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The benefits of Aleppo Soap

Our Aleppo soap is one of our favorite products, and it’s also our best-seller! It was one of the first products we included in our shop, two whole years ago. Do you want to learn more about why so many people love it? We’re here to answer your questions! 

What is Aleppo soap? 

Aleppo soap, Syrian soap, or laurel soap is a hard bar soap associated to the city of Aleppo in Syria. It can be used daily as soap for washing and shampooing, as a face mask, or as shaving cream. It’s famous for its inclusion of laurel oil, which is an effective cleanser, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-itching agent.

What ingredients are in this soap? 

It’s composed of completely natural ingredients: olive oil, laurel oil, and lye.

How old is this soap recipe? 

It’s been used for thousands of years! This soap has been around since the time of Alexander the Great. It was originally used by Roman soldiers as a way to protect themselves from diseases like leprosy. It was supposedly used by Cleopatra herself! 

What are the benefits of Aleppo soap? 

Aleppo soap has high concentrations of laurel oil, which soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of blemishes. It has a long history of being used as a remedy for skin problems.

Why is it recommended by doctors? 

Since it’s so gentle, it’s widely recommended for those with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. It can even be used on babies’ skin, making it a family-friendly choice.

Where can you get Aleppo soap? 

You can get it here on our shop! You can buy them on their own or in bundles (with an extra soap saver bag). 

Do you have any other doubts about how to use your new soap? Let us know in the comments below! 

Not to Die For* is a vegan and cruelty-free marketplace, where you can find curated products. We read labels so you don’t have to! 

Sustainable gift ideas under $10

You know what they say: it’s the thought that counts. While we’re all about spreading love during the holidays, sometimes we don’t have the budget to splurge on our loved ones.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t find them a meaningful gift! Gifts are a symbolic way to express our love, and there are so many ways to do that for under $10. Here are some ideas: 

Herb Garden Kit 

For your friend who’s a culinary expert! Having a herb garden is a great way to ensure that you’re getting fresh ingredients for your cooking, and it’s always great to have them as a backup if you forgot to get some cilantro or basil at the store!

Culinary herb seeds – $9.99 

Reusable Produce Bags 

For your family members who want to be more eco-friendly but don’t know how. These bags come super handy when you’re carrying heavy produce, and they’re really convenient to carry around! They’re also an alternative to plastic bags, which are one of the main causes of marine pollution. 

Ntdf.* Grocery mesh bag – $9

Hand-made Aleppo soap

For…. anyone in your life! Aleppo soap is one of the oldest types of soap in existence. It’s naturally anti-bacterial, and the laurel oil in it makes it incredibly beneficial for the skin. 

All-natural Aleppo soap – $9

Vegan lip balm

For the makeup lover in your life. Lip balms are always a necessity, and they’re always welcome. This jumbo-sized tinted lip balm also doubles as a lip tint! 

River Organics lip balm – $10  

Succulent Plant

For your aunt with the green thumb. You can’t really have too many succulents! They are great to have on your desk or your windowsill, and they can make your space feel more alive. 

Crassula succulent – $6.99

Reusable makeup remover pads 

For your skincare addict friend. Makeup wipes are terrible for the skin, they are rough and filled with alcohol. These pads are machine-washable and can be reused as many times as you want! 

Ntdf.* reusable bamboo pads – $10

Bath bombs

For your overworked friend who really needs to take a breather and relax. Let them settle down with a warm bath, a glass of wine, and a good book. 

Forest bath bomb – $4.50

Bamboo hairbrush 

For your cousin with unruly hair. Bamboo repels static, which makes this a great way to keep hair under control and avoid frizz! 

Anti-frizz bamboo hairbrush – $9

Travel coffee cup

For your busy friend or your coffee-loving coworker. Travel cups are a great way to avoid single-use waste.

Stainless steel travel cup – $9.94

Swab sticks

For your esoteric relatives! Swab sticks, be it sage or yerba santa, are a great way to cleanse spaces of unwanted negative energy. They are also aromatic, and leave a pleasant smell! 

White sage swab stick – $7 

Do you have any other go-to affordable gift ideas? Let us know in the comments below! 
At Not to Die For* we want to make vegan and sustainable products easily accessible to everyone. You can check out our store or follow us on Instagram!

9 eco-friendly gift ideas for the 2022 holiday season

vegan gifts

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend who wants to bring an eco-conscious lifestyle into their home, we’ve got you covered. Here are 11 unique eco-friendly gift ideas that are perfect for any holiday celebration (or just because!). 

