Monday, November 25, 2013

Our New Cell Phone Sized Solar Powered Aquarian Bath Webserver Runs on 5 Watts

The new Aquarian Bath web store was recently upgraded and given a new home on one of these palm-sized machines which are built with the power efficient processors designed for smart phones. The open source Cubieboard ARM based integrated computer serves as the bare metal for a Debian Linux based web, database, and email server. Drawing just 3 Watts 5 Watts under load, it is one of the most power efficient computing platforms available, allowing us to run our new website on solar power, courtesy of industry leader SolarNetOne.  We upgraded our server since this article was published last week to include an extra hard drive which draws 2 Watts in order to keep up with holiday traffic, therefore the server draws 5 Watts instead of 3 Watts.

In comparison, the average video card in a gaming computer draws about 100 Watts by itself. Another 150 Watts is required for the main computer. 250 Watts is also about the average power consumption for a typical server. An average compact fluorescent light bulb draws 13 Watts, more than 2 times the power of our new e-commerce website.  

With this new hardware upgrade, we also updated the shopping cart, reorganized and categorized many of our items and sections. We hope you find it easier to navigate. You can now shop by the following main sections Soap (and Shampoo), Natural Skin Care, Herbal Products, Gift Ideas, Flaxseed Pillows and Reduce Plastic

For example, this Gingerbread and Star Anise 2013  holiday soap set can be found in the soap, Gift ideas, and Reduce plastic section.  Thanks for reading and please check out our new site.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Lucky Fisherman's Anise Soap

Did you know that according to fishing and herbal lore Anise seed oil is attractive to fish like catfish and trout?  We have a new Anise seed oil hard hand soap that makes a great gift or stocking stuffer for the fisherman or fish lover in your life.  These soaps were hand stamped and include saponified oils of Coconut, Shea Butter, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Olive oil and Pomace.  They were marbles lightly with French green clay and Rhassoul clay.  Check out the new Lucky Fisherman's Anise soap at AquarianBath.

The photos below are from our weekend trip to Weeki Wachee Springs.  What a beautiful view of the water from the tour boat.

The fishing here was completely for the birds!   

Cypress Tree 

The crystal clear blue water drains into the Gulf of Mexico, some 12 miles downstream. 

Just down the road in the Gulf of Mexico on Pine Island, the sea birds are sunning themselves.

We didn't try fishing, but I did catch this crab with my bare hands for fun to show the kids.

It took me a while to get up the nerve to do it. Twenty years ago I hunted Dungeness crab by hand in Washington. This is a female blue crab.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why Child Labor, Exploited Workers, and "Sustainable" Palm Oil Don't Belong in Your Soap

"Sustainable" Palm oil is in the news again this week in Indonesia. Palm oil plantation workers demanded that the RSPO stop certifying Palm plantations as 'sustainable' when they are exploiting workers. This occurred outside the 11th annual RSP0 meeting. Workers Give Message to RSPO: Don’t Certify Abuse! - Labor is Not a Commodity. RSPO stands for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil. It is a creation of the Palm oil industry, and primarily includes major players in the industry. There is no outside overseer who monitors the sustainable certification. In July Bloomberg exposed child labor and forced labor on RSPO certified "sustainable" palm oil plantations. Palm oil is not just in many handmade soaps and shampoo bars, but also food products such as most cookie packages at the grocery store.

Palm oil is used in many soaps because it makes a hard long lasting soap with a mild gentle lather. It can basically be substituted 1 to 1 for lard in old fashioned soap recipes. The vegetarian palm oil may seem more ecofriendly than lard, especially with the vegan labeling, but pristine rain forest habitat is destroyed in the process, endangering Orangutans and human jungle habitat as well as eliminating some of the highest areas of biodiversity on the planet.

Aquarian Bath is able to make high quality handmade soaps without palm oil, because we instead formulate our soap and shampoo bar products with a balanced blend of Shea butter or Organic Cocoa butter together with Extra Virgin Olive oil and Coconut oil. Our soaps require a larger concentration of more expensive Shea Butter or Organic Cocoa butter compared to 'sustainable' palm oil which is much cheaper. The majority of our soaps are vegetarian, and we are happy to report that as we expanded our business in 2013 with the help of increase in sales we converted 4 of our non vegetarian formulas to vegetarian in 2013. We will be converting our last non vegetarian bar to vegan in Winter 2014.

