Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Call me picky, but Betty wants a better toilet paper

To celebrate the impending birth of my friend's baby, a bunch of us girls met at one of Charlottesville's favorite hot spots, Mas, in Belmont. It was a lovely night - great atmosphere, great food, great friends. But I couldn't help being a little bugged when I visited the ladies to find stacks and stacks of virgin-fiber toilet paper. Now I know this may seem picky to some of you, but my feeling is this: if we can't do the little things, then how are we going to do the big things? 100%recycled, non-bleached toilet paper is REALLY easy to come by and it's the very least we can do.

Here are some facts and tips for you and your favorite local business:

If each of us replaced one roll of virgin-fiber paper towels with 100 percent recycled paper towels, we could save 1.4 million trees! If we replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins with 100 percent recycled ones, we could save 1 million trees. Just imagine the huge impact restaurants could have if they changed their practices to be healthier and more sustainable.

Here are some green tips from Betty's friends at Treehugger.com:

*Process Chlorine Free (PCF) is a great choice, this process does not use not bleach with chlorine or its derivatives. Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) is the best choice—this is pulp that has never been bleached with chlorine or its derivatives.

*Purchase paper towels made of 100 percent recycled materials.

*Look for paper products that contain a minimum of 90 percent post-consumer waste.

*Choose unbleached paper towels (TCF) -totally chlorine-free. If those are unavailable, opt for process chlorine free (PCF) next, or elemental chlorine free (ECF) as a last choice.

*Choose paper towels and napkins that have no added pigments, inks or dyes (say goodbye to that floral printed border).

*Select packaging with minimal environmental impact, such as that made of recycled and recyclable materials; imprinted with safe inks; and containing no toxic metals, dyes or inks.

*Seek items having the largest amount of product to minimize packaging, for example, high-capacity hardwound roll towels have 800 feet or more.

*Look for paper towels that are wound on a 100 percent recycled core.

For recommended brands try: http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp

Pass it on...


Lucy said...

Are there any brands that you recommend?

BWB said...

Hi Lucy!

Below is a great link with an extensive chart:
I buy Seventh Generation and GreenForest brands and put them UNDER the sink, so I only use them when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I use cloth.