Makeup Remover Pads

Apart from the obvious environmental reasons, makeup remover pads are also great for sensitive skin types! Makeup wipes can be very harsh on your skin because they have a high alcohol content and you have to rub them violently to get the makeup off. 

Not to Die For* makeup remover pads, $10

Food Composter

Organic waste can be easily turned into compost for your garden or houseplants! It’s a great way to reduce the waste in landfills, it’s easy to use and will save you money on fertilizer. Composters block odors and can be used indoors!

Cleaning Supplies with Refills

If you love your reusable cleaners, why not gift them? It’s great for the environment, and it’ll keep them from buying more plastic bottles. Blueland is a great option to get cleaning products with easy tablet refills. 

Zero-waste makeup 

“Makeup hoarding” has become an issue, with people buying tons and tons of useless plastic with their palettes and lipsticks. However, there’s a new trend that’s coming up: zero-waste makeup! Yes, you hear correctly. Brands like River Organics use cardboard packaging for their highlighters, blushes, and lip balms. 

eco friendly makeup
River Organics blush stick in “Pinch”, $19

Reusable “Paper” Towels

Instead of using disposable paper towels, try switching to reusable ones! These “Unpaper” towels are a great option 

Tote Bag

Tote bags are the best way to avoid single use plastics, since they replace grocery store shopping bags. These bags aren’t only bad because they end up in landfills, they are especially dangerous to marine wildlife —sea turtles ingest them by mistake. 

eco conscious gifts
Not to Die For* tote bag, $16.00

Silicone Baking Mat

If your eco-conscious friend loves baking, consider getting them a silicone baking mat! They are a great way to avoid single use parchment paper. 

The original Silpat baking mat, $28.50

Reusable storage bags

These reusable storage bags are perfect for anyone who wants to reduce waste in their life. They come in a variety of sizes so you can use them for anything from packing lunches on the go to storing leftover food for later use at home.

eco friendly gift ideas
The original Silpat baking mat, $28.50

Vegan Spa Kit

If your friend is in need of some relaxation and some time to lay back, you can get them a bundle with zero-waste vegan goodies!

eco friendly gift
Our very own Ntdf.* spa bundle, $31.50

Do you have any other eco-friendly gift ideas that you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below! 

Not to Die For* is a curated vegan and eco-conscious marketplace. We strive to make ethical shopping easier, especially during holiday seasons, by offering products that are good for you, the animals, and the planet. You can find our selection of gifts over here! 

How to use a shampoo bar

how to use shampoo bar

So you’ve gotten a brand new shampoo bar (or maybe someone got it for you), but you don’t know how to even begin to use it? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! It’s always hard to incorporate a new item to your self-care routine. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using your shampoo bar

1. Wet your hair with warm water. 

2. Get your shampoo bar slightly wet and apply it directly to your scalp, rubbing in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.

3. Massage the shampoo into your scalp and hair.

4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water until all of the shampoo is gone from your hair and scalp, then repeat this step if needed.

5. Follow up with conditioner if desired (we recommend doing so!).

6. Let the bar dry completely before storing it away for travel—otherwise it will get mushy and unusable. 

But why are shampoo bars better than regular shampoo? 

Shampoo bars have been gaining popularity in recent years, since they are more practical, more environmentally friendly, and better for your hair. Here are some reasons why we love shampoo bars

  • They are great for traveling. Shampoo bottles can be bulky and hard to manage when you’re on the go, and liquids are tricky to take on planes. Shampoo bars are easy to carry around in your bag, so they’re perfect for taking on vacation or just going out for a day trip.
  • Less plastic waste! Plastic bottles are horrible for the environment, but shampoo bars don’t use any plastic at all.
  • It’s easier to use more liquid shampoo than you need. With a shampoo bar, there’s no need to squeeze out any extra product—just wet your hair and rub the bar over it to get all the lather you need.
  • Our shampoo bars are free of sulfates and other chemicals that might strip your hair. This means that they won’t damage your hair or make it less healthy-looking than before—and they’ll leave your mane smelling amazing too!

At Not to Die For* we want to make mindful living easier, that’s why we created a marketplace where you can find eco-friendly vegan products without having to go on long internet searches or read ingredient lists. We read labels so you don’t have to!

General info

How can we stop animal testing?

How can we stop animal testing?

Animals are being used in experiments every day—and it’s up to us to stop them. So you’re against animal testing, and you do everything you can to buy cruelty-free products. The problem is that, even though there are a lot of people who are conscious of this issue, many companies still test on animals! Why is that? Well, maybe we just need to be a little more active. 

