Why you shouldn’t live sustainably (not really): Coming clean about my shameful sponge

September 4, 2021 by Joshua
in Habits, Leadership, Nature, Nonjudgment, Visualization

Every time I look at my floor sponge I think, “it’s beyond the end of its life. Time to get rid of it.” Below are pictures of the front and back. It’s in tatters. But look at the third picture. It still cleans the floor. Why get rid of something that works?

I’ve cleaned my floor every fifth day without fail for about five years, maybe more. I do it before my weight lifting routine to warm me up and start the process. It’s more than a routine, almost a ritual. I used to mop, but my apartment isn’t even five hundred square feet (less than fifty square meters). It’s easier and more effective to get down on my hands and knees and sponge it by hand.

I bought this sponge maybe ten years ago. A few times near the beginning, I scrubbed a few holes in it. They grew. Since then I’ve treated it protectively so I don’t have to throw it out. It can’t be natural fibers, so I want to avoid it going to the landfill.

Why I hesitate to share about this sponge

For years after I got my MBA, I’d receive calls from magazines that rate business schools. I held back answering their questions because I didn’t work in the money-making fields most of my classmates did like finance and consulting. I didn’t want my low income to lower the school’s ranking, since most students considering business schools care about making money.

Why mention business school? I know a lot of people who make tons of money. Their sponges look better than my whole apartment. I might alienate people I know as well as people who want to act more sustainably. Will they see my decrepit sponge and think, “I don’t want to end up like Josh, with a sponge like that.” They might hold off on changing their lifestyles.

Why I share

Five years ago I recorded a video of me eating and orange including the peel in Do What Others Fear. Citrus peels contain nearly all the fiber and most of a fruit’s vitamin c. You get used to the taste quickly. The main reason people don’t eat citrus peels isn’t the peel. They’ll eat them soaked in vodka or chocolate if enough sugar is added. Well, the fruit has sugar and it’s healthier than refined.

Everyone is unique, but a lot of people avoid eating peels not because of the flavor or texture but because others don’t and they’re afraid of being seen. So I made a video of me eating the peel so you don’t have to feel you’re doing it first.

Now you can use your sponge for ten years and not feel ashamed. You can say you know this guy online who uses his sponge until shredded, but the floor still gets clean, the landfill remains emptier, and Josh ends up happy.

Why I say you shouldn’t live sustainably

I was teasing, implying that using a sponge too long is embarrassing enough to stop someone from stewardship. My actual message is that now that you’ve seen me use it so long, you can too and if anyone calls you weird, you can say, “well, this guy on the internet is weirder. You should see his sponge.” Now you can avoid feeling ashamed.

I believe you’ll prefer living as sustainably as you can, and them some as your skills increase.



Dirt I cleaned with the sponge (on my last Frisbee). It works.

Why get a new one just yet?

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1 response to “Why you shouldn’t live sustainably (not really): Coming clean about my shameful sponge

  1. Pingback: Sweating the details: Now when I mop, I focus on the corners. » Joshua Spodek

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