Why switch from paper towels to a few Swedish sponge cloths? NOT just because they’re cute but because you care about the Earth. The US alone discards more than 3,000 TONS of paper towels a year. That’s a lot of trees.

So what is a Swedish dishcloth exactly? It’s more like a sponge cloth actually and is ultra-absorbent and ultra-versatile. Unlike thin, one-use paper towels, you just wash these babies and hang them over your sink to dry, to use again and again. Every so often you can toss them in the washing machine, or the dishwasher.

The Dog series Ecologie Dish Cloth.

The Canadian brand Ecologie is a leader in what we call ‘dishcloths’ here in the U.S. and they sent us a few to test.

We liked that can absorb 15 times their weight in water, so we were able to clean up bigger messes with just one sponge. And unlike a regular sponge which can begin to smell after a short time — that’s the bacteria growing in it — these Ecologie Danica cloths dry so quickly that no germs can start to grow. (Just two Swedish dishcloths equal an estimated 10 kitchen sponges.) We hung ours over the kitchen faucet to dry and — bingo– within a couple of hours, it was bone dry.

We discovered they are also perfect for streak-free mirrors and windows.

So not only are they better for the environment, they’ll save you money and make cleaning up easier. They are $6 each or buy a set and there are so many colorful designs to choose from.

Buh-bye paper towels.