On my path to being as eco-friendly as possible, I stopped buying dish sponges from the grocery store and switched to kitchen loofahs. I bought some for the bath too. While I was tempted to buy a few of the soft sea sponges also, somewhere in the recesses of my mind a little tiny voice called out.
I decided to wait until researching a little more about what they are exactly and I’m glad I did.
As it turns out, Loofah is a fibrous plant that you can grow and harvest in your very own back yard! A part of the cucurbit family which includes watermelon, gherkin, gourds, pumpkins, and cucumbers; the loofah grows into a cylindrical green fruit that eventually develops into a seed pod which, when dried, makes for an awesome back scrub in the tub.
Sea sponges, despite having no mouth, muscles, nervous system, heart or brain; start out life as larva, move from place to place, eat, and reproduce with sperm and ova and are technically a part of the animal kingdom.
I noticed recently that a few companies have started marketing sea sponges as a natural tampon for menstrual periods. Yes, they are more natural, economical, sustainably harvested and reusable but they’re animals. And breeding and harvesting animals doesn’t feel all that “earth-friendly” to me.
So! I’m going to leave the sea sponges to their moving, eating and baby making and stick to loofah’s in the kitchen and the tub. As for feminine products, there are plenty of non-animal pads and tampons made of washable fabric and/or recycled paper products as well and of course, the world famous Diva Cup.