We Waste 1 Billion Tons of Food Per Year

May 12, 2011

The United Nations released a study Wednesday with the astounding and sad fact that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year. That amounts to nearly 1/3 of all the food produced for consumption in the world. This has led to increased food insecurity, which means higher prices for food across the board. Wasted food also directly combats efforts to eradicate hunger in the world’s poorest nations.

The report also details the difference between food loss and food waste. Loss refers to inefficiencies in food production and processing. Food waste, on the other hand, is much worse and refers to when retailers and consumers simply throw away edible food. Developed nations waste around a quarter of a billion tons of food every year.

“Much of the blame is on retailers in rich nations that throw out food simply because it looks unappealing, and the food industry’s ‘all-you-can-eat’ marketing tactics, which encourage consumers to buy more than they need.” (source)

Here are just a few tips to reduce your own food waste:

  • Eat up all your leftovers! It’s easy to forget about them when they sit in the fridge. Also, make sure to take leftovers home with you from restaurants. It may not look like much on those huge plates, but it usually goes further than you would think.
  • Grocery shopping: make a list and don’t shop when you’re hungry. Make sure you stick to your list, and you won’t get tempted by all the sales trying to lure you in.
  • Rotate foods in cupboards and fridges. How many times have you found moldy food in the back of your refrigerator? When you get home with new groceries, put them in the back and bring the old stuff forward.
  • Start composting! Throw out a lot of fruits and veggies? Start a pile in your back yard and turn it into soil!
  • Portion control — one of the most important tips here! You will generally eat the food that is front of you, and you generally don’t need as much as you think. Try putting just a little less food on your plate, and see the difference it makes!

CNN Tri Challenge

May 9, 2011

Starting in 2010, CNN has supported an annual “Tri Challenge”. It takes six people who don’t have much experience with either swimming, biking or running, and helps them reach fitness goals to ultimately compete in a triathlon. The 2011 edition happened to have part of the training regimen take place in Hawaii! It makes for a great story, so be sure to see some screenshots below and head over to CNN for the rest of the stories!

A Look at the Causes We Support

April 27, 2011

We don’t want to toot our own horn here, we just want to make you, our loyal customers, aware of the good work that you are taking part in when you purchase Maui Soaps. Parts of every dollar you spend are going to one of these three causes.

  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – Type 1 diabetes is destructive both to children and to childhood. Controlling the disease requires 24/7/365 vigilance and imposes a grueling regimen. It includes eating a carefully calculated diet, checking blood glucose levels several times each day (by lancing a finger) and insulin injections—as many as six per day—or delivery of insulin through a pump just to stay alive. It means children and families living by the clock, day and night, for the rest of their lives—lives that turn out to average about 15 years less than normal.
  • Japan Disaster Relief – As of this writing, more than 100,000 people are homeless and living in shelters as a direct result of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the ensuing tsunami and nuclear plant failure. We had nearly 200 customers in the areas hardest hit, and we do not know whether they survived, so this tragedy really hit home for us. As a result, we immediately sent over 500 pounds of soaps to our japanese friends who lost their homes or had to be evacuated. Since our resources are limited and we cannot provide for enough people, we decided to run a BUY ONE – GIVE ONE campaign in Japan. This way, the people who were less affected can buy from us and support their less fortunate countrymen in the process. For every bar of soap sold in Japan in 2011, Maui Tropical Soaps will donate one bar of soap to a disaster survivor.
  • People Who Serve People– We should never forget the people who take care of us. In 2011, Maui Tropical Soaps is committed to supporting our firefighters and our troops stationed in harms way.We have been giving away lots of free stuff to our customers as a little extra thank you. For 2011 we will be sending your regular gift to a person who puts their life on the line to protect us. We sincerely thank you for supporting this program. Please know that your gift will make someone special very happy, and we will post their thank you letters and videos which will surely warm your heart.

Homemade Decorative Soap Balls

April 25, 2011

Make your own decorative soap balls

Today we have a fun little project for you that will add beauty and fragrance to your home! From eHow.com comes this quick and easy step-by-step process for making balls of soap to place in a bowl or elsewhere as a unique decorative feature. They also make a great gift!

  1. Choose your favorite soap that comes as a bar. You can use any fragrance, color, or brand of bar soap to make homemade soap balls.
  2. Grate your bar of soap, or multiple bars of soap. You can use any standard cheese grater. Grate as much soap as you want to make into soap balls into a large bowl.
  3. Wet your hands with water and scoop up a handful of grated soap. Firmly press the soap shavings together.
  4. Wet your hands again and add more grated soap to the soap ball you are forming. Continue adding shavings to your soap ball until it is the size that you prefer. You can make multiple small soap balls or one large one per bar of soap.
  5. As you make soap balls you may need to adjust how much water you add to the shavings. If the grated soap will not stick together, add more water. If it is beginning to lather up and become very mushy, use less water. If your soap ball is too wet, you can let it dry out before adding more shavings, or re-grate it and start over.

