Oregon Soap Company: Buy some Soap, Plant a Tree.

Via Merete Mueller
on Aug 7, 2008
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Thanks to a basket of Oregon Soap, elephant’s often less-than-presentable office bathroom smelled like a minty fresh forest, and never totally embarrassed us. And our hands were always sparkly (and organically) clean. But the details of Oregon’s deliciously natural soap have already been covered in Jenny’s review. I’m here to talk about trees. 

As if offsetting 150% of all carbon created during soap production wasn’t enough, Oregon Soap Company is now planting one tree for every 10 bars of soap sold online. So far, they’ve planted over 2,000 native trees and shrubbery in the Portland area (hopefully not all in one backyard).

Marketing gimmick? Sure, but it’s the kind we like—it actually does some good—and it’s a smart one (it certainly is an incentive to buy more soap). But it’s also part of Oregon’s overall mission to build sustainability into their brand and prove that conservation and industry needn’t always be enemies. In the words of Oregon “soapman” Sat Atma Singh:

“I know it’s the ‘in’ thing for businesses to claim they do this and that for the environment, but how do you really know it’s happening? Rather than giving a set portion of our profits to organizations, we give a set amount per product sold. We work with an established, local non-profit for the tree plantings, and I’m also a crew leader on the plantings. So I get to not only give the funds to make it happen, but also get wet and dirty planting them.” 


About Merete Mueller

Merete is a writer and filmmaker, and was once-upon-a-time the Managing Editor of elephant journal's print incarnation, from 2006-2008. Today, you can find her on Twitter @meretemueller and on her blog To The Bones. Her first documentary, "TINY: A Story About Living Small", about people who have downsized their lives into homes the size of a parking space, premiered at SXSW in March 2013.


6 Responses to “Oregon Soap Company: Buy some Soap, Plant a Tree.”

  1. Hey, you’ll never believe it, but I just washed my hands with that soap! I bought 4 bars last year at the Saturday Market and still have some left. They are the best soap and they last so long. I’ve told all my friends about Oregon Soap. Thanks for making such a good product.


    Michael Levin

  2. indra says:


  3. Heather says:

    Besides lacking greenery, one thing missing here in Madrid,Spain is that lovely Oregon Soap! It’s great to know that it can now be ordered online…and with such a great incentive 🙂

    -Heather Johnston

  4. Glenn says:


    Enjoy Spain and Oregon soap.. spread the love

    I have been going to the Saturday market in P-town for seven years and have since found my calling for stocking stuffers..

    Oregon soap is the best..

    Try the foamer style for hand washing.. Talk about long lasting Aussie Tea Tree or Oregon lavender..

    mmmmmm .. almost want to eat it..

    just kidding

    PDX, OR

  5. Laura Hofmann says:

    Although scent preference is completely subjective…I have always been ‘picky’ about smells. I want them to be natural, plant based, pure. I reject the processed, mainstreamed scents that clog most markets, and I won’t settle for a large amount of the products I find in local health food stores. When it comes to scent…only the best. Therefore, when it comes to soap…only Oregon Soap will do. I was introduced to it several years ago by the maker himself, who was correct in his confidence that I would be converted.

    Since then, I use it every day…and I do not take it for granted. I am literally conscious of enjoying it every morning in the shower as I lather it up. My favorites are Bay Rum, Forest, Soapman’s Spice, and Lemongrass and the smell lasts through the whole bar! I love it so much I buy extra and give it to people because it is rewarding to share something that I know they can’t help but enjoy.

    Love it! Visit the website to read about all the good things the owner does for the world besides making great soap!