Bloody Brilliant – episode 6

Nix the virgin paper

Over the years Andrew and I have made many changes to our environmental lifestyle. We still have a huge carbon footprint but it’s certainly smaller than what it was 12 years ago.

There have been two changes that we’ve made that have been completely pain free but have made a huge impact in the amount of waste we produce.

table

1. Switching to cloth napkins

About four years ago I decided that enough was enough – it was stupid to use paper napkins or paper towels (kitchen roll). So I went to the store and found, by chance, some ex-hotel napkins that were in perfect condition. I was a genius that day and bought about 30 of them. (This has proven to be the winning move because it means we never run out.)

When we’re done eating if the napkins are still clean we sling them over the back of our chair for the next meal and if they’re not clean we toss them in the washing machine. They still look in perfect condition after all these years so I’m extremely pleased. Thanks to this switch, instead of going through a roll of paper towels (kitchen roll) at least once every couple weeks we now go through about six a year max. That makes sense financially and environmentally; win-win! Plus, when we have company we look really classy. (Let me pretend, ok?!?)

2. Recycled toilet paper

Until an embarrassingly advanced age I thought recycled toilet paper was made from OLD toilet paper and the idea totally grossed me out.

Ummmm…. Yeah. Genius, right?  I probably shouldn’t have had admitted that…

Annnnnyway… It wasn’t until about three years ago that I found some statistics showing that using premium toilet paper has a worse environmental impact than driving a Hummer*. Considering a Hummer gets about 3mpg I was appalled. Since then Andrew and I have been using Nouvelle and we’re very happy. I admit, it’s not as quite as soft as our old Charmin but we don’t even notice anymore. Since making the switch we have tired a couple other brands but haven’t found any we like as much as Nouvelle. For instance, I really wanted to like ONE which is recycled and gives a cut of the profits to build wells in undeveloped areas… but the toilet paper didn’t meet our needs so we’re back to Nouvelle.
I’m not sure what brands are in America but it’s worth giving a couple a go, right? What have you got to lose? (Apart from a few pounds of CO2 from your carbon footprint.)

I’m sorry if I get a bit preachy when it comes to green things, but I think there are small things we all can do (like the two suggestions above) that can make a difference with little-to-no impact on our lifestyle. I think after this series I may do a mini-series on green changes. What do you think … interesting? Annoying?


References & credits:

Photo from: Alex Akopyan, Flickr
* http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/2619
* http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/26/toilet-roll-america