Dilutions Cheat Sheet for Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap July 27, 2017 11:12

Dilute! Dilute! OK!* But how much? Here is a quick reference. None of this is a hard and fast rule. If your stuff is really dirty or your water is really hard, then you may want to use more than the recommended amount. However, this should get you started. You’ll notice that for some applications, I recommend pre-diluting the soap – combining the soap with water in a container. For other applications, the soap is diluted by the water present in the situation. It’s a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind that if you predilute, you are also diluting the preservative (tocopherols – vitamin E), so the shelf life drops. Use within a couple weeks. And yes, there are 18 uses here.

* Long time Dr. Bronner’s users will remember this expression from the old labels.

Body Uses:

Face: 2-3 drops on wet hands, applied to wet face

Read Post: “I Wash My Face with Castile Soap”
Body: one small squirt on a wet washcloth, applied to a wet body

Read Post: “Simplifying the Shower”
Hair: ½ Tbsp. in your hand, worked into wet hair, or dilute ½ Tbsp. in ½ a cup of water and work that into wet hair

Read Post: “From Shampoo to Soap – My Story”
Bath: Completely depends upon water amount, but roughly 2 Tbsp. soap in an average sized tub. (Doesn’t bubble, but still cleans)

Shaving: Face – 10 drops; Underarms – 3 drops; Legs – ½ tsp; Work to a lather in wet hands and then apply to area.

Teeth: 1 drop on a toothbrush. (Yes, it tastes like soap.)

Foot Bath: 1½ tsp. in a small tub of hot water.

Clearing Congestion: 1 Tbsp. in a bowl of steamy hot water. Breathe in mist with a towel draped over the head.

Read Post: “Clearing Congestion with Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap”
Household uses:

Dishes (handwashing): Pre-dilute 1:10 with water. Squirt on a scrub brush and scrub dishes.

Laundry: 1/3—1/2 c. of soap for a large load in a normal washer. Add ½ c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. Use half of these amounts for HE

Read Post: “Dust Mites and Castile Soap”
Mopping: ½ c. of soap in 3 gallons of hot water

All-purpose cleaning: ¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil if desired.

Read Post: “Pretreating Laundry Stains with Dr. Bronner’s“
Windows: 1 Tbsp. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Follow up with pure club soda, or half vinegar/ half water.

Read Post: Making Exterior Windows Sparkle
Toilet: Predilute 1:4 with water in a squirt bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree oil. Empty toilet, squirt bowl thoroughly, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.

Other Uses:

Fruit and Veggie Rinse: 1 dash (approx.. ¼ tsp.) in a bowl of water. Dunk produce and swish. Then rinse in clear water.

Dog washing: Amount varies widely depending on size, hair type and length, and overall dirtiness. I wet my dog thoroughly, then start to work in castile soap up and down their body until I have a good lather. Really massage it in down to the skin. Your dog will thank you for it.

This article was first published here on

All-One on the High Sea July 27, 2017 11:12

Mike Bronner Speaks with Alex Cornelissen and Anne Kämmerling of Sea Shepherd Germany

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Their mission is to end habitat destruction and the slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans, in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and marine species.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Captain Alex Cornelissen, the CEO of Sea Shepherd Global. Our managing director in Europe, Axel Rungweber had been forging a relationship with the organization in Germany, and we had long been interested in exploring a partnership with them in the US. Upon meeting Alex and learning more about Sea Shepherd’s mission and impact, I was immediately inspired and humbled by the deep commitment of the people, largely volunteers, who make up Sea Shepherd. Each member does their part together to confront injustice and make positive change in the world.

After that meeting, Dr. Bronner’s started supplying Sea Shepherd missions and campaigns around the world with soap and coconut oil for their crew to use while at sea. We were elated when we had the chance to donate money to purchase communications equipment for one of their ships. Then, last December, Axel came to my brother David and me with a proposal from Sea Shepherd Germany. They wanted to purchase and renovate a small vessel for $50,000 that would allow them to launch a campaign this summer in the Baltic Sea to protect harbour porpoises. We agreed without hesitation. We donated the money, the ship was bought, and renovations began on what would become the MV Emanuel Bronner, named after my grandfather (founder of our company).

