Conventional dishwash liquids contain ingredients (including fragrance) that don’t biodegrade. So once washed down sinks, they create algae bloom which chokes oxygen out of the water to harmmarine wildlife.
Battle Green Dish Soap Block is made from organic coconut oil for big rich bubbles, white kaolin clay to add scrubbiness, eucalpytus oil (to cut through grease) and lemon oil to kill off bacteria. It contains sodium lactate from natural corn/beet sugar fermentation to help it last longer. Free from plastic and palm oil, this big block is wrapped in compostable paper printed with plant-based ink.
Keep it in an old saucer or on a dish racke, then rub a dish cloth or brush over the bat to coat, and clean dishes as normal. For stains, wet the stain and the end of the bar. Rub with the bar, then add to your laundry load. To clean surfaces, rub a warm wet cloth or sponge over the bar, and wipe.
Greenscents is a good brand, sold in glass bottles (choose from unscented or minty, citrus or lavender). Sold in various sizes, you can even send back bottles to be washed and returned with refills, for big discounts.
Elmkind offers biodegradable dishwash liquids in metal tins, then you just order refills to save money later on. They only offer scented, so avoid near pets due to essential oils.
Look in indie health stores and farm shops for Bio-D, another good brand that is sold in unscented and various natural scents, with giant tubs for industrial use and refill options. Note the dishwash tablets are not as natural, as the dish-wash bar appears to have palm oil, but the other seems okay. Delphis Eco is the other main eco brand used especially for industry (hotels, cafes, medical use etc).
a stainless steel washing-up bowl
This stainless steel washing up bowl is a nice alternative to plastic, and obviously lasts a lot longer. Anything that means buying less plastic is good. This is made (responsibly) in China, but washing-up bowls are usually better than just washing dishes (or clothes) in the sink, as they stop damage to your sink, and also usually mean you use less water.
This washing-up bowl won’t go grotty like a plastic one, so say goodbye to slime and black mould, and hello to premium 304 grade steel that is clean, hygienic and strong. The bowl fits 10-inch plates and is perfect for modern, butler or farmhouse-style sinks (but not for Belfast or enamel sinks, as it may scratch). The bowl features a large flat rim so it’s easy to handle, and also great for washing your fresh produce from the veggie patch! Carries a 15-year guarantee.