Sustainable Home Life, Eco

How often do you Throw out your Kitchen Sponge?

twist sponge, one of the better and safer ones. loofah on top and sponge underneath.

twist sponge, one of the better and safer ones. loofah on top and sponge underneath.

Do you use a sponge in your kitchen? How often do you replace it? I’ve heard kitchen sponges are harmful, for us and the environment. When I started to read up on it, oh wow and very gross. One, the unfriendliness to the eco system and two, the bacteria that sponges hold. So much dangerous bacteria that people who have an illness already can become more sick. NY Times has a very enlightening article on the bacteria that you can read here. So yea sponges hold a lot of bacteria and using the microwave or dishwasher to clean them doesn’t work. So we humans came up with anti-bacterial sponges. Yay! No…. Once again humans are trying to make life easier but is harming the environment as a result.

Sponges are made of plastic and have a chemical called Triclosan. This is registered with the EPA as a pesticide. It destroys fragile aquatic eco systems especially algae that other animals may depend on. So you have a sponge that is “anti-bacterial”. It tells you on the packaging. How often do you replace your sponge? Some replace once a week, we replace ours when it’s pretty exhausted looking. So it gets thrown out, makes it way to a landfill or waterway. Because it is anti-bacterial, sewage and waste water treatment plants can’t remove it. As of 2009 it is one of the main chemicals found in US streams. I learned this on a very good website on eco issues. Another negative of the kitchen sponge is that sponges are made of plastic and as you know plastic doesn’t break down.

So what do we do?

You can buy a cellulose sponge. Cellulose sponges are made from 100% organic or bio-degradable materials. Cellulose is sourced from plantation forests or recycled. If you buy a cellulose sponge be sure to read the packaging to make sure it was not impregnated with polyester, another form of plastic. Cellulose sponges do break down and pure cellulose resists bacteria.

Another option is popular brand that you can find in most stores called Twist. They have a wide selection from loofah sponge to the raviolli sponge. Yes, raviolli. All made from natural fibers: hemp, agave, loofah and cotto

Wood brush: great for cleaning those tough jobs, made with a wood handle and natural tapioca fibre bristles, with a replaceable head. The online store, Wild Minimalist, carries an awesome selection of supplies to make a zero waste life.

wood handle dish brush from Wild Minimalist

wood handle dish brush from Wild Minimalist

Another alternative is making your own. In my next post I will show you how to easily whip up your own kitchens scrubbers while on the go.

Thanks for reading!

I receive no payments or products for the businesses I mention. My opinions are thru my own experiences.