Painted Turtle Artisan Soap is named in honor of the beautiful Chrysemys Picta, the Painted turtles who live in my region. Until recently, this species of turtle was considered to be one of the most abundant but they are now designated by the Canadian Government as a Species at Risk. Ecological responsibility is the most important consideration in my soap production, and concern for wildlife habitat guides me in my work. I see my actions, my creations and businesses as opportunities to promote justice. To that end, my soap-making values are to make soap that supports ecosystems where Chrysemys Picta, the painted turtle, may thrive.
From the initial inspiration, to sourcing of materials, packaging, and waste, I consider what and how each particular aspect impacts upon the lives of the actual painted turtles who live in my own region, as well as in whatever region my soap might be used.
Painted Turtle Artisan Soap products are made from fresh, minimally processed ingredients, all grown and purchased less than 80 km from the Painted Turtle soap studio.
Supporting local businesses promotes economically strong communities, local employment, and reduces harmful environmental impacts associated with mass production and long-haul transportation. It also makes it easier for me to personally learn something about the production and labor conditions for each and every ingredient used. Supporting local businesses is my way to ensure that my own business is making ethical consumer choices.
PASTURES ARE DIVERSE HABITATS
Painted Turtle soaps are made with tallow from local sheep and cows. As much as possible, I try to use fat from pasture raised animals because maintaining a pasture system is ecologically wiser than maintaining a feed-lot system. In addition to providing nourishment for livestock, pastures provide ecological habitats for numerous creatures such as songbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, native bees, and turtles.
ENVIRONMENTALLY ETHICAL CHOICES
Another reason I use tallow in soaps is because tallow is an abundantly available alternative to palm oil. Palm oil is used in soap to help vegetable based soaps solidify into hard, dry-feeling bars of soap. Without a hardening agent like palm oil or beeswax, vegetable-based soaps tend to be soft and a bit sticky. Unfortunately, extensive farming of palm oil trees is destroying forest ecosystems in South East Asia, in particular in Borneo and Sumatra. Palm oil mono-crops are replacing the natural habitats of endangered animals such as orangutans, elephants, rhinos, and tigers. I don’t want to contribute to the destruction of ecosystems and to the extinction of species; I want to promote healthy ecosystems at home and abroad by making soap with tallow from local animals who are part of a sustainable local food network.
Utilizing by-products of the food industry is a powerful way to close a gap in the food production cycle. Because of today’s consumers food preferences, fat gets trimmed away and is disposed of as waste. There’s no need to waste something useful when it has so much value as an ingredient in food as well as skin-care products. Diverting fat from the waste stream and rendering it into tallow contributes to reduction of landfill.
Painted Turtle Artisan Soap products are made from 100 % naturally biodegradable ingredients.
RECYCLABLE, BIODEGRADABLE PACKAGING
Painted Turtle Artisan Soaps are wrapped in paper, and sealed with rice paste. The packaging of Painted Turtle Artisan Soap products is designed based upon the “3Rs” of environmentalism: I reduce the packaging, and make it out of a reusable material that can later be recycled or biodegrades over time.