Thank you to our customers for paying a little extra to purchase our palm free soaps and shampoo bars. We are always looking for ways to lessen our ecological impact.  Look for more announcements on that topic in the near future regarding our new solar e-commerce initiative and a move towards certified Organic fabric with our Organic Flaxseed and Organic herbal neck pillows.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An Improved DIY Dishwashing Detergent Recipe

Photo by John Nyberg 

We recently installed a used dish washing machine to help keep up with the dishes.  I was interested to find a DIY detergent recipe that could be used safely with the machine.  I tried a recipe which was suggested by  It was a great start, but I found that there was an awful residue left on all the glassware, even when I used the white vinegar rinse solution which was suggested to go along with the recipe.  With one addition, I found a way to make this recipe work

Dishwashing Detergent Recipe

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Sea Salt (fine or coarse)

Our addition.. the magic ingredient...
+1 tsp powdered Oxygen Cleaner per load in hot water (Sodium Percarbonate)

Combine the first 4 ingredients and store in air tight container.  This detergent will clump up a bit so I shake it up a bit in between use or chisel it a bit with a butter knife.  The clumping does not effect the functionality at all.  Use 1 to 2 Tablespoons per load  Next, the powdered Oxygen cleaner is what I found to be a critical for this recipe to work well.  The Oxygen cleaner is Sodium Percarbonate, branded as Oxiclean or Sun Oxygen Cleaner, etc.   Add 1 teaspoon of the powder to 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot water and dissolve completely.  Add this to the bottom of the dish washing machine right before use.  It will not work well when added dry along with the other ingredients.  No other rinse ingredient, such as vinegar is required.  

Hope you like this recipe, and if you like DIY check out this DIY laundry soap recipe that we make with our soap scraps.  It is very simple and also includes ingredients from this dishwashing detergent recipe.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Set Aside an Hour this Sunday for your Health: Special Broadcast

I have not been making a lot of facebook or blog posts lately due to our current focus here on dietary and lifestyle changes required to reduce radiation exposure from food and environment. Today pronuclear engineer Michael Friedlander was quoted in Bloomberg today saying that the fuel rod removal that is starting to get underway at Fukushima fuel pool 4 this month is keeping him up at night with concern. I feel the same way. It will be a huge danger to the North America if the removal goes badly. You can take proactive measures for the health of yourself and family. Dr. John Apsley will be on Natural Health 365 this Sunday. (You can listen to the program for free on Sunday, and then afterwards there is a charge). Apsley is the author of the book Fukushima Meltdown and Modern Radiation: Protecting Ourselves and Future Generations. Follow the link below to get to the show on Sunday:

Fukushima Update: Action Steps and Solutions with - John Apsley, MD(E), ND, DC holds degrees in medicine, chiropractic care and nutrition. Dr. Apsley issues his most serious alert - to date - about the dangers surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant. With a comprehensive 4-step program, you'll learn how to protect yourself from radiation poisoning. If you live in the northern hemisphere - do NOT miss this program. Next Show! Sun. Nov. 10, 2013 Available 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (EST)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How Monsanto Kills the News - Must Watch Before GMO Labeling Vote

If you are are a Washington state voter, please be sure to watch this video before voting on GMO labeling. This video shows how Monsanto negatively influences journalism. Specifically it is the story of two Fox news journalists who were fired for refusing to report about cancer risks with GMO milk. We have a right to know what is in our food, so please spread the word.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Time to Learn Sprouting! Introduction to Sprouting

Our Clover and Radish Sprouts
We have started sprouting at home fairly recently in response to the increasing fallout from Fukushima. This fallout will be a ongoing problem, as "hot" radioactive particles distributed by the rain will remain in your soil, gradually accumulating.  Eating lower on the food chain is one appropriate response to mitigating the effects of the fallout on your food supply, as the dangerous particles will bio-accumulate towards the top of the food chain (animals and dairy).  Growing your own food inside in a controlled environment is a better solution, because you can greatly reduce your exposure levels internally by maintaining a clean environment from which to grow your food.  Sprouts are a good option, because they can be grown quickly indoors.  We recently purchased about 75 pounds of Organic seeds for sprouting.  Organic foods are more important than ever, as it has been shown that plants growing with lots of Organic compost materials take up less radioactive particles including Cesium-137.  Further, indoor growing of organic foods presents the safest possible food production method, in terms of exposure to radioactivity through your food supply.

