Mother Truffula is a phenomenal skincare brand that focuses on plant-based solutions. The company founder, Laura, makes all of her products by hand, an extensive job selection and variety of her products. Laura’s curiosity with skincare started during her pregnancy and has developed into the Mother Truffula line of products over the past six years. Today, she makes everything from body butter and baby diaper rash cream to lip balm and tooth soap. When she is not gardening or taking care of her son, you can find Laura at her local farmer’s market in York, PA
- Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the Mother Truffula products and how they help reduce waste: Starting with Laura’s tooth soap – what is tooth soap? Is this just a parental product used on children when they say a bad word? Absolutely not! Tooth soap is a recyclable alternative to the number of toothpaste tubes used and ultimately discarded. The World Health Organization recognizes the power of preventative medicine and has therefore recommended people brush their teeth twice daily, using six tubes of toothpaste per year per individual. By our estimates, one bar of tooth soap lasts at least as long as a tube of toothpaste, takes up smaller space, and comes in a recyclable or reusable tin. I had been brushing my teeth with tubed toothpaste for as long as I can remember. I grew up on this and it is all I had known. It wasn’t until I started to research sustainable options that I even realized that there were other options available. By making this simple switch, I can help eliminate 6 tubes of toothpaste from going to landfills every year. This may not sound like a lot, but if millennials alone (people aged 25-40) made the switch away from tubed toothpaste, this could potentially eliminate 432 million tubes from going to a landfill every year. Tooth soap is just as is sounds though; it is soap. It has a different taste and mouthfeel than a traditional toothpaste. The oral benefits are just the same, however and the environmental benefits speak for themselves. Laura makes these by hand and uses them personally.
Another Mother Truffula staple product is Laura’s handmade, plant-based, plastic-free deodorant. Much like toothpaste tubes, plastic deodorant tubes pose a significant landfill problem. I say landfill because, even though these tubes are plastic, they often cannot be recycled. Many of the mechanical parts in a deodorant tube are made from different types of plastic and therefore, they would need to be washed and disassembled by the user before being properly recycled. Even if you are dismantling your deodorant stick and washing it out, some brands use plastic within that is not recyclable in many areas. The Mother Truffula plastic-free deodorant comes in a push-up compostable cardboard tube and because the formula used is plant-based, there is no need to wash out any remaining residue from your deodorant before disposal. In addition to the environmental benefits, I made the switch from big-brand deodorant because I have sensitive skin and would often break out in rashes under my arms. However, when I tried making deodorant for personal use it never quite seemed to work. Laura’s formula is the first that I have found that can keep up with my excessive sweatiness. It utilizes a number of natural bacteria inhibitors to limit smell and fantastic oils to simultaneously nourish the skin. We invite you to check it out here!
Ecolimpet: What advice or suggestions would you have for people trying to limit their waste and be more environmentally conscious? As a business and in your personal life, how do you follow these things yourself?
Laura: I grew up with my dad saving, reusing, and repurposing the weirdest things (or so I thought at the time). I think he got that from his dad too. So it’s always kind of been normal for me to be kind of environmentally conscious- even if that term wasn’t the intention in the beginning. I think what it comes down to is that you can pretty much figure out a way to fix or reuse anything if it’s really important to you to do so. You’ll figure it out. Before throwing something away and giving up on it, think about it first. Chances are that the only reason you are throwing something away is because you haven’t thought about fixing it…but you can! It amazes me when people are so quick to throw away things like backpacks that just need the zipper sewn back on or a shirt that is missing a button. Our mental need for convenience has really added a lot of stuff to landfills, but once you start just thinking about it and realizing that you CAN fix most things yourself, it feels good. Also, it has been ingrained in us that we NEED new things like clothes every season or need a new phone every year, etc. Break out of that! It’s easier than you think. And give second hand stores a try. It’s AMAZING how much good stuff you’ll find in thrift stores, and it feels really good to know that the only negative impact you had on the planet or humanity is the gas it took to drive you to that thrift store.
A couple of things that I have repurposed are: napkins out of old, holey pajamas and t-shirts (no need for paper napkins when you can wipe your face with your old favorite pajamas!), dog beds out of an old memory foam mattress pad, patio couch and table out of an old treehouse in our backyard, plant benches out of wood from our home renovation, kitchen storage shelves out of more wood from same home renovation, and aloe planters out of old metal rectangular tins (for drywall putty or something) . I love looking around our backyard and knowing that I built our furniture with my own hands out of wood that I could have easily burned. And to think, I became a semi-DIYer after my first batch of body butter! In my business, I reuse every single thing that I can. I have never purchased paper to wrap my soaps. I simply save my brown paper that comes with supply shipments and wrap the soaps in that. I also save all my bubble wrap that comes in, and I reach out to my local community and regular customers too about saving theirs. They love saving packaging materials for me, and it’s really awesome to know how many people DO care about the planet and excessive waste- but they just don’t know what to do sometimes when there isn’t another option. I’m really happy that I am that option. I also make shipping envelopes out of newspaper or paper bags. I believe the only new plastic that is in my packaging is the tops of the dropper bottles for my serums and packaging tape- and that feels pretty good! I also save a lot of glass jars to serve as refills for certain items such as liquid soap. Bottom line: I am ALWAYS trying to reuse EVERYTHING. My partner probably goes a little nuts because I am pretty much a packaging hoarder- as well as an, “I will fix that later- don’t throw it away hoarder.” Final thought about limiting waste- just simply think about it before you buy it and/or before you throw it way. If we all thought a little more about how we can fix something rather than think about the new one that we will buy in its place, such a huge positive change would occur!