You know the original three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. We all remember learning about them in school. And they’re important. Especially reducing (moderation is key!). But there’s also REPURPOSE: taking things that already exist and giving them new life in a new role (we know someone who made three picture frames out of a pair of old leather boots!). And REPLACE: taking something you need and switching to a sustainable alternative. Let’s focus on REPLACE.
Because, as we mentioned last week: plastic is forever. Which means our toothbrushes will be on planet earth long after we are. The American Dental Association recommends that we replace our toothbrushes every 3-4 months! On average, that’s 35 toothbrushes each decade, or over 250 in the average lifetime. And that’s just one person! And only one item out of many in our lives. But toothbrushes are quite personal -- extra soft, soft, medium, firm, extra firm, electronic, uneven bristles, tightly clustered bristles, with a tongue scraper, without one, there are a lot of options. We get it.
Last week we also told you that we’re gearing up to launch a movement to encourage everyone to make small changes towards everyday smarter living. And we decided that our first step needs to be small enough that every single person can do it. So we’re starting with a sponge. Yep, you heard right. A sponge.
We all do dishes or clean our countertops or wipe up spills. Even someone who never cooks and only orders takeout has a sponge sinkside to clean glasses and the odd utensil -- it’s a ubiquitous household item. And we’ll bet you never knew that most sponges are made of plastic, the eternal element. Every year, collectively, we throw out enough sponges to line a football field, fill an Olympic swimming pool, and wrap around the world. They sit forever in landfills.
But(!) there is an alternative. A way to REPLACE those plastic sponges with a natural, renewable, and biodegradable option: cellulose. Cellulose sponges are the perfect replacement for plastic sponges. They are just as effective and long-lasting in your kitchens and bathrooms, but unlike plastic, they are not long-lasting in landfills. They are also free of harmful chemicals like triclosan that are often found in plastic sponges that tout themselves as “antibacterial.” It’s a simple switch. One that will make little to no difference in your life but a huge impact on the planet, eliminating plastic categorically across one item if we all commit to the change.
So we’re launching the Start with a Sponge Challenge. How does it work? Well, we’re going to slap our friends with sponges! Much like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, you get to do something fun, silly, and video-worthy and then challenge your friends to do the same while raising awareness on something vitally important: in this case, the health and well-being of our planet, which is currently in the most dire climate crisis of our existence.
Visit www.startwithasponge.com now and watch us get the campaign started! #sws #startwithasponge