It’s no secret that every big company has jumped on the “green-recycled-sustainable-earthsaving” bandwagon, some with good intentions and even better results, but others mostly just interested in “green-washing” the all-too-easily green-washed consumer public.
Take Marcal Small Steps (above) for example: “100% Premium Recycled Paper Products blah blah blah” is all over their plastic packaging. It’s all just a big load of focus-group-studied hoo-ha. Butch and I like to buy our tp in bulk: We recently bought a 24-pack claiming to be “eco-friendly, recycled, dolphin-safe, etc” and, I swear, when I opened up the the large pack at home, I discovered that every 4-pack contained within had its very own plastic packaging. It was so ridiculous and unnecessary that I literally laughed out loud.
In a perfect world I wouldn’t buy toilet paper at all, but would instead wipe with a large oak leaf that I would then wash with rainwater and dry in the sun on my clothesline woven from my own hair. However, since I haven’t reached that point yet, I try my hardest to buy products with the least amount of packaging as possible. But, boy, they don’t make it easy! It’s simple enough to bring your own bags (including produce bags) to the grocery store, but if you need to buy a AA battery, no one is going to sell you a “loosie.” Big business’ bigger (than being green) concern with being ripped off means that consumer-unfriendly blister packaging tends to rule the roost.
I love the idea of a “circular economy,” proposed by green material science company Ecovative Design. Why can’t packaging consist of less foreign and more natural materials? Although Ecovative’s methods involve “the parts of plants that cannot be used for food or feed,” the plant-based packaging industry brings with it concerns of the use of viable farmland (one of the major problems with ethanol). However, it’s a step in the right direction to consider alternatives, because what we’re doing now is not benefiting the planet in the long-run!
I know what you mean and I feel the same way. We try so hard, but wen we buy toilet paper (like the brand above or even 7th Generation), the bulk comes in plastic. At least 7th Generation is aware of the issue and making strides, especially with regards to their liquid cleaning products (http://www.seventhgeneration.com/mission/environmental-footprint/packaging).
I suppose we could take a lesson from cloth diapering and just have reusable fabric wipes by the toilet, but then comes the question of washing loads and loads of those… For a baby, who requires such laundering for only a few years max, it’s one thing…
I’m very interesting in composing toilets, but it’s not something I can really consider until we have our own home. At the very least, I feel comfortable that the toilet paper we use is the lesser of other evils. In the end, I think it’s important not to load up on eco-guilt. Continue to research, educate yourself, and compare products. Continue to be a critical thinker. Continue to do the best you can, even if it’s only baby steps. But don’t beat yourself up or you’ll burn out completely.
Yeah, I don’t really beat myself up about it at all (in my About Me section I talk about how everyone should feel good doing what they can)…was more just a general complaint about unnecessary packaging. And I love the idea of a composing toilet – it could sing to you while you go!
Pardon my typos. I’m interested in composting toilets! LOL
What really gets my goat is all the 12 oz water bottles people go through!
And did you know that downtown Mechanic Falls used to be home to a Marcal Paper mill? Talk about water pollution!
I didn’t know that about McFalls (my hometown) being a Marcal paper mill location…although I’m not surprised. I bet that really stunk!
Yes. Environmentally, we were glad when it closed. But economically, it was tough. Not only did people lose their jobs, but Mechanic Falls lost a large taxpayer. There’s always the good with the bad!