We'll be blogging about health, beauty,natural cleaning methods, natural beauty secrets and natural living.  With a focus on the environment and healthy living.

Holy Moly that's a lot of plastic bottles.

Plastic Water Bottle Facts

  • Americans spent $10.6 Billion on bottled water in 2009
  • In the US, bottled water production & transportation used 32 and 54 million barrels (respectively) of oil in 2007—enough to fuel about 1.5 million cars for a year.
  • Only about 25% of plastic bottles are actually recycled.
  • The other 75 percent end up in our landfills, lakes, streams and oceans.
  • It takes any where from 400 to 1000 years for a plastic bottle to fully biodegrade.


What's in your tap water?


If you are connected to a public water system you should receive an annual water quality report before July 1, it'll tell you where your water comes from and what's in it. You can also find much of this information by visiting the epa website and looking up your specific water supply.  Here at River Soap offices, we use a solid carbon block filter system from multipure. We like it a lot and best we only need to replace the filter once a year.  There's lots to choose from, check out EWG great water filter guide.



Wait! don't throw it out: turn food waste into a tasty soup broth

STOP throwing out all those veggie trimmings!

Onion ends, parsley stalks, celery leaves, mushroom stems, carrot ends.

Save all those goodies in an old paper milk carton in your freezer.

Then once a month empty your container into a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil,  allow to simmer for an hour.


Use this yummy vegetable broth as is OR make a concentrate by simmering until liquid is reduced to desired amount then freeze in small containers for later use.

Relief from a hard day

For super soft skin  try adding a few drops of olive oil, almond oil or coconut oil to your bath water. Your skin will feel amazing.  Headache, stressed?Add a drop or two of lavender essential oil or a few lavender springs to your bath. Not only will it scent your bath and bathroom, lavender is said to aid in relaxation and relieve headaches.

Pineapple for aid in digestion


Proteases enzyme breaks down proteins and which can aid in digestion and might help lessen some food allergies.

If you are having trouble digesting protein,  symptoms will usually occur after meals and include gas, cramping and abdominal discomfort. Over the counter Protease enzymes can sometimes be effective for people with trouble absorbing proteins.  You can also try adding Pineapple to your diet.  Pineapple contain a mixture of protease enzymes called bromelain. So enjoy a bit of pineapple and it might be a tasty way to help alleviate mild digestive problems

Another reason to eat chocolate

Now these another reason to eat dark chocolate. Cocoa Powder, is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols can be broken down in the gut with the presence of microbes like Bifidobacterium and lactic acid.  Once broken down, they turn in to an absorbable anti-inflammatory compounds that are beneficial to your health.

BP-A, BP-S, BP X-Y & Z Oh my......

BPA Free might just mean BPS as manufacturers are simply substituting one bad BP or an even worse one. It's now time to let the manufacturers know that "We are made as hell and won''t take it any longer" .


- hard plastic sports bottles

- plastic food storage containers

- food wrap

- hard and flexible packaging

- deli containers

- plastic bags

- baby bottle components (nipple, ring, liner, etc)

- plastic dinnerware and plates

- non-stick cookware

- plastic cleaning products

- thermal receipt paper

- canned food and drink

- tissue paper and toilet paper


- stainless steel water bottles

- ceramic plates and dishes

- unbleached wax paper

- anything made from wool, cotton, hemp or plastic-free, biodegradable fibers

- plastic-free cleaning products, such as baking soda, vinegar and essential oils

- stainless steel or cast iron cookware

- glass blender

- wire salad spinner

- stainless steel ice-cube tray

- natural rubber gloves

- recycled, individually-wrapped toilet paper

- bar soap

- handkerchief

Get your greens the easy way

Easy to make simple healthy soup

Saute the following 3 ingredients in the oil of your choice (olive oil, butter combo is my favorite) till the carrots soften and the alliums become translucent

1/2 cup allium (either shallots, onion, leeks) minced.

