I know you have been there — we all have. You’re staring blankly, hot water running. In front of you: an impossibly large mess symbolizing all that’s left of a meal that left you too full for comfort. And it’s your turn to do the dishes. Before you reach for that fluorescent yellow sponge, made from who knows what, realize that an all-natural sponge from Twist can offer this commonplace event a plug for sustainability. Twist recyclingTwist is a company making everyday products for household use, but doing so with a mission of eco-friendliness. Much like the feelings evoked in the aforementioned kitchen scenario, I recently caught myself staring, lost in indecision, at a wall of options for a new kitchen sponge. Little did I know that the cheery, colorful packaging of two Twist sponges offered so much inside. According to the simple paperboard band wrapped around the equally easy-to-recycle plastic wrap, the two loofah sponges are dye-free and plant based; designed in Boulder, CO, and manufactured in Mexico. A little research on Twist’s website reveals the sponges are made without plastics or adhesives, “unlike the conventional yellow-green scrub sponge.” The sponge, traditional fighter of stuck-on pasta sauce, has come a long way. But for those wanting a more responsible scrubbing buddy, Twist offers a smart alternative to the common products. Some issues with the old standby are detailed on eHow, including the fact that most kitchen sponges are synthetic and contain a chemical called triclosan — an antibacterial substance increasingly connected to health issues. It also negatively affects the environment by seeping into water systems and destroying algae and other plant life. Another fun fact: water treatment plants are incapable of removing this product in their cleaning process. Synthetic sponges are usually plastic based and thusly nonbiodegradable. This is particularly an issue since old sponges are difficult to recycle and are frequently relegated to the trash pile. Twist sponges, on the other hand, are made from natural plant products and can therefore biodegrade, and even be composted. And, perhaps most importantly, Twist sponges act and feel, well, rather sponge-like. Typical size and shape? Check. Squishy? Yup. Spongy on one side for washing and abrasive on the other for scrubbing? You betcha. Earthy tones to remind you of your nature-saving ways? Indeed. Priced to compete with traditional sponges? Oh, yeah — cheaper in fact. For those of you feeling particularly committed to your synthetic neon pal, don’t worry, you can just microwave your sponge daily to prevent bacteria buildup. But be careful, that is somewhat of a fire hazard.