toilet paper, that is. not too long ago, while jer and i were standing in line at costco, i realized that we had forgotten to pick up toilet paper. he volunteered to run back into the crowd and go get some. i figured he'd come back with the usual gazillion-roll package of kirkland (costco brand) tp. but he came back with something new.
"here," he said, as he tossed the oversized package in the general direction of our cart, "you'll be happy to know it's recycled."
i must admit, i was impressed with his eco-friendly attempt. but inside i kind of groaned. we were finally almost done with a package of recycled tp that i had picked up at trader joes. tp that i was not a fan of. that stuff is rough. literally. but i wasn't about to send jer back to get something else. we bought it. and brought it home. and used it. let me just say, this stuff is pretty good. it's no quilted cottonelle or charmin by any means, but it's definitely usable. it's made with 100% post-consumer waste. and i'm pretty sure it was only marginally more expensive than the kirkland brand.
another great thing about this stuff... upon opening the package, i was pleasantly surprised to see that the rolls weren't individually wrapped. how often have you gotten your tp home to find that the master pack (plastic) has multiple inner packs (plastic) and each roll itself is wrapped, too (more plastic)? what, toilet paper can't touch other toilet paper? annoying and excessive, no doubt. the stuff that jer discovered had minimal packaging. so minimal, in fact, that i'm now unable to tell you the brand name becasue the sole outer packaging is long gone.
all this talk about tp does bring up a small question... have you ever heard of "family cloth?" the idea is generally the same as lucy's cloth wipes. you keep a pile of flannel squares in the bathroom, use them, and then toss them into a container to be washed and later reused. now, i haven't tried this. but in my readings, i do notice that most families using "cloth" only use it for pee. good, old-fashioned toilet paper is reserved for other deeds. makes sense.
here's my thought. it sounds strange. over-the-top. and about as hippy-dippy as you can get. but if you really get to thinking about it, it's not that strange at all. for a civilized society, we're kind of behind in cleaning up after potty breaks. many cultures keep a bucket or bottle nearby for rinsing... and don't forget about the bidet. here we are, wiping ourselves with a bit of dry paper and calling it clean. recently, flushable wet wipes have been marketed to adults. much like a baby wipe, they're supposed to make the user feel a little bit fresher with their one-time-only use. but where do these wipes go? who knows. i'm fairly certain that they aren't designed to break down into nothingness. and what kind of chemicals are in them? i'm sure they've got a few questionable ingredients. it's probably not the best idea to go wiping your most sensitive parts with something like that.
still, i have to admit, i'm hesitant to start using cloth. i can't put my finger on exactly why though. it's not like i care what people think. or do i? i dunno. and plus, we have a very small bathroom. i just can't figure the logistics. so for now, i'm sticking with costco's recycled paper. lord knows we have enough to see us though for quite some time. and as for family cloth... well, i think i'll keep turning that one over in my head.