It’s starting to get serious

Filed in Blog by on June 16, 2008 10 Comments
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toilet roll arrives in plastic polythene packaging
I’m doing a happy dance today, that’s for sure.

Rewind a few weeks when Almost Mrs A asked me if I would like to do a zero waste challenge. At that time Mr Green was a ‘lazy environmentalist’. If it was convenient or handy (or saved him a few bob) he’d do it. Anything else was out, quirky and ‘whatever dear’ territory.

I had this little leap in my heart when I was asked to do this challenge and spent 4 days planning *the* conversation in my head. What would he say? How would he react? Should I cook his favourite meal first? Would it be best to ask him before or after his morning coffee? Should I make it for him and serve it to him in bed on the day of the conversation? Would he gravely suggest that it was ‘time to go our separate ways’?

Fortunately, he jumped on board straight away. Infact, I’d psyched myself up with a myriad of reasons as to why it was a good idea, how it could work and the bits I would take care of when he responded with an ‘Ok, it’s a great idea’.

You know that feeling?

A kind of euphoria and relief mixed in with a bit of ‘well don’t you want to argue about it first?’. A bit of a let down actually.

Fast forward to this week and I had a very scary conversation. A funny thing has happened here at Chez Green. I’m the one lagging behind with the zero waste challenge. Yes, I’ll buy unwrapped chickens for the cat and make bread for the Bairn, but I’m clinging onto my bottled water that comes wrapped in plastic, eating yogurt by the pot full that is in non recyclable packaging and absolutley-freaking-not ready to let my packet rice go that arrives in plastic backed foil.

Can’t. Shan’t. Won’t. And you can’t make me.

He, on the other hand sat me down the other night, looked me in the eye and told me he ‘wanted to talk about toilet paper’.

<sharp intake of breath>

He wanted to look at ways in which we could cut the plastic down further as we’ve not yet seen toilet rolls available in anything other than polythene packaging.

< looks for nearest exit>

I suggested Izal medicated just for the giggle (and to see whether we were looking at grounds for divorce). It was delivered with the ‘don’t you even dare agree with me’ kind of look.

You remember the stuff? It comes in a cardboard box rather than swathed in plastic. Tick. But that is where its good points end.

In fact, talking of points, if you don’t fold it properly you end up with second degree tears to your nether regions or a sharp stab in the you know what.

And forget it if you’ve had curry the night before. You need something that actually absorbs don’t you? That is, to my sad and troubled mind, the whole point of toilet paper. Yes?
I don’t want something that smears my poo all around me; if I wanted that I’d use a brush, stand in the Tate and call it art. No, all that I ask from my toilet paper is that it is an effective product which cleans off and disposes of my biological waste thankyouverymuch.

Just what is Izal medicated all about? Was it a joke? A dare? You might as well use newspaper, at least the stuff is absorbant. But then I guess Izal doesn’t leave last nights news imprinted on you which is probably another tick in the box.

I know why Izal is medicated, but it’s because it rips your proverbials to ribbons. My take is, if I want to wipe myself with splintered glass, I’ll use splintered glass – at least it’s recyclable. If I want sandpaper, I’ll reach for the toolbox. If I need tracing paper, I’ll be more likely to check in the office drawer than the bathroom.

Maybe there is a knack to it – do you fold it into a scoop and shovel out the contents of your bum? I don’t know, my schooldays were all a mystery to me.

I guess it stopped us skiving off lessons for ‘the toilet’ though.

I then considered ‘little washcloths’ for about, let me see now, a nanosecond?

Meanwhile, his little brain cell was working overtime trying to come up with a solution, so I’ve had to move pretty darn quickly over the past few days before my lovely pack of 24 Charmin reached an end and I was left with a squirty bottle and old flannel for company.

We toyed with the idea of buying boxes of tissues, at least they come in a cardboard box. But hastily decided against them – they’d be too expensive.

Today, however, I bring glad tidings and joyous news that will change the lives of all who wish to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they send to landfill.

I’ve found somewhere we (you, me, everyone in the country if they wish) can send our polythene wrapping to for recycling. Yipee!

Read all about it on our ‘Recycle plastic polythene packaging‘ article.

I weep with relief as I type – I can hang onto my Charmin for a bit longer…………..