Make your voice heard.

You might not be able to get 100% of the companies out there to stop testing on animals, but you can start with your own industry or your favorite local brands. 

The first step is to call the company and politely ask them not to test on animals and ask them what they are doing about it. They may not be willing to change their practices right away, but they will remember your call and hopefully look into changing their policies. 

Another way to enact change is to contact your local representatives and let them know you want laws passed in your area banning animal testing. You can find your representative by entering your zip code on this website. 

Know your labels.

A lot of people don’t realize that just because a product says “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. That’s right: Companies can lie about this! Look for products with a certification from PETA or Leaping Bunny. 

Talk to others about why they should stop using products tested on animals.

Spread the word on social media and other platforms.

Share your views with other people. 

Many companies monitor what people are saying about them, so it’s always a good move to share your views on social media. It’s a great catalyst for change, since it can help the spread of information and the viralization of content. 

A great example of this is “Save Ralph”, a video created by The Humane Society of the United States, depicting a bunny (voiced by Taika Waititi) who is a victim of testing. The video went viral and created a lot of awareness around the topic: 

Talk to your friends about animal testing and encourage them to boycott products that test on animals. If enough people take a stand, companies will have no choice but to change their ways.

Vote with your wallet.

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to stop animal testing is to boycott companies that do it. If a company tests on animals and you don’t buy their products or use their services, then they are losing money because of it. That’s why it’s important to research which brands test on animals and don’t give them your business if they’re still doing it! PETA has a searchable database that you can use to double-check that the products you’re buying don’t test on animals, or you can also get curated products from nottodiefor.us that are all vegan & cruelty-free. 

Sign (or even create) petitions.

There are often petitions going around against animal testing. Find them, sign them, and share them with your friends. When companies see that consumers are passionate about an issue, they listen. 

If you’re feeling more motivated, start a petition! All it takes is an online account (like Change.org) and a little bit of information about the issue at hand.

Donate money to animal rights organizations or volunteer. 

Volunteering at an organization is one of the easiest ways to offer direct help. It’s also helpful to keep in touch with other people who share your ideals, and it will help you avoid falling victim to compassion fatigue. 

Unfortunately, we don’t all have the time or energy to call companies or to organize protests. If you have some spare income, you can always donate to animal rights groups. Ethical Elephant has a very detailed list of organizations that fight against animal testing. Check it out! 

At the end of the day, we can use our power as consumers to support companies that don’t test on animals. The good news is that more and more companies are realizing they can still make money while being ethical! 

At Not to Die For* we want to make vegan and cruelty-free products easily accessible to anyone who wants to improve their lifestyle. Check out our shop and purchase with peace of mind 🌱

Self-care guide for vegans in a speciest world

Even though veganism is a positive lifestyle in many ways, the fact that we live in a speciest society can lead to extreme exhaustion and activism fatigue. By having a conscious awareness of animal exploitation most ignore, our mental and physical health can suffer. Creating the time and space to recharge should be prioritized.

Meditate 

Meditation doesn’t have to be a religious or spiritual experience. It’s proven that having at least 15 minutes of relaxation and time for yourself can help ease feelings of anxiety and make you feel more grounded. Even if guided meditation doesn’t work for you, it’s important to take some time off your busy schedule to simply relax and take your mind off everything that worries you. 

There are many high-quality apps that offer great meditation content, such as Headspace and Calm

Take a break from Social Media & the news

It’s ok to be informed on what is happening in the world we live in, but sometimes they can bring us anxiety due to things we can’t even control. Limiting your consumption of bad news can have a huge impact on your emotional well-being. Some ideas for doing that are put your phone down and out of reach, setting limits by tracking your social media time, turning off notifications, setting “phone free zones” and scheduling “social media free days”.

Journal

Journaling is proved to help you track symptoms and learn more about your own negative thoughts. That will allow you to control them and act accordingly. Control your narrative identifying things you are grateful for. Describe your goals, write a letter to yourself and talk about your day. Here there is a vegan themed journal for keeping you motivated in the process in case you want to check it out ;).

Find vegans in your area and hang out 

There’s no one who can really understand veganism as well as a fellow vegan. Finding people who are experienced is a great way to feel accompanied and supported! You might think it’s hard to meet fellow vegans, but it actually isn’t! There are plenty of meetings on Meetup and Eventbrite for vegans to meet and socialize, and you can even find local groups on Facebook! 

