Paper, Paper Everywhere and Not a Tree to Spare!

First, I'd like to congratulate NoaJordan on accruing the most votes for her adorable needle felted bird! I'm not sure if it's typical blogger behaviour or not, but the poll was doing some funky things! Most importantly, losing votes... needless to say, not all were pleased by that! ;) But anyway, congrats Noa, that first sale can't be far away! Feature to follow soon...

So, I've been itching to do another eco-tip, but I haven't had the chance to park myself in front of the computer for long enough! I've got an hour... let's see what I pull together!

Today is another easy one. Really. All is requires is a switch, a swap of one brand for another. No special shops to order from, no hunting around on the internet searching for the best shipping rates, no crazy inflated prices on earth friendly products. Today, we'll talk paper towels, and heck, let's throw in paper napkins, tissues and toilet paper while we're at it!

"If every household in the United States replaced just one 70 sheet roll of virgin paper towels
 with a  roll of 100% recycled ones, we would save
* 575,000 trees
*207 million gallons of water (a year's supply for 6,400 people)
* 1.5 million cubic feet of landfill space
*35,000 pound of pollution"
~Seventh Generation

That's pretty substantial green consequences for swapping out those pearly white virgin paper towels for the pearly white recycled ones! Nowadays, recycled doesn't have to mean brown, but neither does it have to mean chlorine. I've got tons to say about chlorine (bad, bad chlorine), but I'll save that for another post.  Remember how on my last eco-tip feature I talked about the huge difference even a small change can make? One roll. One family. Great change.

So, how do you become part of the solution? Buy Marcal. Or Seventh Generation. Or one of the many companies that are now jumping on the recycled bandwagon. You'll find some more choices listed below.

What do I look for?

First, we need to find those paper towels, (or paper napkins, or toilet paper) that are NOT whitened with chlorine. Manufacturing with chlorine is dangerously toxic for you and the environment. Blissfully, there are many brands out there that choose the greener solution to whiten their products. Cascades Tissue Group, Marcal Paper Mills, Natural Value, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Seventh Generation are just a few.

Secondly, look for those companies with the highest percentage of post-consumer waste paper goods. Not all recycled products are considered equal. For example, Marcal (the brand I use) has more than 60% post consumer waste. This means that more than 60% is made from the pulp of paper that has already been used (all that paper that I know you faithfully recycle each and every week! ;) versus leftovers from virgin-paper products. This means, more trees get to see another day, cleaning our air while they do it. It also means less energy consumption and water waste, which equals less pollution. All great things. So, the higher the percentage of post consumer waste on a recycled product, the better.

Here's a breakdown of some companies and their post consumer waste percentages
Cascades Tissue Group~ less than 40% postconsumer content

Marcal Paper Mills ~ more than 60% postconsumer content

Natural Value ~ more than 25% postconsumer content

Seventh Generation~ 80% postconsumer content

Whole Foods ~ 80-95% postconsumer content

As you can see, the postconsumer waste content will vary greatly, and some are clearly a much greener choice than others.

Where can you find these products?  We find our Marcal paper towels and toilet paper at our local Price Chopper. I've also seen them at Stop and Shop and even Staples. If you shop at Whole Foods, they have one of the best options out there. The great news is the options are becoming commonplace as more and more people choose greener products. It's all about the supply and demand, you vote with the products you buy every week.

So, imagine this ~ you're doing your weekly grocery shopping and you go to pick up a roll of your usual chlorine bleached, non-recycled paper towels. Instead you put it down and pick up a roll of Seventh Generation. You just saved countless trees. How about Marcal? You just conserved gallons and gallons of water. Whole Foods? Massive amounts of energy saved, by you. Who says one person can't make a difference? I'll say it again, together we can change the world.

More amazing facts from Seventh Generation:

If every household in the United States replaced just one 500 count package of virgin fiber napkins
with 100% recycled ones, we would save
*2.4 million trees
*887 million gallons of water (a year's supply for 27,600 people)


If every household in the United States replaced just one 4 roll pack of 260 sheet virgin toilet paper
with 100% recycled toilet paper, it would save
*More than 1 million trees
*356 million gallons of water (a year's supply for 11,200 people)
*60,600 pounds of pollution


If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues with 100% recycled ones, it would save
163,000 trees
31 million gallons of water (a year's supply for 960 people)
5,300 pounds of pollution

If you missed the last eco-tip, click here "Let's Talk Trash" to be brought directly to the post.

Thanks for reading! Make the switch today, is there any reason not to? Have a great one :)
 Peace, Melinda