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. My word, Mrs G…phew… I am so relieved that you can still keep hold of your loo roll. I would hate to be responsible for such reduced levels of service. I’d be afraid you’d never talk to me again.

    How to you fancy a Talking Rubbish tour? This would make great stand-up material. ;-D

  2. Louise says:

    Do I remember seeing Suma selling loo rolls unwrapped? Or was it just a huge 50 pack in plastic?? (or similar) (mind boggles!)- have recycled catalogue and can’t find link to check πŸ™ Although
    I put my plastic bags in supermarket recycling – tip I picked up from another flylady last year. I put the mail plastic bags (eg magazines – DH has work related ones sent to home) in there too – after removing our address details of course :-))

    My main waste is plastic too :-((

  3. Mrs Green says:

    The Rubbish Tour, Mrs A! πŸ˜€ Well I wouldn’t go off and do that whilst leaving Mr G in charge of the home; I might end up coming home to no toilet roll.

    Louise, I don’t remember that in the Suma catalogue. A few of my friends have ordered a pack of 36 toilet rolls and they have come in plastic.

    I just discovered at the end of last week about putting polythene in some supermarket carrier bags recycling bins too (or sending them to Polyprint); so that’s another thing we shall be doing πŸ™‚

    Mrs G x

  4. Louise says:

    Ah Rae – that must be the loo rolls I was thinking off – I thought they were loose, but by that they must have meant only one lot of packaging :-((

    My grrr!!! moment today – whilst at our local supermarket offloading my (appropriate) plastic into their carrier recycling bin, I glanced into the rubbish bin next to me (almost full) – I saw at least 4 bags in there which could have been in the recycling bin – we’re talking they were (the bins) less than 12 inches apart – grrrr!!!!!!!

    Louise x
    the other Mrs G πŸ™‚

  5. Poppy says:

    Okay, there are somethings which a stranger has no right to wonder about, but I did (must have been bored or something) wonder what you were doing with regard to loo rolls or otherwise. I had visions of ripped up squares of newspaper thread onto a piece of string to hang up in the outside privvy! I’m pleased to read that you drew the line at this, but thought you would have been more of a Nouvelle girl.

    Poppy x

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Newspaper hanging on strings LOL! Now there’s a job for Little Miss Green.

    Now regarding the Nouvelle, there’s only me and you here right; no one else is listening?

    Ok, between you, me and the gatepost, my DAD buys my toilet rolls LOL! I’m in my mid thirties and my treat from my dad every two or three months or so is a pack of 24 Charmin. πŸ˜€

    It’s been his gift to me every since I gave birth to my daughter and things have, well, we’ll just say things down there have never been quite the same since.

    When I top up inbetween I use the Lidls recycled ones, which are surprisingly good.

    Never look a gift horse in the mouth though eh? πŸ˜‰

    I have online friends who use little washable cloths for wees, but I’m so not on board with that idea yet………

    Mrs G x

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Louise,

    there was a similar gripe to yours in yesterday’s Citizen. One guy was saying that in the plastic bottle recycling people were just putting bags of rubbish and contaminating the load.

    This week someone had dumped a CRT monitor next to our local paper bank.

    It happens all the time; it’s such a shame πŸ™

    Mrs G x

  8. Mrs Jackson says:

    Hi there
    On a forum I use we talked in great lengths about reusable toilet roll and I do find it odd how people can be ok to use reusable nappies and menstrual pads but not toilet roll. It’s not for me personally but I feel maybe it’s just an idea we cling on to. Maybe we should be bringing our kids up to use it lol.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Mrs Jackson, I have contemplated reusable cloths for a pee, because there really is no difference from nappies and washable menstrual products. And as our bathroom is next to the kitchen, it’s easy for me to chuck the cloth in the washing machine when I walk out of the bathroom door. Perhaps I should try it……

  10. Ashley says:

    Mrs. G – I came across your website in a search for eco-friendly TP and just wanted to say — this article had me completely hysterical. I also wanted to share with you the info that I’ve come across, which points to Seventh Generation 2-ply as being the (current) most comfortable eco-friendly bathroom brand, not only in this amusing review ( but also on They are still working on reducing the amount of plastic in the packaging. Baby steps I guess! Have a good wipe!

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