Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Polyester, microfibers and polluting the ocean

I admit it; I was a classic fail at looking out for the ocean.  In an effort to be chemical free and Eco-friendly, I have used a ton of microfibers over the past 10 years.  I was the perfect target because I suffer from skin sensitivities, so using a tool that could cut down or eliminate some cleaning solutions was like a dream come true.

I do admit, that in the past few years I began to wonder exactly how well microfiber cloths clean.  I  Sure, the catch all the dirt in their tiny microfibers, but then where do they go?  I knew they weren't as sustainable as natural fibers but I told myself it was a good swap because I wasn't using throw-away products and I was using very little chemicals.

I  have also tried to switch most of my clothing to natural fibers; I don't use fabric softeners (sensitive skin and have you read what's in them??) so sticking to natural fibers is a less shocking laundry experience.  So, I wanted to use natural cleaning cloths, too. 

After beginning to research sustainable practices when we bought a few acres and wanted to stop being such a burden to this sweet planet we call earth,  I was stunned and appalled to read things like this:  "In fact, microfibers have become one of the most commonly detected types of microplastic debris in water samples, found in headwater streams, rivers, soils, lakes, sediments, ocean water, the deep sea, arctic sea ice, seafood, table salt and most recently, public drinking water. Such widespread exposure raises concerns about potential effects to wildlife and human health. As a consequence, microfibers are increasingly gaining the attention of governments, regulators, companies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), scientists and the news media." from Collaboration on Microfiber Pollution by Nick Mallos

I became increasingly sad and ashamed that I had contributed to this!  I am firm in not buying anymore microfiber, but what to do with what I already own?  I haven't found a perfect solution, but some suggestions I've found are:
  • Wash microfibers less often
  • Buy high quality microfibers
  • Buy a filter or nano ball to trap the microfibers when you wash them
  • Switch to cotton cleaning cloths as you can 
Let's keep working together and let me know the solutions you've found!  

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  1. Very helpful and informative on our actions affecting our environment!

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