Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Confessions of a tissue addict

On TV awhile back, I saw a clip from a press conference in which Sheryl Crow urged people to use only one sheet of toilet paper in order to save trees.

Now I’m all for saving trees and going green and whatnot, but ONE SHEET? Let’s be rational here. Toilet paper is a must for those of us who grew up after the era of using corncobs or Sears Roebuck catalog pages in the outhouse; but with a little research and deliberation, it’s easy to green your 21st century bathroom habits.

I’ve heard several plumbers recommend Scott toilet tissue because it breaks down quickly and doesn’t cause pipe backups the way thicker paper types do. And while we’re on the subject, don’t flush paper towels or bulky feminine hygiene products that could cause plumbing problems! Disposable diapers are an evil that could warrant a post all their own. Think before you flush.

See my collection of green cleaning tips for more thoughts on plumbing.

Before I close this post, I should explain the title: I am a recovering tissue addict. I had tissue boxes in my bedroom, living room, office, dining room, and kitchen. Half-used tissues littered most of the end tables and nightstands in my house. I have a problem.

I’m trying to convert to the way of the cloth handkerchief, but change is hard. Who wants to carry a snotty rag around with them all day?

Here are thoughts from another convert...


EnviroMom Renee said...

It is hard to go from paper tissue to a cloth handkerchief, as it's a very different feel on the nose. I've really cut way back on disposable tissue buy washing Kirkland cloth baby wipes and using those for handkerchiefs (I keep a folded pile by my nightstand, which is where I seem to use tissues the most).

With my kids, I just kept using paper tissues, but bought 100% recycled content tissues.

When I "travel" with a hankie, I'm using either one made out of flannel or one made of out t-shirt material. They seem fairly soft on the nose, and closer to what a paper tissue feels like. It's taken time, but we cut way down on the amount of disposable paper tissues we used during cold and flu season. I imagine at one point, it was weird for people to try and blow their noses on paper after using cloth handkerchiefs for their whole lives. So it seems worth trying.

I do agree, ONE TP square seems fairly stingy. We try for 3-4, and of course, wash our hands ;-)

Carrie said...

I think you can't get away from the sanitary issues associated with handkerchief use. Unless you're using a new handkerchief with every blow (and have a large supply of handkerchiefs) I don't think it's a good idea, no matter how green the idea might be. I grew up with a handkerchief user and have always been disgusted by a balled-up used handkerchief that might get washed after several days' use. Blech!

If you want to cut down on tissue use, you could: buy multiple layer tissues and split them up, use toilet paper squares and only blow your nose in the bathroom, or you could take allergy medicine/allergy shots to avoid that increased tissue use.

In my opinion, there are more positive ways to help the environment than created bacterial hazards... and people could stop showering every day to save water, but isn't it better to take shorter showers and get a water-saving shower head, and be more conservative when brushing teeth, get a European style toilet that allows for different water amounts, and not water your lawn all summer.