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Quitting the Paper Habit

Many of us make an effort to create a healthy environment; we reduce, reuse, and recycle and more, but we often overlook the paper products in our homes.

Why does it matter:

  • Toilet paper accounts for 15% of deforestation

  • To make 1 ton of paper towels 17 trees are cut down and 22,000 gallons of water are used

  • An individual can add 23 pounds of waste to landfills each year just from paper towels

  • The average person uses 2300-2400 paper towels a year

  • Even "compostable" paper plates and cutlery will not break down in landfills. Not enough oxygen.

  • Unless you shop carefully most paper products are produced with harmful chemicals which impact the environment as well as your home. For example, nice bright white paper towels are bleached using

  • The chemicals in traditional toilet paper can be irritating to Eh-hem...down there

  • The average person will potentially use 164,250,000,000 paper napkins in a year

What Can I do?

  • Cloth napkin is one of the easiest switch to make and they last! I'm using cloth napkins that are a good 45 years old.

  • Switch to Unpaper towels or rags. Unpaper towels are pieces of flannel or absorbent materiel used in place of paper towels. This one takes a little getting used to for most people because we are so used to grabbing a paper towels. We only made this switch a bout a year ago and now we don't even think about it. Clean up and toss in the wash!

  • Use microfiber cloths. Caveat, microfiber cloths lose tiny microfibers in the wash which are too small to be filtered out and end up in the oceans ,and now have been found in the flesh of fish. Easy fix: Use a GuppyFriend bag to wash your cloths which keeps the fibers contained.

  • Toilet paper, wellllll OK, there are untoilet paper cloths and I have to say I just can't do it, but we have switched to Who Gives a Crap toilet paper, which is unbleached, bamboo and sugar cane toilet paper. It feels nice and works and there is no deforestation. I feel like it's a nice compromise for me.

  • Look for "Home compostable" paper plates, and if the food is compostable types of food tear up and put in your home compost pile.

You may ask, Yes it does impact the environment to produce the other products as well, but in the end are generally the more green choice. I have found it doesn't make that much more laundry and I just add it in to my normal wash.

Warning, it may create a cloth napkin addiction. I've heard...I mean...I would just guess..OK, OK, it's me!!

Happy Green Living!


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