Radiation readings from for today 10/21/13

Green Pea Sprouts soaking day 1.  We didn't care for these so much, but they kept an extra long time in the fridge. 

The first step for sprouting seeds is to soak the seeds for 8-12 hours in clean water.  After soaking, the seeds are strained and left in a jar or tray and kept dark over the next 2-3 days.  During these days, the seeds are soaked 2-3 times daily for about a minute, and then the water is strained off again.  There are different types of containers to use. The simplest way to sprout is in jars with a cheese cloth and rubber band lid.  For small seeds you just cover the bottom of the jar, or for big seeds you fill the jar about 1/8th to 1/4th full.  You can also buy specialty sprouting lids that screw onto mason jars.  Moonlight Micro-Farm sells stainless steel lids that work with the 'O' ring of a regular mason jar.  There are also specialized sprouting trays that are stackable.  If you are using a jar, tilt the jar on its side at a 45 degree angle after the rinse.  On the last day of sprouting put the seeds in a sunny window or under growing lights so that the small leaves produce chlorophyll and turn green.  The last step is to rinse the sprouts in cold water.  Then eat or store in the refrigerator in a jar or bag.  We prefer clear glass jars.  The sprouts will keep the best if they are rinsed once a day.  You should eat them within 3-5 days.   

If you have fruit flies in your home, you need to keep them under control and out of your sprouts.  This is can be done easily by keeping a soapy jar of vinegar next to your sprouting area.  

These are Mung bean sprouts which took about 4 days to grow.  Mung beans from India are a good bet in terms of avoiding fallout, considering they are produced in the Southern Hemisphere.  

Our last batch of Mung Bean sprouts
The youtube video below will show you how to sprout garbanzo beans for a raw hummus.  I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it is on my to do list for this week.  

So far our family's favorite type of sprout is green lentils.  Others that one or more of our family members have enjoyed include clover, adzuki bean, mung bean, broccoli, and garbanzo.  If you are new to sprouting and would like to get started sprouting, I recommend you check out this beginner's sprouting kit from Moonlight MicroFarm in South Florida. 

The kind folks at Moonlight Microfarm sell sprouts at their local farmer's market and also sell a nice variety of heirloom vegetable seeds.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Genetic Roulette free Showing at Cinematique in Daytona Beach

Love Whole Foods is hosting a free screening of the film Genetic Roulette on October 28th at the Cinematique Theatre.  Be sure to mark your calendars if you haven't seen this film yet.  Find all the details below.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Soaps in Stock!

Daytona Beach Scrubby Sand Soap  This is a hard hand soap for super dirty hands.
We have lots of new soaps in stock.  Some have been on the site for a couple of weeks and others are new today.  This is the first time we've shown them off here on the blog.  I hope you'll find one you like.  Find all our soap on the main Aquarian Bath website.

Orange Clove Soap with red Moroccan Clay.  Hand or Body Soap

Root Beer Soap lightly scented with a pure essential oil blend.  Nice body soap!

Jasmine Rose Soap.  Must have for floral fans.  Get ready to swoon.

Orange Patchouli Hand Soap Made with a high concentration of Coconut oil,
 this  is a long lasting, strong lathering bar of soap.  Naturally colored, of
course, with red Moroccan Clay and Organic Cocoa Powder

Friday, September 20, 2013

Glass Soap Dish Giveaway from BPR Designs

I have been a long time admirer of the handmade Glass Soap Dishes from BPR Designs.  They are all fused glass dishes made by Beth Reiman of Portland, Oregon.  There are so many beautiful colors to choose from, with many of them inspired by the colors of her garden.  If you don't see something that just fits your bathroom color scheme, Beth also does custom work.  Beth has generously offered the turqouise and white soap dish pictured above as a giveaway for this blog post.  If you are 18 or older and live in the US, you can enter to win the soap dish.  Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this blog post.  Good luck!

