Our Green Policy
At Summer House Soaps we take our responsibility to the environment seriously.
We know our business operates in a fragile local ecosystem - the Cape and Islands - and also in a complex, troubled global environment. We do everything we can to be earth-friendly in our material sourcing and manufacturing processes. In 2015, Summer House Soaps completed Level 1 Cape and Islands Green certification.
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
We recycle as much as humanly possible: paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metals.
We have reduced soap waste to almost nothing by 1. resizing our molds to reduce soap trimmings, 2. putting 90% of the trimmings into our popular bargain bags. 3. using smaller scraps not suitable for Bargain Bags in our Beach Glass soap and Art Bars. These soaps also use up liquid pot scrapings that were once thrown out.
We donate scrap from our handcrafted wrapping papers to local artists and crafters. The plastic buckets our oils come in are donated to local farmers, who use them for a variety of purposes, including sale of composted manure. (Please contact us if you'd like some of our plastic buckets.)
We pack our shipments in second-hand packing materials (primarily Styrofoam packing peanuts) that have been donated to us by local businesses.
We are working to reduce the amount of energy it takes to create our products and transport them to you. Employees are encouraged to be mindful of energy consumption. Our manufacturing area has been audited five times in ten years by Cape Light Compact, and each time we've tightened up our space. Most of the lights in the business area are LED or fluorescent.
On Cape Cod, water is an especially precious and limited commodity. Nothing gets dumped down the drain at SHS except a small amount of sudsy water from washing pans and utensils - less than the amount of generated by an average household. We use environmentally -friendly cleaning products whenever possible. The plantings around our building are managed organically.
We take great care when sourcing our raw materials. Whenever possible, we purchase environmentally sustainable materials, including 100% recycled copy paper and resale bags. When ordering essential oils we opt for "eco-certified" products when they are available. Palm oil, which contributes to the long-lasting quality of soap, is sustainably grown and RSPO certified. And as of May 2018, all the base oils (coconut, palm, sunflower, etc.) are organically grown.
A Work in Progress
We know we're not perfect. As a small business, we don't always have the ability to live up to our highest aspirations, but we keep our goals in mind, and each year we get a little better.
We are constantly reviewing our choices with the earth in mind. We welcome any input or questions about the process.
We are passionate about nature, community, creativity, and spirit.