Filed in by on June 18, 2008 16 Comments

In this section MyZeroWaste publishes a series of original articles detailing methods, information and tips for dealing with recycling and waste products.

Please see Related articles in this section below;

About the Author ()

Comments (16)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Karen says:

    My son found me a new natural luffa washing up scouring pad in a shop in Plymouth. Also available from They are ethically grown on Michael’s family farm in the Philippines. On the cardboard that came with it was the message that if everyone used a luffa instead of plastic scourer it is estimated that we would avoid the equivalent of 150 double decker buses of non-biodegradable landfill a year. The luffa will last 12 months and can then be put on the compost heap.

  2. Mrs Green says:

    @Karen: Hi Karen – that’s great; thank you for the link to the site and for sharing the information with us. I need something like this for the kitchen as we’ve used the green and yellow artificial sponges in the past. I’ll definitely take a look at these 🙂

  3. Jane says:

    @Mrs Green: I want to have a go at growing these in the UK. We used to see them growing wild in Africa.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Oh fantastic! Do have a go and let us know how you get on. I think I might try it too. Have just written to a company who sell lufas, but it would be more fun to have the home grown variety!

  5. Ben says:

    I use lots of green and yellow sponges, and general plastic cleaning cloths around the house, so I’ve been trying to find a replacement for a while. Today I bought some cotton dish cloths wrapped in paper, which I hope to clean up by boiling in some soda crystals at the end of the day. Cleaning cloths should be better for the environment than replacing them, and hot soda crystal solution is good for the kitchen drain anyway. The cloths should be ok in the compost when I’m eventually finished with them.

    Those luffas look good too though, and 3+ months each sounds very good. I’ll have to look around in my local shops for these.

  6. Jane says:

    @Ben: Microwaving wet cloths is easy – if you have a microwave! I haven’t. I boil them. Face flannels too.

  7. Karen says:

    I have been using thick bamboo cloths in the kitchen which I bought from Lakeland. They can be put in the washing machine. They have been super on my granite work top. I don’t use cleaning product. Unfortunately Lakeland have stopped selling them as they were not a good seller. I have been trying to find them. I have just bought a pack of 10 which have not lasted more than a few days use. They can however go on the compost heap. I will keep hunting for the original cloths. If lots of people ask Lakeland they will supply them again.
    I really like my wee luffa. It seems safe on non stick.
    I recycle all my facecloths as cleaning/ floor cloths. I sew a big cross with my sewing machine over them just so they don’t get mixed up with the face cloths.
    Some people suggest putting dish cloths through a dish washer cycle to freshen up.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Karen: HI Karen, thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s so frustrating when a company stops selling a great product due to lack of demand. And what a shame about the other cloths which have not lasted. I use microfibers mainly, and just put them in the washing machine with everything else. They seem to last forever. I know ultimately they are landfill waste, but I reckon I have had my oldest batch about 9 years 😀

  9. Karen says:

    @Mrs Green: Hi Mrs G, I have some microfibers but I really don’t like the feel of them. I also find they become less efficient. This becomes evident when cleaning glass or mirrors. they seem to leave tiny fibers behind. I have found another source of bamboo cloths on the internet so will try them and let you know.

  10. Ben says:

    Well, so far the cotton dish cloths are working well. I’m still using the first one and have been cleaning it in some boiling water with soda crystals, it’s still clean and bright and showing no signs of wearing out after a week of scrubbing pots, dishes and the cooker. I have a brush for tough marks, but the cloths seem pretty good by themselves. This seems much longer lasting than plastic scouring pads, and it should save money too. They came in a big roll wrapped in paper from the 99p store.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @Karen: Interesting about the microfiber cloths. I find bits too, but that seems to be on the NEW ones! Do keep me posted on the bamboo cloths and share a link if they are good.

    @Ben: Sounds like a brilliant find, ben 🙂

  12. I saw you in german TV and I found your way of life very interesting.Maybe you are pioneers of a new way
    of life,that well be planned by governments in the future and then it will be more effective.
    At this time you need a lot of time to watch over the right choise off products and make the right moves as privat persons

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @hans peter hartmann: Hello Hans, thank you for leaving a comment and we hope you enjoyed the how. You’re right, it takes a little more time to select the right products, but once it becomes habit it takes no time at all 🙂

  14. Jasmin says:


    I’m from Germany, and I saw the Galileo ducumentation about what you’re doing to get no trash. I think it’s realy great, and you’ve very clever ideas. I consider (?) trying one or two of this ideas. I think the best idea is, not to use any plasticbags. That’s great and easy to realize =)

    Obviously the reason, why many people think all this is to expencive is because they are accustomed (?) to lower prizes. I’m sure my generation (teenager and kids at the age of 15 – younger and older) could change sth, because we are not accustomed (?) the low prizes and we can deal with more expencive prizes, when we’re grown up. I think it’s worth to do that. Thank you for opening my eyes!

    (I’m sorry, if the content is illogical (?), but English is not my first language. The questionmarks in brackets mean these words are from the dictionary and I’m not sure, if they suit here.)


  15. Mrs Green says:

    @Jasmin: Hi Jasmin, welcome to the site – you’re right; starting with saying no to plastic carrier bags is the simplest first step to make. Your English is fine (far better than my German which consists of about 3 words!) and you make an excellent point about understanding the ‘true cost’ of things. Good luck in your zero waste mission!

  16. Eve says:

    I used to buy the bamboo cleaning cloths from supermarkets, waitrose or sainsburys I think.
    Though I have not bought them for a while (possibly because they no longer sell them) I liked them a lot. However I now knit my own dish cloths from cotton wool. About a 60 stitch square
    Knitted in plain seems to work well and can be bleached or washed in machine.

Leave a Reply to Jane Cancel reply