So I'm not fanatical about being green or earth-friendly or plastic-free, but one thing I can't stand is those plastic mesh bath puffs. You know the ones:
Yes, they produce a lot of bubbles, but the feel of that mesh sliding over my skin? And some of the ghastly colors they come in? --shudder--
I guess the natural alternative would be a sea sponge, but they're pricey and some people might be turned off by the idea that they are, I guess, an animal product.* So what else can you use?
1. Loofa. You can grow your own sponge! I actually "harvested" this one myself, which was a neat experience. Check out the process on my old CSA blog.
2. A pouf made from natural fibers. I found this one in the clearance bin at the drugstore. It's certainly more aesthetically pleasing than the plastic ones!
3. Knitted cotton washcloths. A kind friend of mine made these for me. (Hi, Sally!) Terry washcloths are another option, of course, but these have superior suds-making abilities!
4. Scrubbies made from esparto grass. I bought the two at the top of the picture at a produce stand in Spain for about fifty cents each. The woman had a whole string of them, and I wasn't sure what they were. I asked, and she mimed scrubbing out a pot with one, and probably thinking to herself, "What a dumb bunny." In any event, I thought they were interesting, so I brought them home and plunked them in a basket with my other "natural" scrubbing paraphernalia.
I found a similar thing hanging near the spices in a Mexican grocery store, so I bought one to give it a try in the bath. It's a little strange getting used to the fibers being loose, but it works really well for scrubbing rough spots, like feet and elbows.
*Now, about those sea sponges. I started writing this post this morning and got to thinking about sponges as animals. I felt a little weird recommending a formerly-living being as an alternative to plastic when there are other options available, so I did a little Googling to find out more. Before long, I stumbled onto a discussion about whether or not vegans would/should use sea sponges. Apparently sponges don't have nervous systems or something, etc. It is, frankly, more than I want to take on!