Because of all of the wildfires and excessive heat waves of late, my husband and I have been discussing how we can do more to help heal the planet. We have some ideas on how to help in a more political and global sense and are attending to those and we are also attempting to incorporate as many small efforts into our daily life choices which include using all natural, biodegradable cleaning products in our home.
We were doing that individually for years before we ever met, so that was a no-brainer when we started living together. However, we slid into using toxic non-environmentally friendly dishwasher tablets and brand-name toilet paper and paper towels which we have always felt guilty about.
We decided it was time to ‘clean up our act’ (pun intended) recently and bought nearly ten different brands of environmentally friendly dishwasher tablets and put them to the test. We ended up with at least three we were happy with and are sticking to those.
Next, it was time to go earth-friendly with the paper products in our home. We did the same thing with TP and paper towels- bought several brands of environmentally friendly options and tested them out. So far, we like bamboo but it’s quite pricey and a bit tough to rip. We’ve settled on 100% recycled TP and bought three different brands. On a recent shopping trip, we discovered a brand we hadn’t seen yet and got really excited because it was really cheap and we got a lot of it for the price.
Buyer Beware: Read the Label
We got it home and I proudly stacked it in the washroom we use the most and we gave it a whirl (sorry but I got this terrible pun habit from my father- blame it on him). I’ll sum up our reaction by telling you what hubby said from the bathroom where I could hear him:
What the hell? Is this ONE ply? Do they actually make ONE ply?
Then he came out of the bathroom and looked at me incredulously and said,
We bought ONE ply! And it’s as rough as tree bark.
When I suggested that we leave it out in a box in front of our house for someone to take, he replied:
I don’t think we could even give it away. I wouldn’t want that on my conscience. Why would I want to inflict what I just experienced onto another human being?
In short, this TP is the worst. It reminds me so much of the awful TP experience I used to have as a child when I would visit my family in England. Imagine this: little thin squares of WAXY paper in a box by the toilet. I remember being eight years old, having gone potty at my grandparents’, looking around for the TP and thinking, “where is the roll?”
I screamed something out to my grandmother about there being no TP, just weird Kleenex, and she laughed and yelled back, “That IS the LOO ROLL”…which made me even more confused. So I reluctantly used this weird waxy hamburger patty paper stuff and got on with my day. I chalked it up to one more bizarre thing about England to my growing list which so far, consisted of the following:
- Doors opening and closing the wrong way
- People driving on the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the road
- Having a fourth meal everyday between lunch and dinner called “tea” but was tea accompanied by a cornucopia of sweets
- Being called a “little sausage” as an affectionate name
- ‘Orange squash’ being a strange sweet sticky beverage instead of a vegetable
- dropping a letter in a “postbox”
And an entire list of all of the different foods people ate that freaked me out, but I digress…
Getting back to the nasty one-ply tree-bark inspired TP: I’m sure my grandparents in England would see no issue with it and would tell me to stop whining because they were so used to this type of product and lived through much worse suffering in their lives. But my North American upbringing and generation see things quite differently.
While I feel that a tremendous amount of suffering is to be both expected and endured in our lifetimes, I also believe very strongly that if we can in any way lessen the suffering we have control over, we should do our best to do that.
And believe you me, I have suffered greatly and continue to do so on a regular basis. I am getting much better at being with the inevitable suffering that this life brings such as grief when I lose a loved one or not getting something I really want.
I find much joy and peace in having agency over the little things I can control like what type of TP and cleaning products I use. What are some of the little things you can control which give you the same feeling? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below for me and my readers to be inspired!