Try grating multiple bars of soap that are different colors or fragrances, and combining the shavings together to form new scents and interesting color combinations. And the most important part: have fun!


Our Planet: From Top to Bottom

April 21, 2011

We thought this would be a fun infographic to share with Earth Day tomorrow! Enjoy the day, and do something green!

Celebrate Earth Day 2011

April 20, 2011

Earth Day is coming up on Friday! How did it sneak up on us like that? There are about a million ways you can celebrate Earth Day.

How will you celebrate Earth Day 2011?

Everything from energy-efficient lighting, giving to “green” causes, starting compost piles and vegetable gardens, etc.

Another great option is to try out organic and handmade soaps for the first time. At Maui Tropical Soaps, we are in full control of every single bar of soap from start to finish. You have our promise that we never put in harmful ingredients, and we go as natural as we possibly can while keeping our product soap. With many “green” products, you simply cannot get it to be 100% natural – it will lose the qualities that make it soap. What we can guarantee is that the synthetics we DO use are completely safe and effective.

Many of the larger companies use detergents and often lie in ingredients lists. When you go local and handmade with your soap needs, you know exactly what you are getting. There a ton of things you can do to celebrate Earth Day. Switching to organic skin care products is a small way to do your part. If you’ve never tried them before, buy a bar or two to try it out, and come back later if you find you really enjoy it!

Should you choose to go with handmade soaps, give Maui a try! We are having a special deal that gets you a free 8-bar gift set whenever you buy $50 worth of product at our online store.

Thanks so much, and have a great Earth Day 2011!

Together Hawaii

April 18, 2011

Ten of the top musical artists in Hawaii have come together and produced a beautiful song called Together Hawaii. All the proceeds go to the Hawaii Red Cross, Japanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. Watch below, and buy a copy for yourself!

More Letters From Japan

April 15, 2011

We blogged a couple weeks ago about some letters that came in from Japan after we sent them 500+ pounds of soap. We received more in the mail just a couple days ago. Some of you may have seen these, as they were also posted already on Facebook, but we thought we would share here as well.


Hi, Richard-san. I am really glad that you call us FRIEND.
I have never had a friend in U.S. You are my first friend in U.S!
Domo Arigato! You make me proud.
~ Aki from Hokkaido Japan

I really love your soap. I have been using them for 10 years now.
I know people heal by your soap. Soap is a very important item in daily life!
I recommend your soap and your company to all of my friends.
~ Mika from Japan

Wow, you give us a lot! I cannot believe you, living outside of Japan and not Japanese, helping us!! That is a very big thing, Richard-san!
I say thank you from a bottom of my heart.
~ Masako from Tokyo Japan

When you need our help, we help YOU!
Thanks a lot!
~ Kazuhiro from Chiba Japan

I hope you realize that by yourself that YOU ARE DOING A GREAT THING!
Do you need anything from Japan?? Maybe I can send you!
~ Yuriko from Osaka Japan

Domo Arigato, Richard-san! We are feeling your kindness.
You are my friend too!
~Terumi from Kyoto Japan

Buy $50 of products, get an 8-Bar Gift Set!

April 13, 2011

Hello Readers!

We are happy and eager to announce a new special, starting right now! From now until around the end of May we will give you an 8-Bar Gift Set of Maui Soaps (valued at $23) with any other purchase totaling $50 or more! (Note: purchase amount before shipping). You can’t beat that deal!

One thing to note: Our online store is not everything that we want it to be, and will not show the deal. We promise, however, that you will get the gift set when we ship your order.

The 8-Bar Gift Set is one of our most popular items and is known to be a popular choice of Bed & Breakfast joints. It contains an assortment our 8 popular fragrances and comes wrapped in a nice organza bag.

Love Maui Tropical Soaps? Spread the word on our new deal!

What are you waiting for?! Head on over to www.MauiTropicalSoaps.com and get your today!

8-Bar Gift Set

Our 8-Bar Gift Set -- You'll get this free!

Words of Hope for Japan

April 8, 2011

Letters for Japan It has been almost a month since the Japan disaster. The world has moved on to other news – the federal budget, the Middle East, etc. In Japan, however, the real clean-up has barely started. Almost 13,000 people are confirmed dead, with another 15,000 missing. One of the things missing most in the devastated country is not money, supplies, shelter, etc. Millions and millions of dollars have poured in from around the world to help. What is missing is hope. One small group of people are making an effort to change that.

Words of Hope for Japan is a campaign to send an encouraging letter to every single evacuee living in a shelter. That amounts to at least 300,000 people. Here is a blurb from their Facebook page:


“Words of Hope for Japan is the world’s effort to make sure the Japanese people know they are not forgotten. Schools, churches, scout troops and other organizations as well as individuals can provide that hope simply by writing a letter sharing concern and encouragement. Children who can’t write can draw pictures. What is important is to do something to brighten the lives of the survivors and reassure them that they are not alone.

