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[image swiped from Michael’s Luffas]

loofah, luffa, lufah. It goes by a lot of spellings, which I think are all correct. If you haven’t seen one look here.

Normally you use it to scrub yourself in the shower. I’ve ran across one in a health shop named Michael’s Original Luffa Washing-Up Scouring pad. And I thought, what a brilliant idea!

Not much packaging, just a cardboard label around it. With a string so you can hang it to dry.

Let me share with you what the label contains…

In the Philippines, people wash their dishes using a luffa instead of a plastic scourer. Luffas are durable, effective, and far better for the environment as they biodegrade when worn out.
Michael’s Original Luffa Scouring Pad’s[sic] are ethically and sustainably grown on his family farm in the Philippines (NB luffas are plants grown on land).
Bought directly from the farm at a fair price, your purchase supports less privileged families and prevents environmental degradation.
Michael’s Luffas are durable and tough enough for all your washing up and surfaces (soak baked on food first). They are gentle enough for cleaning non-stick surfaces, fruit and vegetables (and also your body).
Michael’s Luffas are clean and hygienic. Rinse and air dry by hanging them up or wash them in the dish/clothes washer. Luffas are biodegradable, so after their natural life, feed your compost or wormery with them, not the land fill.

If everyone used Michael’s Original scouring Luffas instead of plastic scourers, it is estimated we would avoid the equivalent of 150 double-decker buses of non-biodegradable landfill a year.
Luffas are a natural product hence size and shape may vary.

My verdict?

I’ve used them right away as I was looking to replace my used up scourer. A bit hard to use as they tend to be quite unflexible when used for the first time. I would recommend soaking it up in water first. It did scratch my nails. And scratched up the non-stick pans as I probably scrubbed up too hard. Didn’t work as well as my stainless steel scourers on tough baked on dirt (yes, I soaked them first, sometimes overnight). And found it quite unwieldy – couldn’t scrub at the bottom of plates and mug handles and in between the fork tines.

Maybe it takes getting used to. I still have it hanging there by the sink and alternate between using that and the normal scourer which I still need if I don’t want to scratch my pans (or maybe i shouldn’t be using non-sticks anyway). But I still think it is worth trying it out though it might not be for everyone.

So let me know if you love it or hate it? I think I’m somewhere in between. I so much want to love it, but I just can’t.

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I had been on the lookout for a more environmental loo roll. I have seen these on a few online sites, and have tried to look for them in the shops. I couldn’t find any, and for the meantime, I made sure that I buy only FSC certified ones.

I decided to buy Cotton Soft online. The write ups look promising – better for the environment and for me as they are made from organic waste cotton.

They arrived in a pack of 4 rolls. in a plastic packaging with no signs saying the packaging was from recycled material. I opened one, and found out the packaging wasn’t completely sealed. There was sello tape at the bottom to keep the two ends together and another sealed fold over it. I just hoped they have been stored in a clean environment at all times, as I think it could still be easily contaminated.

The loo roll is softer than the paper ones. it doesn’t break as easily. and there is less tissue left on wet skin. Only comes in 2-ply. Though it doesn’t seem like the 2 ply stick very well together. I had a bit of a struggle on the first roll I took out as the perforations on them don’t align. But you get this even on the paper ones, so no biggie. The only thing is, I do end up using a bit more than my usual 3-ply paper rolls as this doesn’t seem to be any more absorbent.

Cost me £2.89 for a pack of 4. A bit expensive if you also add the shipping costs as you can’t just buy them along with your weekly shopping.

But the question is, would I buy again? I would. Though I know, I would probably be back to using FSC certified ones whenever i forget to replenish my stock. I buy the idea that cotton loo rolls are better for the environment as it would mean less trees being cut down to add to the ever growing demand for paper products. So maybe, whilst I am still unable to give up on such modern conveniences such as the loo roll – I might as well try and be more responsible where I buy them from.

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