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“Eco” dish soaps and Dawn campaign by sylvng

The other day at work I noticed that Dawn is offering $1 to save wildlife for every bottle of dish detergent sold. Just enter in the bottle’s donation code at their website by the end of this year and Dawn will donate a dollar that will go towards the Marine Mammal Center and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. This is just another example of social responsibility that I see companies being increasingly involved in, but for once I can’t help but question the effectiveness of the campaign for doing good.

Dawn’s website states that “For 30 years, wildlife rescuers have used Dawn dishwashing liquid to gently remove oil and help save wildlife affected by oil spills. Animal rescue organizations choose Dawn because it removes the greasy oil—while being gentle on delicate feathers and skin.” And that seems to be the main argument for Dawn being good for the environment – that it’s tough on grease while being gentle on skin. But if the detergent itself isn’t inherently biodegradable, can it possibly be better for the environment than other detergents that are biodegradable? And isn’t it better to buy a detergent that is better for the environment than to buy one that’s more harmful even with $1 going towards environmental causes?

On further research though it seems that biodegradable soaps still harm the environment. It’s just that they might harm less.  And you do pay a premium for it, but I think it’s definitely worth the price, especially if it’s going to be used while camping or in some other situation where the soap is entering soil unfiltered. If you’re looking for a good one, try the top 6 list at

Of course, depending on how you wash dishes, it may be better to use an energy efficient dishwasher. But if you do it right, manual dishwashing is still the most eco friendly way to get your dishes clean.

I’m definitely not an expert on dish soaps though, so any thoughts on this are more than welcome!

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2 Comments so far
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Good to see that people still know what they are talking about. So much BS around these days!

Comment by drinking water

Animal Lovers,

I ask all the animal lovers around the area to join our animal rescue forums. Our message board are/is dedicated to discussing everything pet related, but our major emphasis is pet rescue.

Anyway, thanks for the blog post, it was a good read 🙂

Comment by Alex

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