Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Easy Being Green: Choose Recycled

"Remember when you throw things away, there is no 'Away'."

There are some items that most of us are not willing to do away with or re-use... one item I think we can all agree with is toilet paper.  

Thankfully there are becoming more and more options for 100% recycled options such as Seventh Generation and  Marcals Small Steps   - you can usually get a good deal on this and they support some great causes. 

My favorite would have to be "Earth First" -- Mainly just because the rolls are bigger and you get  bit more for your money. They also do not bleach with chlorine- which is also a plus. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods also have their own brand name 100% recycled toilet paper which are also nice.. I just do not have any on hand to photograph. 

Now that "green" is becoming trendy there also tends to be a lot of "greenwashing" - or companies trying to make themselves sound more environmentally friendly than they actually are. In regards to toilet paper, Scott Natural  is my pet peeve of green washing. Despite many toilet paper, paper towels and tissues being made from 100% recycled material, Scotts is only made from 60% recycled material. Granted- many toilet papers are worst- and use 0% recycled materials-- but Scott's makes their packaging green in color and claims "Green done right." Thus, they are duping people into thinking they are doing the 'right' thing.  Again, 60% recycled if still better than nothing, so I suppose if it is the only option, sure, its better than getting regular 0% recycle toilet paper, but alas, I still recommend the other brands first. 

Choosing recycled can also be extended to paper towels and tissues and other paper products as well- but the ideal solution is to refuse.  Use reusable items whenever possible, such as washable clothes and towels or a hanky. I know, I know, handkerchiefs sound rather gross - but I've been using them for a year or so now, and they aren't so bad- just make sure to buy a few so you can throw them in the wash when they get icky.
  • Only print things when you NEED to.  Do your editing on the computer before printing. 
  • Print double sided when possible.
  • Choose recycled paper as well when possible.

  • Sign up for E-bills and email newsletters versus the hard copies. 
  • Contact companies that continue to send you junk mail and ask them to remove you from their mailing list. You can also do this through websites like this, but they can charge a fee. 

Until next time- best of luck being green :) 

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