Sunday, January 8, 2012

Natural Sea Sponges

Started using natural sponges decades ago for cleaning horse tack. The softest and most dense are "silk" sponges from the Mediterranean. Caribbean silk and 'wool' sponges are pretty good, too, and less expensive. Then I gradually started using them for washing cars, and in the shower. Now I like to take one with me on camping trips, for bailing the last bit of water from a kayak or canoe, for bathing and then drying off, for applying white vinegar as a deodorant, for mopping up spills in a tent, etc.

They have a place along with clear plastic bags for procuring water in a desert. I've collected dew a few times just for giggles. Try it, it's surprisingly efficient - only a few minutes to fill a cup.

Sea sponges weigh less and are more versatile than towels. They feel better and work better than synthetics. They can be sustainably harvested. The only downside is that good ones are pricey. If you shop around on the internet you can find decent deals, but there are some retailers who are unscrupulous about grading. And of course you can't personally pick out the nicely shaped ones. If you get a color choice, go for dark. Light means bleached and therefore less durable.

We're hoping to take a vacation in Greece during the "window of opportunity" between when the Euro melts down and the dollar does. I'm nursing a fantasy about bringing home a suitcase full of perfect hand-selected specimens.

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