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.”