it starts simply enough with an interest in environmentalism, conservation, what have you, and then some years later you're sitting in your cabin off the grid thinking gee, that happened rather unexpectedly. that really sums me up. had i no children i wished to socialize, community i felt wedded to, husband who's job necessitated a reasonable commute i could see me living in that cabin off the grid. well so long as i had wireless internet so i could still play scrabble online. lol. it just happens so slow that that i dont even think of some of the stuff that we do in our every day lives as (these are real words people have used to describe such things) "primitive", "weird", "radical", "brave", or "gross". much less powerful words have been used too but those are the ones that i seriously scratch my head at. maybe radical applies. for i do feel that growing your own food, taking charge of your health and well being, etc is a radical idea.
crunchy chicken did a challenge, and has been for some time now, about using cloth toilet paper in lieu of traditional paper. i felt a little silly signing up because we already do this and have for about 2 years now (an approximate monetary savings of about $400!) but i really wanted to throw my weight behind a positive thing. here are some stats that really blew my mind from her site.
According to Charmin, consumers on average use 8.6 sheets per trip to the bathroom. That's a total of 57 sheets per day and an annual total of 20,805 sheets. There are 230 million adults in the U.S., each averaging a roll and a half per week. Since each roll of toilet paper averages about .5 a pound of paper, that's about 40 pounds of TP per year.
That equals 4,600,000 tons of TP used each year. And that's just from adults. To take the calculation even further, if all U.S. adults used only Charmin toilet paper or the like (aka "virgin fiber" with 0% recycled content or post-consumer waste), the environmental cost is approximately (not including the issues with Dioxin):
- 78.2 million trees
- 1.35 million tons of air pollution
- 32 trillion gallons of water
- 2.1 trillion gallons of oil
- 18.75 trillion Kilowatt hours of energy
also dont be afraid to come to my house and be forced to wipe like a dirty hippy. (though we encourage it!) we keep a roll for guests in the bathroom at all times.