Violet and Periwinkle Glass Soap Dish

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wedding Pictures With Our New "love" Stamp for Soap Favors

Friday night we had our 10 year anniversary.  To celebrate we had an informal renewal of vows ceremony at the beach in Ormond Beach.  Our wedding colors slowly evolved into yellow and black starting with my choice of a dress color that could moderately resist potential smudging from little flower girl hands.

Cory & Scott president & vice president at Aquarian Bath
Scott found a black shirt with a yellow-gold tie.  The girls found matching dresses that they liked with black and some yellow.

With goldenrod in bloom this time of year, I had to have Solidago for our bouquets.

The day before the wedding I got a new batch of custom made soap stamps in.  One of them was a new 'love' stamp.  I stamped up some of our Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay Soaps with it, put the soaps in our biodegradable cellophane bags, and added some yellow ribbon.  Not your typical soap wedding favors, but they were a perfect fit for our event.  

I will stamp up some different colored soaps as examples for custom wedding soap favors later this month.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Hemp Soap & Shampoo Bar Gift Sets from Aquarian Bath and Giveaway

These are our new Hemp Soap and Shampoo Gift sets.  Each gift set comes with one of our Peppermint, Lavender, Patchouli body soaps, 2 cedar soap decks, and your choice from one of our 4 hemp oil shampoo bars.   We have Citrus Bay Rum Patchouli (above) with red Moroccan Clay.

We have our original Patchouli hemp shampoo bar with French green clay.

We have a new Lavender- Patchouli Hemp shampoo bar with Rhassoul Clay.

We also have the very popular Rose Hemp Shampoo bar.

You could win one of these gift sets at Beth Terry's Plastic Free Life blog.  She is taking entries through the end of the week.  Tell her we sent you!  She has a great blog which is very informative regarding reducing plastic in your life. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Photos from Ravine Gardens State Park

We had an awesome Sunday hiking around Ravine Gardens State park in Palatka.  This park was build in the 1930's.  There are 2 suspension bridges and coquina rocks and other stone paths throughout the park.  We hiked around for a bit over an hour and saw lots of beautiful plants and animals.  Hope you like the photos. 

This snake was catching fish at the bottom of the ravine. 

Golden silk spiders are found throughout the hiking trails.

Beauty Berry Bush

Butterfly with Spanish Needle Flowers

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Scent Themed Gift Sets from Aquarian Bath: Lavender, Patchouli, and Lavender-Rose

Aquarian Bath is happy to announce we have new scent-themed gift sets.  All of our products are scented with only pure essential oils, botanical resins or waxes.  We never use chemical fragrances.  The sets are packaged in ecofriendly Kraft gift boxes with krinkle paper and two handmade cedarwood soap decks which help to extend the shelf life of your soaps.  The soap decks are made in the USA by a North Carolinian craftsman.  Our first set, shown above is our Lavender Lovers Gift Set.  It is plastic-free and includes a Lavender Oatmeal Soap, a Lavender Rosemary Mint Aloe Shampoo bar, a Lavender Cedarwood Deodorant, and a Lavender Peppermint Lip Balm.  

Our Patchouli Lover's Bath set makes a great gift for the patchouli fanatic.  The products are made with pure dark patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oil.  This gift set includes a large Patchouli cold process Soap and Patchouli Hemp Shampoo Bar, a unisex Patchouli roll on perfume.  Did you know that our Patchouli Hemp Shampoo bar is our top selling shampoo?

Our Lavender Rose Bath and Body gift set includes a Lavender Rose Geranium soap, a Bulgarian Rose and Lavender Shampoo Bar, a Lavender- Rose Geranium roll on perfume a Lavender Rose Geranium lip balm and 2 cedar soap decks.  

We have also brought back out "I heart MOM" gift set which features a Lavender Soap, cedarwood soap deck and a Lavender Massage Oil.   We will have these sets available until the end of the year.  For the I Heart Mom sets you can choose from Lavender-Rose Soaps, Lavender-Tea Tree-Spearmint and Lavender-Vanilla is curing and will be ready this month.

We have 2 other new gift sets coming soon.  One is for hemp product fans, and the other is for gardeners.  Have a great week!