You want me to do what?

reduce-toilet-paperYou know how I love the challenges set by Small Footprints to reduce our carbon footprint.

This week’s “Change the world Wednesday” is all about reducing paper usage.

When I read the first line “This week, lets reduce the amount of paper we use” I must admit I felt a bit smug. I mean, what is it that the Queen of Green could possibly do further to reduce her paper usage?

So I read on:

Please choose at least one of the following actions and accomplish it (take on all of them to be a true Eco-superstar)“. So, inwardly smiling to myself  I thought “I’m a true Eco superstar, I’m going to do the LOT and then some…

But then I went on to read:

Use no more than 6 squares of toilet paper per bathroom trip“.





I mean, for, erm, a number TWO??!!

I can do ONE square for a pee, no problem (although I usually use two because I’m two lazy to do the quadruple fold you need to do with one sheet in order not to get a wet hand) but for a poo – SIX sheets?

I feel a bidet coming on…

Or at least a warning to my family not to hold hands with me for a week…

Now I’m really trying to figure out just what my friends across the pond do. Do you all have bidets or supersize me toilet paper? Perhaps you have sheets as large as a newspaper to consider being able to get through a poop using just 6 sheets unscathed.

Over here we have to double fold for fear of breakthrough and the brown finger salute.

I gotta admit it, the idea of using just six sheets already has me crapping my pants and needing EVEN MORE toilet roll.

I await with baited breath to be enlightened about bathroom habits in the US of A.


The rest of the ideas, thankfully were much less dangerous:

If given the option, choose not to have receipts printed out“.

This is a great one and I could certainly do better on this. The trouble is most of my receipts come from the supermarket and there appears to be no option to stop them being printed. If I go to our smaller, local stores, you have to ask if you DO need one, so that’s cool.

The next idea was “If you must print things out, print on both sides of the paper (try to avoid printing by saving a file electronically instead)“.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a duplex printer because I have to be honest and say I do need to print out quite a lot of stuff – training manuals and work for homeschool. I try to turn the paper over and use both sides, but more often than not I end up printing the wrong way around, (which isn’t the end of the world) or worse still, printing back over what I’ve just printed – this means I have even MORE waste.

And I have to hold my hands up and say I need to hand in my crown because this Queen of Green often prints just one side – it’s quicker, easier and more convenient <sigh>.

Next up was to sign up for the Mail Preference Service to stop junk mail – this is already done. In the UK we have to renew this because our names are taken off the list every two years as I found out this month when I started getting loads of junk mail for car insurance.

Next we were asked to “Read the newspaper online rather than buy a paper copy“. This I do, although I tend to avoid the news altogether to be honest. In addition our neighbour passes on the local paper the following morning to us and my mum keeps the Sunday magazine for me to catch up on my little bit of trashy celebrity fun.

We were asked to “Use cloth napkins and towels rather than the paper varieties“. This I have been doing under duress for a year or more. I have OCD and giving up the paper towel wasn’t just a habit to break, it involved a lot of fear. But hey I did it and I’m still alive.

Finally we were asked to “Opt for reusable plates rather than paper plates“. Paper plates never enter the house at Chez Green so that’s not an issue. I can’t bear the things and yes, even though I hate washing up, I do it for the Universe.

So I’ve learned I can be a brown smug arse when I put my mind to it, because no matter how far down the path of green we think we are, there is ALWAYS more we can do.

Thanks Small Footprints for popping me back in my place of humbleness. But I won’t shake your hand….


  1. Small Footprints on June 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Bwhahahahahaha! Thank you, Mrs. Green, for the grins & giggles … okay, it was more than a giggle … I seriously laughed out loud! 🙂 This is such a fun and delightful post!

    Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say that not all “poo” is created equal … some simply take more toilet paper than others (I think I’ve already said too much … and I’m giggling again). With a little folding and focus, I can complete most “jobs” with 6 squares (that’s six, single-ply squares). That being said … soap and washing one’s hands thoroughly is a good thing … after which (more giggling), I’d be more than happy to shake your hand, Mrs. G!! 🙂

  2. nadine sellers on June 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    may i take a moment to shed some light in the darker recesses of americana? Yes indeed Mrs Green, in the country of super-size-me; we use the cushiest, softest, largest of rolls affordable to dispose of our digestive endings…
    6 sheets?, sounds good to me, one ply, on sale..a pack of 9 rolls of white plain, 1000 sheets costs $6 bucks..not bad, lasts about a month for 2..will compute for you…the green alternative of untreated paper is much more costly at $6 for 4 rolls..recycled, non dioxin paper pulp..a wise choice.

    did i satisfy your inquiring mind? please ask more.. i am still smiling at your cross pond humor.