Another easy way to meet other vegans is through organizations. It’s actually pretty easy to find like-minded people by signing up to an activist group, or even volunteering at a local animal shelter! 

Remember your physical health

Physical and emotional health go hand in hand. Make sure you are taking all the nutrients needed.

Do something for the animals 

Nothing like helping furry and feathered friends for feeling better. We mentioned volunteering at an animal shelter before, but there are many different things you can do for the animals! Whether that is donating to organizations that help wildlife conservation or signing petitions to help fight testing on animals, all efforts count! The Humane Society has a list of 50 ways you can help the animals in your daily life. 

At Not to Die For* we are very passionate about providing you with all the resources you need to become a happy and healthy vegan. Check out our resources for more information!

Why are many “sustainable” products not vegan?

Why are many “sustainable” products not vegan?

At Not to Die For* we have a policy of “vegan first” when it comes to selecting the products that we include in our marketplace. Part of the reason why we had to come up with that policy in the first place is due to many “zero waste” or “sustainable” products. This might seem contradictory, but to make these products easier to biodegrade, companies sometimes use animal ingredients; meaning not all products that claim to be “sustainable” are necessarily vegan

Animal products are never sustainable

If you know anything about veganism, even on the surface level, you probably heard about the fact that breeding and growing animals to feed humans is extremely damaging to the environment. To give you perspective, a typical pig factory generates the same amount of raw waste as a city of 12,000 people. The greenhouse gases created by cattle ranching are a key player in the deterioration of the ozone layer. 

It goes even further than just cattle: the fishing industry is the biggest contributor to plastic waste in the ocean. Contrary to what is usually communicated by mainstream media and brands who use sustainability as a marketing tactic, 50% of ocean plastic is fishing nets, not straws. You can watch the documentary Seaspiracy (available on Netflix) for more facts about the impact of the fishing industry on our environment. 

“Sustainability” sells, but how environmentally friendly are brands?

Right now being eco-friendly is in vogue, which should be a very positive thing, right? As a society, we’re realizing that our actions have consequences! The problem comes when corporations start taking advantage of people’s good intentions and lack of knowledge to sell their products. 

The term “greenwashing” was coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986, but it’s never been more relevant than right now. What is greenwashing? It’s when you make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is??. Companies that “greenwash” have profit in mind and only pay attention to environmentalism when it’s convenient or demanded.

According to a 2015 poll, 66% of people are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products and 50% of purchasing decisions are influenced by sustainability features. By claiming that they are “greener”, companies can retain environmentally conscious customers without actually changing their practices. 

A big way companies do this is by basically diverting people’s attention from the bigger issues their products have. They claim to have recyclable packaging and yet have ingredients that are harmful to the environment (it’s also good to keep in mind that most plastic packaging isn’t fully recyclable). They can also have vague claims that can’t be backed up, irrelevant claims (like saying they are “CFC-free” when CFC gases are banned by law), or even making up certifications —which we’ve talked about in our post about cruelty-free and vegan products

But… what does “sustainable” mean? 

“Sustainability” is a very broad term: it means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It can be interpreted in many different ways, and it’s the reason why there’s no regulation about what can or can’t be labeled as sustainable. This means that animal products —which are unethical and contribute to the deterioration of the environment— can be seen as more eco-friendly because they are biodegradable. 

Here are some examples of zero-waste products that use animal products for this purpose: 

  • Using bamboo toothbrushes with bristles made out of pig hair (to replace nylon bristles). – For a 100% vegan yet sustainable option, use this one instead
  • Wearing silk and wool clothes instead of synthetic fabrics. – Fortunately there are great non-animal derived eco-friendly alternatives such as cotton, plant-based leathers, etc.
  • Any use of gelatin in shampoos and other cosmetic products. – Find your vegan & cruelty-free ones here.
  • Using beeswax wrapping instead of aluminum. – There are vegan alternatives available that are both sustainable and cruelty-free.

Unfortunately, this means that sometimes we have to do the selection work ourselves. There are many things that you can consider when you’re looking to shop sustainably: 

  • Does it contain animal products? 
  • Where are the materials sourced from? 
  • Does the company have any eco certifications? 
  • What are the factory conditions and benefits for the workers? 
  • How far away from me was it made? 
  • What’s the company’s mission? Does it have any commitments for the future? 

Find shops you can trust!

There are also organizations and online stores (like Not to Die For*) that curate products so that you don’t have to go through all that hassle. It’s very important to find vendors that you can trust and who put their ethics over selling out to corporations. Learn more about our selection of vegan lifestyle products by visiting our shop

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