On June 1st I brought my family to Bremen, Germany where the ship – Sea Shepherd Germany’s first ship – was docked, ready to be unveiled to press and supporters. The more I’ve gotten to know the amazing individuals involved in this organization, the more I’ve understood that the soul and mission of Dr. Bronner’s and Sea Shepherd is All-One! Motivated by a mutual concern and compassion for the environment and wildlife, both organizations hold a deep belief in the power and responsibility of individuals to take direct action to right the wrongs of the world.

I interviewed Alex Cornelissen of Sea Shepherd Global and Anne Kämmerling of Sea Shepherd Germany. Both of them play key roles guiding a global network of activists who are committed to protecting our oceans and making a better world. Here’s what I learned.

How did each of you come to work with Sea Shepherd?

Alex: I first heard of Sea Shepherd when a friend of mine joined the crew of the Ocean Warrior (Sea Shepherd’s flagship in 2000) to make a documentary for Dutch TV. I was immediately impressed by the work Sea Shepherd did and was blown away by the inspiring speech given by founder Captain Paul Watson. Two years later I quit my job, sold my apartment in Amsterdam and joined for what was supposed to be a one-year sabbatical. That year changed my life completely. Sailing on board a Sea Shepherd ship with so many like-minded people is ever-inspiring. I also witnessed first hand the destruction that our species is causing to oceanic wildlife. The more I knew, the more I felt compelled to keep fighting the fight.

Anne: My first encounter with Sea Shepherd was in 2011 when I visited a music festival and literally ran into a guy wearing a Sea Shepherd t-shirt. After that I was curious and started researching, learned about all the work the organization does worldwide and immediately loved Sea Shepherd’s approach of direct action and how it is different from other NGOs. I started out as an onshore volunteer where I met a lot of Sea Shepherd people who each in their own way inspired me. Together we really make a difference and this is one of the main reasons why I love working with Sea Shepherd so much.

What are your respective roles and what do they entail?

Alex: I am the Chief Executive Officer of Sea Shepherd Global. That basically means I supervise all our staff and give direction to all the separate Sea Shepherd entities around the world. But I am also still one of the captains—so whenever I can, I love to join the crew of one of our ships and get my hands dirty. In the end it all comes down to direct action, physically saving wildlife is one of the most rewarding things I have done for Sea Shepherd. But as CEO, I do have to spend most of my time dealing with contracts, giving presentations, approving budgets and trying to raise funds. Having to deal with Sea Shepherd organizations around the globe, the work never stops: it is truly 24-7. Luckily my job allows me to meet the most amazing people and gives me the chance to pass on to others the passion I feel for the oceans.

Anne: I am the Director of Sea Shepherd Germany. My job is varied and the work is different every day, ranging from fundraising events to internal structures, from media and supporter relations to the planning of our upcoming campaign or big events, interactions with our merchandise/IT/event departments and the board of Sea Shepherd Germany. I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding job: I love working for such a passionate organization and, of course, for the oceans!

Alex, what is the difference between Sea Shepherd Global and Sea Shepherd Germany? Can you explain to us how the Sea Shepherd network is organized around the world?

Alex: Sea Shepherd Global is the coordinating entity that gives direction to our global movement. It’s a registered NGO in the Netherlands. Sea Shepherd Germany is one of the largest Sea Shepherd groups in the world in terms of support and engagement, but is a completely independent group. All our national groups are independent. That means they comply with non-profit regulations in their respective countries and have their own Board of Directors. We currently have about 15 fully registered national groups around the world and are growing.

What are some of Sea Shepherd’s biggest accomplishments in its 40 years of existence?

