While the sorts of environmental problems that can best be solved by “green” consumerism are admittedly small, they do add up if a lot of us do them together. One of my guiltiest pleasures is my love of paper towels. They clean up everything and you can just get rid of them- you can even compost them. But despite all the rationalizations, the numbers speak for themselves: In the US alone, we use 13 BILLION pounds of paper towels, or 45 pounds per person per year. And while I can’t find any numbers on sponges, they usually stay wet for long periods of time and can harbor all sorts of bacteria. In fact, the kitchen sponge may be the dirtiest thing in your entire house!
The Swedish Dishcloth has the amazing ability to (mostly) replace both products and change your life.
Swedish dishcloths are made from a combination of 70% cellulose and 30% cotton. They are highly absorbent, able to hold up to 15 times their weight in water, dry in the blink of an eye and seem incapable of holding onto anything you get on them. Just add a little biodegradable dish soap, and 90% of anything you can get on your dishes, pots and pans, countertops, etc just disappears. And while you can’t use them for sopping up grease directly and they lack a scrubber, they will make your glasses look gorgeous and streak free and never start to smell or mildew. When they look a little ratty, you can just throw them in the washing machine without fear of them fouling your clothes. And you can compost them when you’re done with them.