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MAY 17, 2009   

A tiny bit greener, Pt. 2

Marcal Small Steps toilet tissue packageI know the argument that all of our individual actions toward saving our environment can't possibly do enough. I understand that systemic change on a national policy level is critical.

Still, I believe that small changes in each of our lives are equally important, if not for the environment then for us.

As a society we got to this place as a result of lots of individual decisions based on self-interest (I want a bigger car, bigger house, more convenient lifestyle, to have my cake and eat it too). It will take as many individual decisions PLUS governmental action to truly become a more sustainable society.

So I'm congratulating myself for buying Marcal toilet paper that ranks in the middle on the Greenpeace Tissue Guide: "Could do better." It's an improvement over Scott Tissue's "Avoid" rating. It's not much, for sure, but in my book doing something is always better than doing nothing as long as you're moving in the right direction.

The Marcal tissue is appropriately labeled "Small Steps," a name that is quite a bit more realistic than the Scott "Naturals" that I talked about earlier. Marcal uses 100% recycled paper, but doesn't get a top environmental rating because only 40% is post-consumer recycled. In other words, the tissue is mostly made from paper waste recycled during the manufacturing process. Less than half is paper that you and I put in our recycling bins at home.

On the other hand, I found this paper on the shelf at local K-Mart. I didn't have to drive out to Rocky River to the pricey "green" store, or order it from a catalog where the cost and energy use of shipping would be added.

Part of the problem with many environmentally "righteous' products is that you can't find them in ordinary stores. Now I dislike shopping at K-Mart, but still stop in from time to time. K-Mart, Wal Mart and the like are where most Americans shop. The more environmentally-friendly products you can buy there, the better.


Green, my butt! - May 15, 2009
A little bit greener - May 7, 2009
Why is it so hard to be green? - April 1, 2009

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