Happiness month day 23 – taking small actions
A couple of days ago I mentioned how much happiness I got from being with trees.
They help to ground me, they have such presence and carry such wisdom.
Unfortunately trees are a bit of a disposable commodity – we cut them down for all our paper and furniture desires with little thought for the impact of our actions.
The other week small footprints challenged us to give up kitchen towel. As I’ve already done this I upped the ante and decided to make a brave switch - something I’d been planning on for a couple of years but never quite made the commitment to.
I decided to use wee cloths instead of toilet roll! (NOT number twos I hasten to add)
It caused quite a stir I can tell you. Even hardened green readers called it ‘hardcore’ and although I was supported for my decision there were a few who felt it was just one step too far for them.
A friend of mine came to my rescue (and prevented me putting in my own get out clause or failing due to procrastination) by sending me these pretty fellas:
Go on, admit it; you love them right?
There are cat prints, space men, pigs and all sorts of lovely fabric patterns and, although she reckoned they were a bit big (half that size would be perfect) how could I resist?
Being one for numbing my brain with trivial calculations and useless statistics I’ve figured out that in one year by swapping reusable cloths for toilet paper I can stop the need for *this much* toilet paper:
Yep, 20 rolls.
But actually I got it wrong – I should have picked up one more pack of these because now I’ve looked at the photo I realised these are 160 sheets per roll. My calculation of 20 rolls was on 240 sheets per roll.
So by the tiny step of swapping toilet roll for wee cloths, I’m saving 3 packs of my usual toilet roll from being flushed down the drain each year. Astonishing isn’t it?
And before you start on the ‘yes but what about the water, detergent and energy used in washing’ route I’m pretty damned convinced this is better for the environment. I’m not doing a special wash; putting a cloth in the machine is like chucking in a pair of socks or a handkerchief; it’s no big deal. We all know that washable nappies are better for the environment than disposable ones when you take into account the full life cycle including bleach, paper and gallons and gallons of water and I’d hazard a guess that toilet paper is the same.
So for day 23 of happiness month I’m happy that taking small actions really can make a big difference.
According to World Watch magazine, the equivalent of 27,000 trees PER DAY is flushed away as toilet paper across the world.
Nope, you don’t get away with it that easily; read that again. Really read it, absorb it, understand it: The equivalent of 27,000 trees PER DAY is flushed away as toilet paper across the world.
So what about you? Now you’ve seen the saving to the environment AND your pocket (three packs of toilet rolls like these cost me £14.07 per year) is it time for you to get over yourself? Are you prepared to put the ick factor to one side and give it a go?