Our goal is to collect 300,000 letters – one for every man, woman and child in a Japanese shelter. Letters can be mailed to:

Words of Hope for Japan
P.O. Box 636
Fulton, MD 20759

All letters will be hand-delivered to the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. for shipment to the shelters. Please do not enclose cash or checks.

Thank you in advance for your help!

For more information, contact Kathleen Koch.


Make a difference. Send a letter. Thank you, in advance, for your kindness.


Maui Native Wins $100,000 Surf Contest

April 6, 2011

Innersection is a platform for surfing (the sport) movies on the web. There is also a contest involved, and a Maui native won $100,000 with this video. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Find us on Twitter or Facebook for more great Hawaii news!

5 Family Activities for Vacationing in Maui

April 4, 2011

Hana Road We’ve written about a couple of these before, but the Kansas City Star has put together a great little piece on five ideal activities for a family vacationing in beautiful Maui.

  1. Snorkel and sail aboard the Alii Nui. “Climb aboard this custom-built vessel for a morning of sunshine and snorkeling in clear tropical waters. Breakfast aboard the catamaran before donning fins, mask and snorkel and beginning your safari in the sea.” www.AliiNuiMaui.com
  2. Cirque Polynesia. “Watch as sixth- and seventh-generation members of the world-famous Flying Wallendas family perform with fellow entertainers in a 75-minute show that will dazzle all ages.” The entire family will find entertainment with this unique show. www.CirquePolynesia.com
  3. Haleakala National Park. “Visit this 30,000-acre park, known as the ‘house of the sun’, to explore volcanic craters, waterfalls, a rain forest and pulsing streams. Go horseback riding, hiking or swimming, and tap into local history in the three visitor centers.” www.nps.gov/hale
  4. Maui Ocean Center. “All ages will enjoy this low-key, hands-on aquarium that offers plenty of interaction and education. Visit the hatch-and-release green sea turtle presentation to observe the animals in various stages. Several exhibits offer information on Hawaii’s living reef and feature marine creatures such as sea horses and moray eels.”www.MauiOceanCenter.com
  5. Road to Hana. “The trip takes a full day, but the surf crashing on the rugged coastline, the bamboo forests and beautiful waterfalls make it worthwhile. Offering a stark contrast to the resort-lined beaches on other parts of the island, you’ll find an unblemished, lush landscape oozing with remnants of the old Hawaiian culture. The 52-mile trip over winding roads and through the rain forest requires the driver’s full attention. Stops along the way are encouraged for picture taking, hiking, picnicking on the beach and tasting the famous banana or mango bread.” www.HanaMaui.com

We couldn’t agree more with this great list!

Need some fresh Hawaiian soaps to take along? Head on over to MauiTropicalSoaps.com!


Taking Care of Your Feet

March 31, 2011

How often do you treat your feet? Winter generally means drier skin, which means cracked and itchy feet. Give them a little pampering as spring approaches, and you’ll be ready for those flip flops in no time! The Beautiful Skin Blog gives us some great tips for taking care of your feet, including giving them a special soak in the tub or other container. Here are the steps:

  1. Fill the tub or container with warm water
  2. Dilute with 1/2 cup sea salt
  3. Add rose or lavender petals (optional)
  4. Add drops of peppermint oil to improve circulation
  5. Keep feet in bath for 20 minutes
  6. Wipe dry with a warm towel
  7. Apply a good moisturizing lotion and massage

A great final step would be to use some Maui Soaps on your feet for extra protection and care (and to get rid of the smell!). How do you take care of your feet when they are dry?


Do you take breaks from skin care?

March 30, 2011

A recent blog post from Skin Care Blog highlights the importance of taking care of your skin, no matter the season. Vacations to Hawaii will certainly get us thinking about  skin care because of the bright tropical sun and sandy beaches. You may not be thinking about it, however, if you live in a colder climate and see snow on the ground at least a few months out of the year.

You must remember to always be thinking about sunscreen, hand lotion, and of course, high quality soaps for your skin. This is especially true if you are someone who enjoys outdoor activities throughout the year. Climbing a mountain in cold weather leaves your skin as susceptible to sun damage as lounging around on a beautiful white beach in Maui.

Keep in mind that even cloudy weather will not always protect you from our very powerful sun. The best solution: grab some Maui Tropical Soaps so you can have some wherever you go, and make sure your skin is getting the pampering it needs to fight against the dangers of the sun’s rays.


Letters From Japan

March 28, 2011

After sending more than 500 pounds of soap to the disaster survivors of Japan, Maui Tropical Soaps received some very special and touching letters in response. We recently updated our website to include a letters tab containing each translated letter from Japan. Here are a taste of some of the beautiful messages below, if you would like to read more visit our ‘Aloha from our friends’ section on our website.

You encourage us very very much.
Really, thank you so much.
We will love and use and order your soap forever!
Maui Tropical Soap is the BEST.

~ Ikuko in Japan

Your heart touched us!
I am so glad that the owner’s heart and personality is as wonderful as the soaps that you make.

~Shinobu in Japan