.

    -Be Fearless, Choose Love.

  34. "I completely agree that green-fans are too attached to the symbols and are too often too busy or uninterested to come to fully understand the practical application of Green technology."

    I think that's the only reason why anyone objects to the green movement. If it were what it tries to be/says it is, that would be fantastcic. But the wacky soap just looks like a waste of time, and people project that onto the whole movement. There are hypocrites and bandwagon fans everywhere, though, and you've got to judge a movement by its ideal. (Or, do you?)

  35. I don't believe that you do. But before I get into the judgement of social movements, I want to talk about their manner.

    Social movements are not living things, they are merely simultaneous explorations into a rapidly increasing area of interest, or expertise. I wouldn't say that the Green Movement is trying to be anything. Certain figures, individuals, share their dreams, their ideals, that fall within the purview of that common interest. Considering any ideal to be held by a movement is a generalization. Ideals, just like any idea are unique to the mind that created them, even if it is down to the letter, the same as someone else's. We each view and react (or as I like to put it, subconsciously apply bias built upon past experience) to ideas in different ways.

    To illustrate, try this! Go to the local movie theater with some friends. See a movie. Talk about it. You all just saw the same film, but you will be surprised (when you think about it) by how different everyone's idea of the movie will be.

    We really don't think about it, in the same way we don't think about breathing. There are almost 8 billion individuals breathing the same atmosphere as you. To get some scale, the next person you see, think about them, their life's worth of experience, their biases, beliefs, ideas. Just like you. Think about these thoughts, and internalize how momentous an accomplishment each individual life is.

    Once you think you've pondered this enough, next time you're in public, look at all the people around you. Next time you're at a concert.

    After you've experienced a great deal of humanity packed into one space, think about all the people you have ever SEEN. You dont have to have met them, you don't even have to have paid any attention to them, just think about them for a second. Now consider that all the people you've ever seen in your life are still only a tiny fraction of the worlds population.

    Alternatively, just google for pictures of 8 billion things.

    "But the wacky soap just looks like a waste of time, and people project that onto the whole movement."

    You know what they say: "Never judge a book by its cover."

    But I think you're right. People judge and generalize, especially when those generalizations are built upon their own judgements. (See what I did there?)

    Also, the psychic praxis of projection is an extremely interesting subject. (I dont know if anyone else is interested in it though, so I will refrain from continuing my already ostensibly long-winded post)

    -Be Fearless, Choose Love.

  36. Hi BFCL! I have stuff going on in other posts, but I will tell you that while some of the "green" movement is great, much is simply a political agenda (very secular humanist in nature). My husband works with "clean energy" (solar, etc.), and prefers that term. He is very much in the know, and he is not on the left and thinks most of the "green" movement is simply political.

    As for Truth in general, I wrote here on the differences between a relativist viewpoint, and a Catholic viewpoint, FYI:


  37. Sorry...I'm still stuck on 'exfoliating body cleanser'. That sounds so ew. But I'm just a guy. What do I know? :)


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