Friday, October 29, 2010

Do the little things really matter?

Ask Ida

Dear Ida B. Green,

My roommate is constantly bugging me about turning out the lights and recycling my papers. I say, "Get over it! It's no big deal!"

Signed, Geesh!

Dear Geesh!,

Nobody likes to be told what to do, but little things do add up and are often worth mentioning. As turn-about is fair play, here's an unmentionable you might bring up with your roommate.


( Nationally, 27,000 trees are cut down every day to make virgin toilet paper.

( The average American uses 50 pounds of toilet paper per year—50 percent more than other Western countries or Japan.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin-fiber toilet paper with 100 percent recycled toilet paper, we'd save almost half a million trees.

Although I'm not a fan of the Sears catalogue as my TP alternative, changing from "pillow-soft" to recycled TP is not a difficult task. In a rather unscientific study, recycled toilet papers varied in softness and absorbency more from brand to brand and single-ply to double-ply than due to their recycled content. If your first recycled effort doesn't meet your needs, try their double-ply or another recycled brand.

Bottom line: Throw the guilt out with your deeply quilted tissues and make sure to close the recycling loop by purchasing all your household paper products with 100 percent recycled content.

Keep it Green,


—Elizabeth Jeffrey

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