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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Using Recycled Toiled Paper Take One

July’s One Small Green Change is one place I thought I’d never go – switching to a toilet paper made from recycled fiber. Now before you get all grossed out let me clarify a common misconception about recycled toilet paper. They make recycled toilet paper from the type of paper and fiber you normally put into your household recycling bin. They do not make it from used toilet paper because:

  1. Ugh! Gross!
  2. Think about it, how would they reclaim the paper once you’ve flushed it and it broke down in your city’s sewer system?
  3. Ugh! Gross!

Moving on.

Why buy toilet paper with recycled content? According to Time magazine, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) “estimates that if every household in the U.S. replaced just one 500-sheet roll of virgin-fiber TP a year with a roll made from 100% recycled paper, nearly 425,000 trees would be saved annually.”

That’s a lot of trees!



Since I am an avid recycler and I try to buy recycled content products as much as I can, you would think that I would have hopped on the recycled TP bandwagon long ago. It was not really on my radar. When it comes to buying toilet paper, I normally go down the row and buy the cheapest brand the store sells. Later when I started checking prices, I almost fell over! I do not get why recycled content toilet paper has to be much more expensive than regular toilet paper.

To be green and save money, I could switch to reusable cloth wipes (also called family cloth) but I just cannot go there. I average three full loads of laundry a week. That would not keep cloth wipes from stinking up the house. Ew.

I will make a formal apology to the polar bears at my local zoo.

I made the switch to recycled toilet paper because Aldi had ever-green toilet paper on sale for Earth Day. It was only 50 cents more than the regular brand I buy so I figured why not? (Yeah, I am all over putting green products on sale/special/coupon for Earth Day thing because I am not made out of money and I would not have tried it otherwise.) I’d like to encourage Aldi to carry this brand of toilet paper throughout the year and not just for Earth Month. I doubt it is selling well though. On my next trip to Aldi, they had it discounted to $3.99 a box. I bought several boxes because now the recycled toilet paper was much cheaper than the regular two ply toilet paper they sell. Woo! Bargain!

A polar bear will smile every time I wipe my tush with it, I am sure.

Husband says that will only happen if I only use one square at a time.

The ever-green toilet paper I bought is made from 100% recycled fiber. It comes packaged in a 100% recycled paperboard box (which I’m sure makes Miss Plastic Free Living very happy for me!) Unfortunately, it’s cushiness and plyness is equal to that you’d find in your average porta potty.

I’ve never been picky about TP. I grew up camping. The type of toilet paper that is quilted and cushy for your tushie is also the type that can stop up a camper’s septic system. For the camper my mom bought one-ply toilet paper and we were under strict orders to limit the number of squares to make flushing the black water tank easier for Dad after a camping trip. The ever-green recycled toilet paper reminds me of that no frills camper toilet paper but it gets the job done.

What about you? Are you picky about toilet paper cushiness? Do you use recycled content toilet paper or -gulp- family cloth? Or do compromise by greening another aspects of your life and buy regular toilet paper?


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