Have you taken any steps to greenify your washing up routine? If so, how’s it been?
My first small green step in this zone was to stop buying plastic sponges, scourers and cloths. It’s so easy to use them day-in, day-out without a thought. Replacing every few months with shiny plasticky new versions. Ignoring the environmental impact of this. Because thinking about that too much gets a bit scary.
Did you know that every plastic sponge you’ve ever used probably still exists somewhere in the world? It will do for hundreds of years to come. If you were around in the late 80s, you might recall that classic Cher belter: “If I could turn back time. If I could find a way. I’d take back all those plastic sponges….” Well, I think she’d say that last bit nowadays. And I reckon you would too! If you have NO IDEA what I am on about, check out this throwback cheesy video.
The good news is it’s never too late to change to greener dish-washing options. If you want to stop adding to that plastic sponge mountain, you can pretty easily. These days there are so many cool, innovative products out there to help you on the way. Things like compostable dish sponges, kitchen cloths and non-toxic (ideally) refillable eco-friendly washing-up liquids. More on all of that soon.
Today, I wanted to share one key product that I think you’ll love too.
LoofCo Washing up Scraper
This washing up scraper is my new sink-side hero. Honestly, you need this in your life! It’s handmade in Sri Lanka from coconut husk – an entirely natural waste product that would otherwise be chucked away after extracting the coconut flesh, water and oil.
I know you might be sceptical. How can a piece of coconut be a match for food and burnt bits? Especially if they’re heavily baked on to ovenware and pans. Surely a scouring pad is the only way to go? But, I promise, after a little soaking and just a few quick swipes, the coconut scraper removes all of this. And without too much elbow grease.
Using the scraper is also therapeutic, especially if you’ve had a rough day. A bit like a stress ball (remember those?).
Worried it will scratch or damage your cookware? Although the scraper feels rough when dry, water softens it and gives just enough flexibility so it won’t leave any marks or scratches. The front of the scraper is crafted into a blade shape which really helps get any stubborn bits off.
For more stubborn residues, you may need to soak for longer before you scrape, but longer soaking = taking a little break. What’s not to like? After use you just need to rinse the scraper and leave it to air dry by the sink or you could hang it up nearby.
As with all LoofCo products*, the scraper is fully biodegradable. When it gets to the end of its life, it can be composted. I’ve had mine for months and it’s still going strong.
The scraper’s packaging is also sustainable. It comes wrapped in an FSC-approved card label printed with plant-based inks, fastened with a compostable cellulose sticker. There’s a string loop attached for storage.
LoofCo was set-up by a family-run business called NatBrands which says “Our mission is to offer an alternative to mass-produced plastic washing-up brushes, pads, scourers and shower puffs that will not biodegrade.”
LoofCo products are entirely plastic-free and made from natural and renewable materials. As well as coconuts, this includes the fibres of the loofah plant and residual rubber wood left over from rubber plantations. Loofah is a hardy plant, sustainably sourced by LoofCo from farms in Egypt. It rarely needs pesticides. If any are required, LoofCo ensures these are only natural and organic.
LoofCo only uses sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices. The farmer suppliers and workers are treated fairly and paid higher than market rate. LoofCo also says there are no children in its workforce.
The coconuts used for non-loofah products, such as the scraper, are sourced from Sri Lanka. LoofCo says these are harvested without the help of monkeys. Forcing monkeys to commercially harvest coconuts is a cruel practice I was unaware of until recently. For more details, see this news article.
LoofCo products also carry the trade mark of The Vegan Society. If you don’t know, this is an international standard to certify the absence of animal ingredients and animal testing.
You can find LoofCo in many independent green and plastic-free shops and online. I’m excited to test more from the range, especially the bath and body loofahs and the coconut coir washing up brushes which look wonderful.
If you’re keen to try something from LoofCo to make your washing up greener, the scraper is definitely worth a go. Please do let me know in the comments what you think. LoofCo washing-up scraper, £2.50. Available online from www.biggreensmile.com, other online and offline green stockists.
*except the coir brushes, which have recyclable metal cores.