I think my almost-three-year-old son is almost potty-trained (in my mind I imagine raucous cheering)! And while I rejoice over our increasing success, I’ve begun to notice something else has also been increasing: the number of rolls of toilet paper we go through.
Like any other toddler, my son, Miles, thinks more of everything is better. More toys – better. More books before bedtime – better. More finger paint – better. More marshmallows in the hot chocolate – definitely better!
So of course, the same goes when we’re in the bathroom and now I know that I need to get to the TP before he does to prevent the entire roll from becoming a big, loopy pile on the floor.
Helping moderate the amount of bathroom tissue we use is an easy, no-cost way that we can be a little more “green” as a family and also teaches my son that paying attention to waste (and I’m just talking about the paper here!) is important.
Why am I even paying attention to a few pieces of tissue down the toilet? Fair question. Most of the toilet paper in the US comes from second-generation forests, which are well-managed, but their destruction adds significantly to our ecological footprint. Toilet paper accounts for 15% of that destruction.
The National Resource Defense Council estimates that on a worldwide basis, deforestation causes more global warming than the combined emissions of all vehicles, airplanes and ships—and that’s not all. Virgin fiber paper products also waste water since more water is needed to make trees into paper than recycling old paper into new products. The chlorine bleach used by many companies also poses pollution problems for water systems.
Switch to environmentally-friendly toilet paper that is unbleached, chlorine-free, and, if possible, 100% recycled. Amazingly, every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 4,000 kilowatts of electricity, 3 cubic yards of landfill and 7,000 gallons of water.
Yep, I think it’s clear: less really is more!
To simple, green living,
“You must be the change you hope to see in the world.” -Gandhi
Carrie Brusven is an Independent Green Irene Eco-Consultant based out of Moorhead, MN and her website can be found at www.greenirene.com/carriefargo. Carrie offers Green Home Makeovers, “Go Green” Workshops/Parties, and Green Business Makeovers with Green Business Bureau Certification. Contact Carrie to book a workshop or a makeover for your home or small business: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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