the TAO of CHANGE

a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Posts Tagged ‘paper use’

Better For Babies, and Grown-ups – achoo in perspective

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

I received this comment last week from another eco-conscious reader – thanks Marney Whitney – I’m glad to know that awareness of our wasteful habits is growing and that others are getting into the details:

Hi There,

I have a cold today and was thinking just how many tissues I wasted in one day.  Even more disturbing is how many tissue boxes I have in my house and continue to buy. It would be so nice to refill my tissue boxes just like I do my napkin holder / paper towels, etc. I try not to use paper products but inevitably
I do end up using some so a refillable tissue holder seems logical to me. Any thoughts on this?

You’re right, Marne, tissues add up when you have a cold. I do usually break down and get a box when I get a bad one. But, the rest of the year, I use a cloth for sniffles. As I’ve mentioned before, I carry a bandana with me as a napkin, hand-dryer and more. At home, I cut up old cloth (old soft t-shirts work well) into squares for napkins, rags and lots of other uses. I keep two metal buckets in the corner of the kitchen – one with clean cloths and the other for those headed for laundering. In the bathroom, I will use toilet tissue instead of tissues or cotton balls because I can tear off small amounts (I never thought Sheryl Crow was joking about the one square!) and it will biodegrade in the toilet.

There’s lots of little habits we could break that after a short time, we wouldn’t miss at all and I think it would help us get a handle on the difference between needs and luxuries. If we all only used a box of tissues when we have a cold (hopefully we’re all getting bad colds only about once/year!), it wouldn’t be an actual problem.

Of course, the entire issue has a solution – REUSABLES from BetterForGrownUps.com. Leah Carter and her husband, Zac, started with the creation of baby products  – BetterFor Babies.com – and have followed up with reusable hygiene products for the rest of us, including tissues and cotton rounds.

It’s the same with a lot of things we have become accustomed to having without actual need. For instance, if only the people who needed trucks or vans had them (perhaps for a home business or carpooling), then there would be a lot less fuel-hogs on the road. Sadly, our perspective is way off in this regard and we could benefit by simply starting taking at new look at the small things – if you start with tissues, then paper towels, then paper plates, then napkins….and then the big things begin dawning on us. And, even with something as simple as tissue use, considering the numbers, this alone will save lots of trees (and all pollution and water waste) that goes into production of these luxury items.

Evolution. Revolution. Solution!

Thanks for thinking small and doing BIG, Marney. Get Well Soon. Tao



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