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Next on my BE MORE – DO LESS Journey – toilet paper, paper towels and tissue. Long sigh …I am a Costco shopper and have been since my parents took me when I was a kid. I grew up with one of the first Costco’s and Trader Joes. I will diverge for a moment…when I was in college in Washington DC you couldn’t find a good tortilla. When I would return home to CA for break, I’d go to Trader Joes and stock up on tortillas to bring back to school. Things have changed. However, my toilet paper and tissue consumption has always been from Costco.

Like many of you I am sure, I suffer from seasonal allergies and the occasional cold. As an allergy sufferer, I can go through boxes of tissue and my nose can tell the difference between regular and recycled tissue.

To his credit, my boyfriend and his kids use cut up sheets. I think this is great but sometimes, when my nose is really on fire, they just don’t absorb enough. Enough said? However, I am willing to keep trying. I have googled self-made tissue and think a larger swathe of flannel sheet might just do the trick. I even saw some that were two ply. Seems like 6×6 or 7×7 make a good size home-made tissue. The other issue is the cleaning. I don’t want tissue swathes thrown in with my clothes. The remedy I found online is to soak them in water before putting them in the machine.

My plan? I borrowed a sewing machine from a friend, went to JoAnns and bought fabric and after a few tries got the hang of making tissue. I even found a You Tube that showed how to fold them so they pop out of a box! I might still need to buy a box now and again and have found this brand to try. If you have a recycled tissue you really like when you suffer from allergies, let me know! I want to hear from you. 

On to the bottom line – toilet paper. This is a very important paper in my life. Again, I’m ready to make a change but I do have standards.

I have spent a crazy amount of time googling toilet paper and reading the reviews. (Imagine the ads I am now seeing when online!!). And, just when I thought I can’t do this, I discovered REEL. REEL makes their toilet paper from bamboo which is a sustainable resource. The reviews were great so I have high hopes. However, my research also included looking at the missions of the various companies. REEL donates a one-time compostable toilet to people in need for every roll purchased. I purchased a case – 24 rolls of toilet paper which equals 24 compostable toilets.

I was impressed and moved by REEL’s mission. Recently I watched an episode of Inside Bills Brain (Bill Gates) and was inspired by his work to help with toilet sanitation in 3rd world countries. It really is an issue. Having visited India twice and Guatemala once, I am VERY aware of the sanitation problems.

I hope my use of REEL toilet paper helps both the environment and humanity.

We don’t use a lot of paper towels, I keep a box of rags for most things. However, I will now switch to recycled paper towels while I continue to use rags for spills, wiping the kitchen etc.

Next month we’ll talk about plastic.

Until then…