Sunday, March 02, 2008

Stupid Dad Says That to Local Mom

The old man wanted me to lead off with that headline from our son. The old man also wanted me to blog about paper products and their [over] use in our household. This has been a bone of contention between us for some time. And, as long as I'm going along with what the old man wants, for once, he is also going to write a post after this one where he gives his side of things. A "he said/she said" sort of thing, I guess. It should be interesting.

Back to paper: I remember being a little girl and my grandmother chastising me for using too many paper towels; her reason for restricting paper towel use was purely economic, whereas my reason today is more environmental. But how big a deal is it? Well, Conservatree, a recycled paper company, says this on their "Tissue Overview" page:

"Tissue. No big deal, you think? North Americans use 50 lbs. per person (22.4 kg) of tissue papers per year, up from 37 lbs. per person (17 kg) twenty years ago. That's a lot of toilet paper and paper towels!"

I don't know where they got that figure but, hey, it sounds bad so why not print it?

According to Utah State University Recycling Center, the average American throws away 600 pounds of paper products a year. Once again, these numbers are coming from somewhere but who knows? It's one of the pitfalls of the electronic information age -- no one has the time to check their facts anymore and actually reference them in their writing. Like me!

One voice, Kleerkut, an off-shoot from Greenpeace, has been very vocal about Kimberly-Clark's continued use of virgin timber in making its products. They had a recent victory in their cause when Wesleyan University stopped selling Kimberly-Clark products on its campus.

As I said before, the old man and I go back and forth constantly on paper towel use in the house. He likes to use lots and lots of them, and I shouldn't complain because he does stuff like washing dishes and cleaning countertops with them. The compromise we've made is buying the Publix GreenWise paper products like their paper towels, which are made from 100% recycled materials and comparable in price to other name brands.

Now I turn the floor over to my DH.
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