Alex: There are too many to list really but if I have to name a few, I would probably say the work we have been doing in the Galapagos Islands. This has greatly improved the protection of species in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Also the anti-whaling campaigns in Antarctica: over the course of several years we have managed to save about 6,000 whales from the deadly harpoons of the Japanese whale poachers. And lately we have been extremely successful in combating poaching in West Africa. This is a new direction for us, working with governments of impoverished African countries to empower them to stop illegal fishing in their waters. And of course I have to mention our Icefish campaigns: in two years time we completely eliminated a fleet of six fishing vessels that had been eluding international prosecution for decades.

Anne: Apart from all the successful campaigns in the past to protect the oceans and their inhabitants, Sea Shepherd has always managed to stick to our principles. Even though we’ve grown, there have never been any compromises and the way forward is as straight as it was 40 years ago.

Alex, why is Sea Shepherd effective? What sets you apart from other ocean conservation organizations?

Alex: Because Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct action tactics. We go where no other organization has gone and confront illegal activity on the high seas where it is needed most. We physically block and intervene with poachers, not shying away to put our crew and vessels in harm’s way. Because we use mostly volunteers, we get the most passionate people who understand that if you want to save life on the planet, you have to be willing to take risks sometimes. Having said that, in the 40 years we have been around, we have never had a serious injury or worse. Not on our side and not on our opponents’ side. We value safety very much and will keep our track record clean. I guess you could list our actions as aggressive, non-violent intervention. Meaning we would never hurt a living being but are willing to damage a vessel if that means we stop them from killing animals or destroying eco-systems. You could compare it to taking away a gun from someone who is about to shoot a living being.

Anne, tell us about Sea Shepherd Germany’s plans for the Baltic Sea Campaign this summer. What is the objective of the campaign? Why is it needed?

Anne: Our main goal is to finally establish real sanctuaries for endangered harbour porpoises, who are very small and shy members of the dolphin family. Their numbers are going down dramatically because they are frequently caught in fishing nets and die as bycatch. Germany needs to follow EU regulations and turn the porpoise’s habitats into sanctuaries where fishing is completely prohibited. Right now, the use of gillnets is still legal and not monitored at all, which has to change.

Anne, the MV Emanuel Bronner is Sea Shepherd Germany’s first ship. Have your other campaigns to date been only land based? What have you accomplished within Germany so far?

Anne: Our first campaign “Operation Sturmmöwe” was launched in 2014, we protected and monitored the nesting grounds of Common Gulls. In the year before all of the colony’s eggs were stolen and an entire generation was wiped out. Thanks to many german volunteers, hundreds of chicks were born again in 2014. We also launched a Marine Debris campaign last year, which connects with partners who do beach cleanups to analyze the collected debris and discover where the plastic problem is coming from. With our new ship we’ll finally be able to take our efforts out to sea.

Alex, what is unique about Sea Shepherd’s relationship with Dr. Bronner’s? Why is Dr. Bronner’s support significant?

Alex: Dr. Bronner’s and Sea Shepherd are both made up of similar-minded people. We share the same love for the planet and all understand that everything we do on this planet is connected and has consequences. When I first met with Mike, Ryan [Dr. Bronner’s PR Director] and Axel [Managing Director of Dr. Bronner’s Germany] I immediately felt a connection and am proud to be able to work with a company that not only sets an example for other companies around the world in terms of ethics and social responsibility, they also make amazing soaps and other products.What is the best way for people to support the work Sea Shepherd does?

Alex: All our campaigns are run on the tightest possible budgets but nevertheless, ships are expensive. We have nine ships now sailing on the world’s oceans and they are in constant need of supplies, fuel and repairs. So, what we really need is for people to support us financially so we can keep doing what we are best at: protecting the oceans worldwide.

Anne: People can also help by sharing our news on social media, by organizing beach cleanups or visiting our info booths we run at events worldwide. Everyone can help and be part of this movement.

Where do you see Sea Shepherd in 10 years?

