Yes, it’s been a long time since I wrote about soaps, but now I am so excited about my new discovery that I had to share it. With cosmetic products, I usually do my research, read the labels and settle on a brand based on both price and natural-factor. As it is quite a long and frustrating project, I usually stay faithful to a brand or product type for a long time. For example, ever since discovering the castile soap, it has remained the only liquid soap we have been using in our home and I am very happy with it.

For solid soaps though, which we use too, I hadn’t found a convenient source. I kept buying them from fairs and ordering them online from small companies. But it did happen that we were once left without solid soap and my husband went to a big store and bought one of those enormous packages of five dozen of what he thought was at least a basic soap, with very few ingredients. We still have a lot of that soap after two years. Now I have finally discovered a grocery store solid soap that is both less expensive and perfectly natural. It’s called Olivella, it’s made in Italy from mostly saponified olive oil and water. It does have added glycerin and the one that I bought also has fragrance (but there is a fragrance-free option). And those are all the ingredients. Four of them. Fantastic, right?

But the biggest natural living improvement in our household has been the new water filtering system. I have been wanting it since … forever (it felt like it). Maybe two years ago I did all the research on water filtration systems and all the undesirable things in the water that I would like out. A big thing for me has been the fluoride. Our town water is fluoridated for the benefit of its good people and their teeth. Besides not agreeing to be medicated against my will and without my approval, I have been frightened by the controversy about the fluoride that they put in water, and how it is chemical plant waste, how it can affect the endocrine system and thyroid function, how there are risks of developmental issues in infants and how it doesn’t actually do much good that would balance all this bad. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a statement of concern and urged towns to reevaluate their fluoridation policies against the new studies. All this is frightening.

There are few (and expensive) water filtering systems, however, that can remove fluoride. One of them, which I found most convenient for my family and our lifestyle, is the Berkey water filtration system. One line that sold it for me was that these systems are used by relief organizations like the UNICEF, Peace Corps and the Red Cross. Another line is that you can fill it with water from a stagnant lake or a puddle, and you would get good drinking water at the other end. The filters do not need to be replaced for five to 10 years, depending on how much water you use. It doesn’t require any electricity and it’s made of stainless steel. Isn’t it perfect? They should pay me for how much I am advertising for them. I can’t help myself. I feel it’s a public service I’m doing here.

So, yeah, this is it. Come to our house if you want to freshen up, wash you hands and face and have a glass of cool, clean water.

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