Is Eco-friendly Dish Soap Really Better for the Environment?

For almost a year now, I’ve been personally testing eco-friendly dish soaps in search of one that is just as concentrated as conventional brands.  Then a conversation in the comments section of Eileen’s Eco-Pet Peeves post made me wonder if eco-friendly soap was any better than conventional soap.  Was my whole mission in vain?

During this conversation, Gina made the intriguing point that all dish soaps are bad for the environment, whether they’re advertised as “eco-friendly” or not.  Soap biodegrades in rivers and streams, algae feasts on it, and algae bloom results.  This lowers the oxygen levels in the water, which is detrimental to fish and wildlife.  Gina concludes, “The only way that soap can be slightly less bad for the environment is to come in more recyclable packaging and to be more highly concentrated so the bottles are smaller.”
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Green Spotlight: Eileen Shares Her Environmental Pet Peeves

For our final Green Spotlight post this month, Eileen Spillman, single mother of two, full time teacher, and eco-mom extraordinaire, shares her eco-annoyances and what it means to pass green values onto your children. 

Do you have any environmental pet peeves?  

Oh yes, many. 

  1. Teeny tiny bottles of “green” cleaners but no re-fill size.  I think any environmental benefit of the cleaner was swallowed up by the packaging.
  2. Over-packaging. 
  3. When you bring your own mug to a coffee shop and they make it in a paper cup anyway, pour it into your cup and throw away the paper cup.  Kind of missed the point there.
  4. Planned obsolescence.
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