Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 322 of our Green Year: Dealing With Kitchen Sponges

In our home, we will clean throughout the week. We like a clean home and we like that we can clean our home with a variety of items including lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda. Usually we use use cloths, but sponges are great for cleaning because they can hold so much water. The problem is that kitchen sponges are not great for the environment, so we have to look for alternatives.

First, of all, sponges carry chemicals like Triclosan which is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It is even registered with the EPA as a pesticide, and we are coating our countertops with it every time that we clean.

Triclosan can cause health problems, and it can also cause damage in aquatic environments by killing needed elements like algae. Water treatment plants cannot remove triclosan and triclosan stays stable for a very long time, so it is accumulating in the streams and rivers of the country.

Instead, you can get a Cellulose sponge that is made from cellulose, which comes from plantation forests or from recycling.

We can also make our own sponges from Luffa. Luffa is a fruit which sponges are made from. It is an environmentally friendly product and you can even grow a Luffa plant in your garden to make the sponge.