Tag Archives: green

Toilet paper, toilet paper, as far as the eye can see.

So, about the toilet paper….I had decided that the Seventh Generation worked well for us, and was all ready to continue on with this brand. The problem became finding it. Ordering a four pack to try it was one thing, but ordering the quantity my family needs (and frankly, that I need for peace of mind…I can’t come close to running out of this stuff without getting nervous), cost a bunch to ship. So I looked around locally, and although it was listed as being available at a store near me, it actually wasn’t carried there. After trying a few other “green” brands, which were flimsy and short on sheet count (under 200 sheets was gone in less than 24 hours), I was running out of options. Then, just about a week ago, I noticed that amazon.com started a new “Subscribe and Save” program which enabled me to get a 48 pack of this toilet paper at 15% off with free shipping. My first shipment came today, and I’ll get the next one in 2 months. That should keep us in the stuff with some to spare.
These are just a few rolls from our tp bonanza.


Keeping it green in the bathroom

Keeping what green, you may ask? (Or shudder to think.) Of course I speak of the toilet paper, the main paper waste coming from my household with three small children who are still in the earlier days of solo toilet paper usage, which usually results in massive overuse. At this point in their lives, my husband and I are all about adequate wiping, which includes the reminder for frequent flushings (yes, water waste galore), but we’re aiming not only for hygiene but the avoidance of yet another late night overflow.Multiple incidents leave us with this, our kitchen focal point for visiting guests to gaze at in wonder.
Multiple incidents leave us with this, our kitchen focal point for visiting guests to gaze at in wonder.

So how can we attempt to make up at least some of the anti-green hole we dig ourselves every time someone uses half a roll and countless gallons in the bathroom? 100% recycled toilet paper. Now, we’re starting from a Scott tissue 1-ply 1000 sheet roll, so the transfer to a greener alternative wasn’t a rough thing for us to do (pun intended.) However, I did go with a 2-ply, which for us is actually somewhat of a luxury. Can you see the difference?Good book for reading....wherever you wish.
Good book for reading….wherever you wish.

The 500 count 2-ply Seventh Generation toilet paper is our (my) new paper of choice. I thought the rolls would go much faster (twice as fast, to be exact) but it seems that the added “ply” is helping the kids get the heft and performance they’re looking for since roll change frequency hasn’t seemed much different to me. (And no, nobody else changes the rolls, though they’ve tried, but that spring loaded spindle and nearby open toilet gets them every time.) An added bonus is that this toilet paper dissolves quickly and is even recommended for camping and septic systems, so along with my little frequent flushers this gives me extra peace of mind that we won’t get any (as many?) overflow issues before everyone has this process down pat.

My definition of going green….

My definition of “going green” is a pretty loose one. It includes not only protecting the environment by using friendlier items (the laundry soap for example), and trying to eat locally, but also by servicing the community both locally and globally by doing things, however small, that can help others thrive and make the world a better place. One thing I’ve become involved in recently is becoming a lender with Kiva. In their words:

“Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.

The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding – not marketing material.”

It’s very humbling to see what people are doing with their lives, and a wonderful feeling to be able to help, in however small a way. Loan amounts start at only $25! I’ve shown this site and explained what it’s for to my two older children, and they’re excited to read about all of the people out there and what they’re doing, and are psyched to loan their own money to help out (and being very young, the minimum loan about breaks their banks). It’s a great way to show them, anyone!, how other people live, how small the world really is, and how even they can help make it a better place.

Homemade Laundry Soap, with bonus dishwasher soap recipe!

In reading up online about green alternatives to household cleaners, I kept coming across recipes for liquid laundry soap. Boiling and then storing liquid soap was not appealing to me, so I would skim over these ideas. Then, a friend of mine found a recipe for a dry homemade version, which she loved so much that she gave me two loads worth to try. I was hooked, and so proceeded to make my own and then give a bunch away to interested friends who also all really like it. It smells great, cleans wonderfully (better than anything I’ve used before) is environmentally friendly, and wow, is it cheap compared to commercial brands! (estimates are about 2-4 cents a load for this stuff…compare to your current brand!) I’m running low so made some today. You need the following:

Grate your Fels Naptha. This yields a little over two cups. I use it all, though the recipe only calls for 2 cups, so you can save the little bar left if you want to use it as needed for other things. Then mix it with 1 cup Borax and 1 cup washing soda. Wala! Done. You only need 2 tablespoons per load to get everything really clean and fresh smelling. Now, here’s a bonus…the dishwasher soap recipe. Recently I tried out Seventh Generation’s dishwashing detergent by ordering online from Gaiam.
I liked it, it worked great, but it’s a little pricey and hard to find locally. So, I looked up homemade dishwasher detergent and what do I find but recipes calling for 1 tablespoon Borax + 1 tablespoon washing soda per load. Sold! Apparently you can also add some distilled white vinegar to the anti-spotting receptacle instead of a gel, but since I never used that anyway I’m going to happily skip that part (I’m not too fond of the smell of vinegar, which is proving to be something I’ll have to try and get over as it’s used for LOTS of cleaning endeavors.) I just found out about this dishwashing bonus today, and there are still are few 7th gen loads left to go, so I won’t be trying it for a few days. When I do, I’ll post back how it works, but I’m feeling optimistic based on the great results from the laundry soap.

Just wanted to add that you can get all of the ingredients solo, mixed, or just the Fels Naptha alone grated, from Soaps Gone Buy. I found all of the ingredients at my local grocery store.

Spreading the word

While I’m teaching exercise classes I’ll occasionally mention things that are going on in my life, which has included the upcoming CSA season, homemade laundry soap (more on that later), and foraging for food (morels, violets). Last week I did a demo class for a class member and some of her friends, and she was very sweet and brought me some gardening gloves, card, and a plant to thank me (which she didn’t have to do and was completely unexpected, so it was a great surprise!) The plant was in a biodegradable pot by Earth Essentials from Ball Horticultural Company, which she said she got specifically because of the things I had mentioned in class. It’s amazing and wonderful how people will pick up on things like that, with the result of joining in on protecting the environment. Unfortunately, I have what I call a “brown thumb”…I try with the plants, again and again, with not a whole lot of success. I’ve even had hostas go bad on me! However, indoor plants have worked out OK, so I’m giving it my best with this one.