I think that one of the best ways to make positive moves for the environment is not to always look for huge changes or grand gestures, but to examine your most everyday items and actions and the impact they can have. Whether it’s in terms of packaging, carbon footprint or materials used, it is always helpful to think about what we do or have, and how we can improve on it.
Most people can’t organise a mass litter-pick or plant a tree every day but we can all make smarter choices when it comes to buying things.
A lot of people will say that we cannot consume our way to a better environment and I agree. However I also believe that there is wisdom and power in voting with your feet.
There are certain things that we all have to buy: food, clothes, toiletries and so on. If it’s something you ultimately need to purchase and consume, then making the most ethical decision truly does make a difference! You support environmentally-conscious businesses whilst walking your money right away from the ones that would do harm. Being zero waste isn’t about acquiring the right ‘kit’, but about making better choices the more you learn and as opportunities present themselves.
So, having used up my festive Tesco loo roll with gold reindeer printed on it (it was on offer – don’t ask) I decided it was time to examine where my toilet paper could be doing more and think I found a good replacement with Who Gives a Crap.
I ordered a great big bulk box of 48, as well as 12 boxes of forest-friendly tissues to boot. I’m sure most of us already know the good points about buying in bulk and the fact that I bought what probably amounts to half a year’s supply did alleviate some of the guilt I felt about having it delivered by courier; as opposed to picking it up on my weekly shop. As these rolls aren’t available in shops however, this is currently the only buying option.
So what made me choose them? I’ll cut it down to three main points.
- Packaging – The rolls are minimally packaged and entirely plastic free. They come wrapped in colourful, recyclable paper to prevent any water damage or other problems that could strike during transit. From my research, most if not all other eco-friendly brands in the UK still wrap their goods in non-recyclable plastic film. The outer box did have those long, plastic ties wrapped around to secure it but I still feel the packaging overall was kept to a minimum and was almost all recyclable.
- Source – The rolls themselves are crafted from either recycled paper or bamboo, making them sustainable and forest friendly.
- Ethics – Aside from the recycled rolls and minimal packaging, the company also donates 50% of their profits to improve sanitation and build toilets in the developing world – where diarrhoea can still be a death sentence for some. They are partnered with WaterAid, a wonderful organisation who provide safe drinking water, hand-washing facilities and better sanitation as well.*
Supporting worthy causes with something I would buy anyway? Yes please!
My first order arrived the other day (to my parents’ house which caused some serious confusion, especially with the company name printed on the side of the box) and I can testify that the loo roll itself is fantastically soft and good quality. Some recycled rolls I have used in the past have had a definite ‘papery’ feel to them, but Who Gives a Crap rolls are as good as the website (and several other bloggers) have said.
They are advertised on the site as double-length so I can see them lasting a long time, especially with how many I purchased and the price point is only a little higher than a regular supermarket brand (at 18.8p per 100 sheets to 15.0p). Factoring in the fact that 50% of that money will go to a charitable cause and the toilet paper itself is free from any harmful dyes, chemicals and is forest friendly, I think that additional 3.8p is well worth spending!
Also, you can have a lot of fun stacking and messing about with rolls when they arrive, which of course I did! I’m very happy with my purchase, the speed of the shipping (easily arrived within a week) and the company as a whole. I’m very happy to finally be supporting them!
Thanks again for reading, guys! If anybody has any other ideas for everyday ethical swaps, I’d love to hear them. I’ll be in Dublin for the week, so may not have another ’52 Acts’ post, but my friend and I are planning to visit some great Vegan restaurants in the area so maybe we’ll have a post about that instead – we shall see!
*Depending on when you are reading this, if you make a donation to WaterAid before the 31st January 2018 and are a UK National, the government have pledged to match what they raise before that time up to £5 million! I’ve done it – and would love it if you would too!