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SustainAbility Newsletter

SustainAbility Newsletter Archives

SustainAbility NewsletterA joint publication from Audubon Lifestyles and The International Sustainability Council


SustainAbility is a free quarterly newsletter co-produced by the International Sustainability Council and Audubon Lifestyles. Living a sustainable lifestyle requires each one of us to conduct our lives in such a way to encompass an awareness of Earth and its processes. Each of our choices require a consideration of the consequences, and the way that each decision affects the environment, society, and the economy. By minimizing our "ecological footprints" and the extent to which we create an environmental impact by living sustainably our hope is that we will preserve the earth for future generations. 

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Kitchen sponges and the environment

SpongesMost discussion about kitchen sponges is around the amount of bacteria they can harbor. A study that found some sponges to contain more bacteria than a toilet bowl sent people scurrying to buy more sponges and change them more often.

Sure, the bacteria issue is a very good point, but what about the environment?

How often do you change your kitchen sponge - once, twice a week? Imagine that being repeated millions of times each week around the world. It's a lot of waste, especially given that so many sponges are made from plastics, making them yet another item in our home that's derived from oil.

While changing your sponge regularly is good hygienic practice, try to purchase ones that are made from only from cellulose fiber - and the cellulose is sourced from plantation forests or recycled. Read the label carefully as some cellulose sponges are impregnated with polyester, a form of plastic.

Earth friendly sponge cleaning
To help keep your "green" cellulose sponge free of nasty bacteria, try to keep it as dry as possible between uses. You can sterilize them by soaking for a few minutes in boiled water, or try a dilute bleach/hydrogen peroxide solution. Two of the most highly recommended methods for killing bacteria and molds on sponges according to the US Department of Agriculture are microwave heating of a damp sponge or dishwashing with a drying cycle. So, if you do use an automatic dishwasher, you can make a little more use of it with each load!


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org

MSNBC
www.msnbc.com

Green Cities
www.greencities.com

The Daily Green
www.thedailygreen.com

LandDesign
www.landdesign.com

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

Energy Star
www.energystar.gov

Green Hotels List
www.independenttraveler.com

 

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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