You just sang that, didn’t ya? Had to start off this blog with a joke because the rest of it isn’t funny, like at all. See how much I care?
The concept of a critter that lives in the sea is literally accurate when using the word ‘sponge.’ Six thousand or so species use that name and most of them live in oceans. These critters got that name because they are all porous and mostly squishy and have been used by humans as cleaning tools for about 3000 years. And like everything else that we figured how to use from Mother Earth we decided we could definitely improve on that. The good old Du Pont Corporation started doing that in the 1940’s (and didn’t share the patent until 1952 because capitalism.)
So the sponge in your kitchen today is made from fossil fuel based plastic. Swell! It’s also a highly porous surface that you wipe up organic material with (you know, that milk that splashed out of the cereal bowl) and then keep in a moist, generally warm environment. Bacteria, do we have a home for you! In the name of Market Share let us add ‘antibacterial’ on the plastic label of our plastic bacterial smorgasbord and add toxic chemicals to reduce its appeal to germs. Oh, and you should replace that disgusting mess every month or so and send it to a landfill where it will live … forever. yay…
Don’t do that. Please.
Consider the humble loofah, a gourd in the cucumber family. When dried the fruit of this unique plant is exquisitely fibrous and porous and delightful to scrub pots or to exfoliate the skin. Since we of this era assume that everything must be symmetrical, and since I doubt you were sitting around considering a cottage industry of growing useful gourds, I offer you this little number. Because they are like a sponge in all the ‘can offer a lot to bacteria’ ways, be sure to rinse and dry these out between uses. They can be sanitized in all the ways - throw it in your dishwasher, in the laundry, or in your microwave for 30/60 seconds (wet it, duh.) They also need to be replaced every 4/6 weeks BUT they go right into your compost. Voila!
Now, these aren’t just for your dishes! Remember how I mentioned exfoliation? Loofah is lovely for sloughing away the old skin you’ve been neglecting (looking at you Elbows.) These fit right in the palm of your hand and work nicely on knees and heels and all those dried up places. Same same on the upkeep for your skin care sponge btw. Please tell me you don’t have some germ laden plastic pouf in your shower. Do you? Don’t tell me.
So let’s summarize our eco-friendly alternative to that danger squish sold at the supermarket. It’s literally a plant; can’t get any more biodegradable than that. It is not a piece of plastic covered in plastic. Works like a charm with proper care and without added chemicals. Returns to the Mother Earth it came from in a few months.
If sustainable options be something you wish
Then use you a loofah to scrub up that dish!
(Spongebad Plasticpants) right?