I know, paper towels don’t seem all that exciting. It’s not like I’m investing in solar panels and devoting myself full-time to eco-activism, but I need to take this whole green thing slowly. The fact is, I’m just not that hardcore.
Yes, I realize using old rags and tea towels — or even better, reclaimed wool that’s been knit into tea towels at a fair-trade establishment within 100 km of my apartment and shipped via bicycle — is surely the way to go when it comes to reducing landfill waste.
But the reality is, I like to wipe away dirt, bacteria and other icky business with something I can then put in the garbage instead of the washing machine, and subsequently ignore. Plus, my cat occasionally poops on the carpet, and whatever I use to pick it up I am most certainly NOT reusing or recycling in any way.
So paper towels it has to be. I’ve thought about using those Bounty Select-a-Size ones, which let you tear away smaller pieces. But after further mulling, and some drunken spilling, I’ve decided that for my first official green move, I’m switching to Cascades. This brand is made of 100% recycled, unbleached fibres, produced with 80% less water than the industry average and dried with natural gas (so it might have been more ecologically sound to dry it with wind power or something, but not bad).
So far, I’m happy with the product. It may not be as strong as those quilted picker-uppers, but then I’m not exactly going to be soaking them and then trying to carry large, heavy objects with them as the commercials so demonstrate with that ubiquitous blue liquid. Plus, I actually like the brown colour — it matches my fake hardwood floors.
I stole mine from the swag pile at the office, but if you’re in Toronto you can find them at Baldwin Naturals Organic Food Market. They retail for about $1.99 but prices may vary. The company, which has been around for some 40 years, also has a website (link above) with a list of retail outlets and other handy info.