Bulktastic: TP Edition

Last month, I decided to buy toilet paper in bulk. Initially, I got really REALLY excited by this company, Who Gives a Crap. because a) it’s toilet paper in bulk, b) they donate 50% (DID YOU HEAR THAT? 50 FREAKING PERCENT) of their profits to WaterAid, a nonprofit that is “improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the world’s poorest communities” (WaterAid), c) their IndieGoGo video was hilarious and adorable (spoiler: one of their founders pledged to sit on a toilet until the money they were requesting was raised.) In 50 hours, they had raised over $50,000. Oh, and d) this might be shameless plug; a family friend’s son works for them. This doesn’t make them any less awesome, however.

Unfortunately, Who Gives a Crap only delivers to Australia. So…I had to find another source of bulk toilet paper.

Enter bulk delivery from amazon.com of Seventh Generation’s 100% recycled toilet paper. I couldn’t find the non-bleached tp in bulk/plastic-free, but I’ll take what I can get. The problem with bulk items and apartment living is that you suddenly have less space. And given the fact that, for some reason, I got shipped two boxes instead of one (shhhh; I wasn’t charged for the second one, so I’m not complaining), I had a lot less space. 120 rolls of toilet paper. I’ll never have to buy tp again.

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As a gal who grew up on Charmin, this stuff is a rougher, feels less absorbant and thus is less than ideal for bum-wiping AND nose-blowing, but I’ve gotten used to it, honestly. And no one’s complaining about running out of toilet paper, which is great. I’m definitely going to keep up with this waste-free, plastic-free change. (Except there’s the packing tape, so not 100% waste-free!) If I really wanted my bodily waste routine to be zero waste, I might have to get a composting toilet. But I’m just not into that…yet?!

Trash: Week 6

If not for my stupid stomach, I would have been a zero waste rockstar this week. Unfortunately, I fell prey to the siren call of that wretched contraption, the vending machine. Yet again, better planning would have helped me avoid these items:

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So what have we got this week:

-those little plastic thingies on top of toothpicks that are supposed to make them look pretty or festive or ensure that you don’t poke yourself with them. I’m not exactly sure their purpose.

-the top off of a lid of cream cheese. Curse you, bagels at the office!

-mini packets of butter. I keep getting hungry in the afternoon and making toast. I need to stop that.

-Life Without Plastic sticker. I got plastic-free toothbrushes form Life without Plastic, which I love. Unfortunately, the package had a non-recyclable sticker on it.

-Wax paper from a sandwich I got one morning while in a rush. Ugh, Starbucks, and your deliciously addictive sausage, egg and cheese sammiches.

-More bits from those Moleskines I was ripping up a few weeks ago.

-Tea trash. I was doing really well avoiding tea wrapped in non-recyclable packing until I went to meditation on Monday night and just really wanted some freaking tea (mostly because my hands were cold.)

-produce sicker and unidentifiable piece of plastic

-THE TERRIBLE RESULT OF CAVING TO FOOD CRAVINGS. Except when it comes to cheesy crackers, I’m never sorry. The gummies made my stomach hurt (serves me right), but I can never regret Cheez-Its.

ALSO: I STARTED WEIGHING MY TRASH. This week, it was a whopping 0.4 oz. Last week: 2.6 oz. Progress!

Sustainable Alternatives: Utensil Edition

A lot of places we end up eating don’t give you real utensils. These include a myriad of takeout places, lectures and meetings with lunch, and family picnics. I’ve brought my own stainless steel cutlery in to work- in addition to my own mug and bowl- so it’s the in-between places, neither home nor work, where I get tripped up with single-use utensils.

I was recently at Picnic on Walnut Street and they sell AMAZING To-Go Ware reusable bamboo utensils in a nice pouch (made of recycled plastic bottles) with a sweet carabiner attached. How pretty are they?

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Sustainable Alternatives: Water Bottle Edition

Do you know how hard it is to find a plastic-free water bottle? Ok…not that hard, but they’re not that readily available, either. It took a simple Google search, admittedly, to learn that Kleen Kanteen makes a water bottle made with a stainless steel body and lid topped with bamboo and framed with a silicone gasket (no plastic, yay!). Tt’s not usually sold in stores, but the lovely proprietor of Fireside Camp Supply in my neighborhood ordered mine for me. Isn’t this just the prettiest thing you ever did see?

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