Alex: The past ten years have seen ever-increasing growth in our organization. More people are starting to realize that the oceans are dying, so we need to continue to grow this work in order to turn the tide. Ten years from now, I see Sea Shepherd operating an even bigger fleet of vessels and working in even more countries with their governments. What I know will be the same is the passion of our people and that we will never make compromises. I also hope that we will continue to work with Dr. Bronner’s ten years from now.

Anne: Ideally, our oceans would be healthy again and our work wouldn’t be needed anymore in 10 years. But to be realistic, I’d like to see Sea Shepherd grow as an organization more and more people increasingly know of and support, with enough funds to do even more successful campaigns with the same spirit it has today.

This article was first published here on

Serendipalm: More Than Fair Trade July 27, 2017 11:11

Serendipalm is our sister company in Ghana that supplies us with fair trade & organic palm oil for our soaps. We recently caught up with Safianu Moro, who heads up the team at Serendipalm as Managing Director to learn more about his work there and his vision for the project’s future.

How did you come to work at Serendipalm?

I earned my Bsc. in Agricultural Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, and for my required national service, went into an agricultural research center that belongs to the University of Ghana. There, I worked with a lecturer, looking at crops such as oil palm and cassava, conducting research on improving soil fertility. After that I completed my master’s in agricultural extension. Right after that I got to know of Serendipalm, through the lecturer that I had worked with at the research center, who happened to also be the Internal Control System (ICS) Manager for Serendipalm at the time. I joined Serendipalm in August 2010 and started out as a field officer, became ICS Manager in 2011, General Manager in 2013 and am now the Managing Director.

How has Serendipalm grown in the time you’ve been here?

Serendipalm has grown a lot, in all regards. For instance consider the number of farmers in our ICS: when I joined there were a total of about 250 farmers; now we have about 635. The number of production workers when I started was just over 100, and now we have about 230.

As far as change at the factory itself: when I started we had two steamers, two clarifiers and two smaller expellers. Now we have six steamers, four clarifiers, and two bigger expellers. We also added structures: we rebuilt the entire fruit cleaning section so it can accommodate more workers at comfortable conditions.

We’ve also grown economically. It was only around 2013 that Serendipalm achieved production sufficiently large to turn a profit. Because of the premium price we pay to farmers and the wages and benefits to our staff we needed to scale to reduce the high cost of production. We’ve also improved efficiencies all along the process, from the farm through processing, notably the oil extraction rate, i.e. the amount of oil produced from the palm fruits. Finally, our community impact through fair trade projects and our cooperation with the community has expanded considerably.

What do you think attracts people to work at Serendipalm?

Many professional staff come from outside the area to work in Asuom, although it is a small town with few of the amenities available in bigger cities. We have staff from Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Cape Coast. They are interested in Serendipalm’s work, the social development aspect of the project — the impact their contribution makes to the livelihoods of community members and farmers. Workers come to us because we offer fair wages and excellent benefits, and we work in an atmosphere of respect. Workers call Serendipalm “the listening company.”

What is your long-term vision for Serendipalm?

We plan to increase our production of crude palm oil from 650 to 900+ metric tons per year. We are also adding the production of organic and fair trade cocoa to our program. Many of our oil palm farmers also grow cocoa, and we could produce up to 1000 metric tons of cocoa beans annually, and already have several customers in the U.S. and Germany for that amount. We plan to improve our mill’s oil extraction rate from 16% to 20%, thus cutting cost of production by some 20%. And since we are supplying two German customers, Rapunzel and GEPA, with oil for food products, we need to maintain high quality and keep free fatty acid content consistently below 4%.

Our vision is also to extend community development projects to the subcommunities under the major communities we are working with, such as Asuom, Abodom, Bomso, Abaam. Previous fair trade projects were concentrated in the town centers, so we are looking at encouraging the fair trade committee to extend services to the places where they are needed most, such as water and sanitation projects in the peripheries of the communities.

