eco-friendly · reuse · values

Freak Flag!

10-5-18.jpgI’m gonna do something I never predicted I would on this blog:  Tell you about my toilet paper.

When I consider the values I hold most highly, eco-friendliness or eco-consciousness has arisen as one of the top measures by which I evaluate my purchasing choices.

Through attempting to keep fidelity to my value of being “green,” I’ve made a number of changes over the past several years, including changing the type of toilet paper I buy!

Yesterday, I was on the phone with a friend and was excited to share that the toilet paper “made from wheat, not trees” was back in stock at Berkeley Bowl.  I bought every package they had on the shelf!  (It had been out of stock for a few months.)

He told me that, coincidentally, he’d just received an email from a toilet paper company that makes theirs from bamboo!  (“Who Gives a Crap”… no, that’s not you saying that, that’s the name of the company!)

I got to tell him about the mud powder I now use for toothpaste and the jar of deodorant now instead of a stick.  These each come in a reusable jar (one plastic, one glass) which means that when they are done, I can make use of them.  They’re not simply tossed.  (You can’t easily recycle a plastic toothpaste tube, although you can if you cut it open and clean it out from the inside.)

But.  I’d read an article once that said when study particpants were in a room with a water dispenser and small, made-for-midget cups, if there was a recycling bin, participants would generally use more than one paper cup, chucking each one in the bin after use.  However, if there was only a trash bin, people would re-use their one tiny cup thereby reducing the amount of product they used.  (I envision Jason Lee in Mallrats toting around his tiny cup for half the movie!)

Their point was that when we think something is recyclable, we tend to discard it more readily.  However, even though it can be recycled, we’re still creating waste, necessitating more energy and water and creating by-products.

A few years ago, I switched away from disposable feminine products to a reusable silicon cup and patterned, fuzzy washable underwear pads.  I have on my Amazon wish-list washable, reusable cotton rounds.  And, who can forget the rinsable cloth coffee filters I used all month in the Amherst dorms?!

When I am asked to answer the question, “Who am I?” (… as I was asked to do this morning by Day 1 of my next Oprah/Deepak meditation series, “Desire and Destiny”), I am not readily apt to answer, “Eco Freak.”  But, if I’m being considered about who I am, and I count eco-ness as one of my peak values, then I guess yes: Call me Eco Freak.

* * *

Now!  The part I’d never thought I’d do: give you links to products.  No, I’m not being paid… yet 😛  And I have no opinion on whether these are the best options; they’re just what I own right now.

  • Toothpaste (yes, it actually works; my teeth feel as clean as with anything else!): Earth Powder
  • Deodorant (same! yes, it actually works!):  Schmidt’s Fragrance-Free
  • Feminine hygiene (will never go back to disposable plastic pads or tampons! That’s 30+ years of disposing, Ladies!!!!):  Diva Cup and Love My
  • Toilet Paper (they give money to projects to build toilets in less-fortuned countries!!):  World Centric and Who Gives a Crap


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