Staying safe in a sustainable manner
Keeping your hands and immediate surroundings clean is now more important than ever. However, we shall not forget about mother earth.
Even though it still might sound surreal to many, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. While necesssary measures such as wearing disposable medical products have been passed in order to stop the virus from spreading, many of these measures unavoidably have led to even more dispoable waste being produced as of late. Moreover, as we still lack full scientific clarity and empirical values (i.e. we are unsure about the degree of contamination of potentially infected surfaces), a significant amount of people wear disposable gloves for instance. Keeping our hands clean and disinfected remains one of the core tasks as part of our daily routine. More specifically, it is recommended that we wash our hands several times a day for a duration of at least 20 seconds while we should avoid touching the face, as this is one of the most likely ways of infection. In order to follow this broad recommendation, we face different options.
Hand wash or disinfectant?
Undoubtedly, among the most effective ways to be as safe as possible and reduce the risk of infection or spreading the virus is through continous and frequent hand washing. Many people however are using hand sanitiser, among the reasons is its ease of use. Importantly to stress at this point — clearly both disinfectants and soap can help protect yourself from coronavirus infection. If outside it can become difficult to wash your hands throughout the day, which is why hand sanitizer could be used to ensure that you are cleaning your hands as often as needed. From a medical point of view, there are indeed good reasons for the popularity of the disinfectant sprays and gels. They can also be infectious but can easily be removed from there with disinfectants. Provided that you use the right one — and know when it makes sense to use it. Recent research has shown that coronaviruses can adhere to surfaces for several days. For that reason, it is suggested that in order for the virus to be killed from your skin you need hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%. To sum up, disinfectants make sense to be used in many parts of our daily life — especially across public facilities.
But what about washing your hand with hand soap? Does it do the job just as good or even better? Without diving to deep into the underlying science, it is important to understand that the coronaviruses’ lipid envelope is fat-soluble. This lipid envelope — that basically serves as as proteticion for the virus — is dissolved and destroyed by hand soap. Even if washing your hands seems banal, it is exactly the right means to reliably eliminate viruses since soap contains surfactants that react with the lipid shell of coronaviruses. Supported by water, the surfactant molecules compete with the lipid molecules and disrupt their connection to one another and to the skin on which the virus is sitting. Voila.
To conclude, the regular use of disinfectants is not absolutely necessary as long as we have access to soap. By using a true zero waste solution like aersoa developed by our team, it is hence possible to stay safe while eliminating single-use packaging and minimizing carbon emissions. All it takes is around 8 grams of powder, 380ml of water and our soap dispenser.
Move over bar soap
Liquid, pre-filled body care and especially soap grew in popularity in the 1960’s to become the dominant product in the market over solid products such as bar soaps. This can be largely attributed to the prevalence of cheap to manufacture disposable, single-use bottles and containers which emerged as part of a broad industrial revolution in the Western world. This — among other factors — continues to contribute to our global waste challenges. However, we experience a shift in people’s mindset, and we at aer want to take the lead in the field of home and personal care to change the way our society consumes and chooses its products. For our body care products this has resulted in a hand wash that arrives in powder form, turns into a brilliant liquid hand wash when you add water from the tap, and foams when you wash up with it.
Our solution does not only save space and resources, but ultimlately saves our planet. As people are becoming more environmentally conscious as we adapt to these times, we on our behalf will continue the constant search for more sustainable alternatives to existing home and personal care solutions. But what will the future look like? We may see new and even more environmentally friendly materials develop and new opportunities will evolve to increasingly use plant-based ingredients in solid form for a broad range of products. Important for us at aer is to have these innovations developed by our team in Austria while also keeping the manufacturing of the final products locally. It is the only way to continue being as independent as possible while ensuring that innovations are paired with the highest quality standards possible. For now and onwards, let’s stay safe with sustainable solutions.