Green me up, Scotty (Day 1)…

paper towel

I know, paper towels don’t seem all that exciting. It’s not like I’m investing in solar panels and devoting myself full-time to eco-activism, but I need to take this whole green thing slowly. The fact is, I’m just not that hardcore.

Yes, I realize using old rags and tea towels — or even better, reclaimed wool that’s been knit into tea towels at a fair-trade establishment within 100 km of my apartment and shipped via bicycle — is surely the way to go when it comes to reducing landfill waste.

But the reality is, I like to wipe away dirt, bacteria and other icky business with something I can then put in the garbage instead of the washing machine, and subsequently ignore. Plus, my cat occasionally poops on the carpet, and whatever I use to pick it up I am most certainly NOT reusing or recycling in any way.

So paper towels it has to be. I’ve thought about using those Bounty Select-a-Size ones, which let you tear away smaller pieces. But after further mulling, and some drunken spilling, I’ve decided that for my first official green move, I’m switching to Cascades. This brand is made of 100% recycled, unbleached fibres, produced with 80% less water than the industry average and dried with natural gas (so it might have been more ecologically sound to dry it with wind power or something, but not bad).

So far, I’m happy with the product. It may not be as strong as those quilted picker-uppers, but then I’m not exactly going to be soaking them and then trying to carry large, heavy objects with them as the commercials so demonstrate with that ubiquitous blue liquid. Plus, I actually like the brown colour — it matches my fake hardwood floors.

I stole mine from the swag pile at the office, but if you’re in Toronto you can find them at Baldwin Naturals Organic Food Market. They retail for about $1.99 but prices may vary. The company, which has been around for some 40 years, also has a website (link above) with a list of retail outlets and other handy info.

6 Responses to Green me up, Scotty (Day 1)…

  1. pat farquharson says:

    This product is only at Hy and Zel’s in Toronto and I am going to burn up so much gas getting there that it just wont work!!
    Loblaws recycled green towels are OK.
    In the 70’s we rejected coloured toilet paper as our sacrifice for the environment and look- we are still doing it!!
    Why not write to Al Gore about his ecologically unfriendly monster home!!?
    Perhaps we could stuff pillows with catfur.
    mm need to think of interesting options!
    love mum

  2. gettinggreen says:

    Actually, the Cascades brand can be found at most health stores. As I mentioned, I saw some at Baldwin Naturals as well as the Apple Tree by my house, but I’m sure they’re at Whole Foods or something too. Even if you have to buy at Loblaws, they at least have the PC brand of recycled paper towel, which is better than Bounty in my opinion.

  3. Jessie Jane says:

    Hey Vanessa!

    There are a lot of brands you can choose from these days—this site breaks ’em down by PCW content, bleaching process, etc:

    http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp

    We use either Trader Joe’s brand or Earth First—whatever we can get our hands on, so to speak. Did you know you can compost food-soiled paper towels? As long as there are no gnarly chemicals on ’em—oh, try Method brand cleaning products if you can find them up there. They’re actually very good from a germ-o-phobe perspective, and they’re non-toxic. So, yeah, that would be my housecleaning tip o’ the day.

    And thanks for the thumbs-up!

    —JJ

  4. Sarah Pretty says:

    Fiesta Farms has lots of recycled paper products. I made the big switch to recycled toliet paper a few years back and I challenge you to do the same. I actually don’t ever buy paper towels I use rags that I make by cutting up dead bath towels. I am an extreme case though. I told you I couldn’t wait to swap enviro tips I can keep this up for days, maybe even 365.

  5. Sarah Pretty says:

    Cause you know I can turn anything into a competition. So embarrassed.

  6. […] Green as a Thistle – she made one green change a day for a year, and wrote a book about it called Sleeping Naked is Green. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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