This article was first published here on

Being Uncle Ralph July 27, 2017 11:11

Uncle Ralph embodied the heart and soul of our company. While my grandfather inspired from the mountaintop, Uncle Ralph grounded himself on the earth, among the crowds, leading them in song, entertaining them with story, showering them with soap. He could instantly connect with people from all walks of life: everybody was a kindred spirit. And so when he talked about the company — our philosophy, our charitable giving — it was as if he was saying: We can all do this thing, now go out and serve. Make this world a better place.

Despite a difficult upbringing, raised in 14 different foster homes, my uncle bore no resentment. In fact, when he came into wealth later in life as vice-president of the most successful natural soap company in America, he felt no entitlement. He treated money like energy to be shared with people who were disadvantaged like he once was, to assist them in getting on the right side of opportunity.

Countless times I saw him give a $50 bill to a person he’d just met, like the dishwasher in a restaurant, because he had once worked as a dishwasher and knew it to be a tedious, thankless job. He got such joy out of giving, and would often say that if people knew how great it felt to give their money away, they wouldn’t wait until they died to do it.

Meeting with customers the Uncle Ralph way meant loading up his minivan with soap, picking a city, walking into every health store, and playing his guitar for whoever would listen. People would look at him like Who is this guy? But then his charm would take over — he’d ask if they knew the soaps, tell them it would tingle, especially “in the undercarriage.” He’d share stories about Dad, humanizing Dr. Bronner like nobody could — have everybody laughing, crying, embracing him by the end — then on he’d go to the next store.

Put Uncle Ralph on stage and he could engage an entire auditorium of people like he was talking to each one of them in his kitchen. And he was fearless. I swear he could be awakened out of a deep sleep to be interviewed by Oprah, and he would deliver without missing a beat.

Throughout it all Uncle Ralph would balk at the thought that he was doing any kind of “marketing” — that insinuated a devious subterfuge of, you know, selling product. Selling was completely superfluous to my uncle’s intentions, which were simply to show what a better world it would be if people would only give back for the greater good.

Though he is no longer with us, Uncle Ralph has left his mark on this company. No matter how large we get, we must engage on the human level. We must know our customers, not just our customer types. We must treat employees like family, and suppliers like trusted partners. I can never duplicate Uncle Ralph — no one can. But in my own way I try to follow in my uncle’s footsteps by connecting with everyone I meet, even when I’m not handing them an article or bottle of soap. Be with the crowds, not above them. Lead from within. Live modestly. Live fully.

This article was first published here on

Dr. Bronner's Cosmic Principles December 20, 2016 16:47

The vision of Dr Bronner is valued every day and the message is clear; follow the 6 cosmic principles and make socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, to make a better world.
Here's a fun video (2:17) about our 6 cosmic principles which inform everything we do. Plus you'll see some the Dr. Bronner's family in action!  The beauty is, these principles can be applied by anybody in everyday life - we are All-One!  



As a business our growth can only be considered in relation to what is around us being humans, animals, plants, microscopic life and the Earth. We are responsible for ourselves but also each other, and as we grow, we must grow responsibly.
 Dr. Bronner's Principle Two
Lead with heart, take time and be with the crowds, not above them. We must know our customers. Dr Bronner is the very best for human, home and Earth using no synthetic preservatives or foaming agents, only the purest and organic fair trade ingredients., we do right by our customers and our Earth.
 Dr. Bronner's Principle Three
Be kind, reward generously, support healthy living. Seek and encourage the best in each other. The Dr Bronner’s company would not be able to grow without every single member of the team, so it is only right that we fairly reward and grow together.
 Dr. Bronner's Principle Four
Fair trade means being fair to the people, fair prices, fair working communities and respect for land. We will highlight in depth what Fair Trade is for us in our next blog post, it’s more than you may think!
 Dr. Bronner's Principle Five
What comes from the Earth must go back, so treat the land, people and animals with respect. Be mindful of the Earth’s gifts and do not waste.
 Dr. Bronner's Principle Six
At Dr Bronner’s we believe we truly prosper only when society as a whole prospers. Share profits, share talent, share voice and be an engine for positive change.
Living by these principles we can enrich the world and make positive things happen, and we can inspire friends and family to do the same.