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 carrot minced


add your chopped vegetable ( about 2-3 cups)

choose one of the following or a combination

spinach, chard, broccoli, squash, cauliflower

saute is slightly softened


add your liquid (3-4 cups)  choose one the following:

water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, miso, marmite mixed with water

bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes

add salt, pepper, and just a bit of cayenne powder


at this point you can eat your healthy delicious soup as is or put in the blender to make more of a bisque.

for extra special version, add 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter bring to a simmer.

serve hot or cold with your very own handmade croutons. more on this later.

yum yum!





Apple Cider Vinegar

Years ago the 80+ year old grandmother of a friend said that her 'fountain of youth' was drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water daily. Now normally I wouldn't believe the idea of a ' fountain of youth' but this grandmother was still climbing up ladders to pick her fruit tree (something that made me very nervous) and even though she was super small in stature ( measuring only about 4'9") her handshake and robust body slam hug nearly toppled me over. She was a eager sewer, making throw blankets and neck pillows for the " old people" at her church.  Certainly all her vigor wasn't just due to her apple cider vinegar regime, but it's worth a try and it's actually quite a refreshing drink.  I think I'll give it a try. How about you?

The skinny on "Antibacterial" Toothpaste

As we've said before......"The chemical triclosan - used in many antibacterial products like soap, toothpaste and antibacterial hand-wash, has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals. Regulators are reviewing whether it’s safe to put in soap, cutting boards and toys. Consumer companies are phasing it out. Minnesota voted in May to ban it in many products.

At the same time, millions of Americans are putting it in their mouths every day, by way of a top-selling toothpaste that uses the antibacterial chemical to head off gum disease -- Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s Total." according to Bloomberg News.  Read the article here ( the paragraph titled Rodent Bones is a bit disturbing)

Check out our blog post about Antibacterial Soap from October 2013 :


Bee stings a natural relief

Bee stings Ensure that the sting is fully removed by cutting an onion in half and apply the freshly cut side directly over the puncture mark to reduce swelling and pain. Or,  make a paste of baking soda by adding a few drops of water. Apply this to neutralize the sting. Then apply a drop of lavender oil directly on to the site of the sting to relieve itching or pain.

Natural Sleep Therapy

Sleeplessness Home Remedy: Hot milk really does work before bed because it contains calcium, which is a general relaxant as well as a muscle relaxant.Hot milk also contains triptophane, an amino acid that helps with the first phase of falling to sleep. Lavender is also a relaxant. You can put eight drops of lavender oil in a little whole milk, cream or oil, and add it to a hot bath after it is drawn. If you don't have a tub, put three drops of lavender oil on the middle of your spine, right below the hairline.

Poison Oak, I found a cure!

We love homeopathic remedies in our family.  Contrary to 'studies' that say that homeopathic does not work, we've found it to be extremely effective on a number of mild to moderate ailments. Case in point, last summer after a second exposure to poison oak, I found taking homeopathic remedy lessened the symptoms within a few days to barely detectable. Boiron Homeopathic Medicines make it easy, they have a remedy finder on their website and their in store display has symptoms that correspond to a remedy.


Make your own dishwasher detergent

Natural home made dishwasher 'detergent'. Combine half baking soda with half borax. Use 1T per load. Amount will vary depending on type of dishwasher and hardness of water. Newer dishwashers tend to use less water and therefore need less 'detergent'. This is what I use in my  dishwasher and it works as good as any other I've tried.

What's so special about Green Tea?

The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots.  The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the "French Paradox." For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer may  lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet.  In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers. Why don't other Chinese teas have similar health-giving properties? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed.  Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.

Green Tea helps dieters

New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters.   In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.  Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.


Take your Green Tea

Are there any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression.  In her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life, Nadine Taylor states that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years. Today, scientific research in both Asia and the west is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. For example, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol. To sum up, here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful: cancer,  rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease,  infection,  impaired immune function.