Monday, December 21, 2009

Small surprises

We just received our most recent utility bill, and our efforts to reduce heating costs have succeeded. Our energy usage is down 40% since last year! What's most remarkable about that is that at this time last year, we hadn't yet experienced any freezing temperatures. In contrast, we had a ten-day freeze during the time period covered by our current utility bill.

Another small surprise is that I have hopefully discovered a new local company to purchase products from. Until now, I have done a lot of my shopping for affordable natural products at Trader Joe's, but the store in my area has been slowly reducing the size of their health, beauty and household products sections. A conversation with a store manager confirmed that they, indeed, are downsizing in those areas, based on slower than desired product sales.

One of the products no longer at TJ's is their peppermint castile soap, which they had sold for $3.49 for 16 oz. Dr. Bonner's castile soap is available at other stores, but it's much more expensive.

Today, I stopped at Grocery Outlet, a grocery store that sells overstock items from other stores and producers at discount prices. I spotted a brand of castile soap from a company called Seattle Organics, in a variety of scents including peppermint. A quick glance at the ingredients list showed that it's all natural and is being sold for $3.99 for 16 oz.

As when I discovered the Alaffia shea skin care line, based in Olympia, WA, I got really excited about possibly discovering another company that is local and natural for household products. The only problem is that a google search didn't turn up a company by that name. I had only run into Grocery Outlet for something else quickly today so I didn't purchase the soap, but I will return and buy some and check the label to see if they have a phone number or web url. However, my search did turn up another pleasant surprise: a green directory web site called GoGreenLife that allows you to search for local, sustainable companies.

12/23 Update: I purchased a bottle of the Seattle Organics castile soap today. Unfortunately, the bottle only has a P.O. Box address on it, and no phone number or web url.


  1. I'll have to check up here in Lynnwood to see if they carry it. Have you tried it? Do you like it? Would be nice to pair with a couple handknit washcloths as a gift.

  2. I have tried it, Ginger, and like it a lot!

  3. I finally found some at our local GO. Love it! I squirt a little into an empty bottle, fill with water, shake, and wash my hair with it . . . works great! My hair tends to be on the oily side, so I don't have to worry about it drying out my hair, I think if my hair were dry that might be an issue.