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 itâ€™s certainly smaller than what it was 12 years ago.
There have been two changes that weâ€™ve made that have been completely pain free but have made a huge impact in the amount of waste we produce.
1. Switching to cloth napkins
About four years ago I decided that enough was enough â€“ 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 weâ€™re done eating if the napkins are still clean we sling them over the back of our chair for the next meal and if theyâ€™re not clean we toss them in the washing machine. They still look in perfect condition after all these years so Iâ€™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.
Ummmmâ€¦. Yeah. Genius, right?Â I probably shouldnâ€™t have had admitted thatâ€¦
Annnnnywayâ€¦ It wasnâ€™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 weâ€™re very happy. I admit, itâ€™s not as quite as soft as our old Charmin but we donâ€™t even notice anymore. Since making the switch we have tired a couple other brands but havenâ€™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 didnâ€™t meet our needs so weâ€™re back to Nouvelle.
Iâ€™m not sure what brands are in America but itâ€™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.)
Iâ€™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 â€¦ interesting? Annoying?
References & credits:
Photo from: Alex Akopyan, Flickr
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