Saturday, April 24, 2010

Is there such a thing as too Green?

With Earth Week drawing to a conclusion,I found myself asking the question, Is there such a thing as too green? or Are we just too comfortable?

I was reading on a forum the other day about families who have chosen to go paper free. It goes beyond just paper towels, paper napkins, and opting to using cloth diapers. They no longer use toilet paper and disposable feminine care products. The person posting did not go into personal details, but their post left me with a lot of questions. So I did some research... This is an article about the concept of Family Cloth. It talks about taking old t-shirts, scraps of cloth, and using it for personal wipes. Doesn't sound too difficult, but I know in my home, my husband would not go for this. What happens when you have visitors over? They may have never been exposed to some of the more extreme environmental choices. How would you give them the heads up about your bathroom or would you just keep a roll for guest? Would you want them using your family cloth?

I have never really thought of toilet paper as a luxury, but it really is. It has always been our bathroom. I have never had to use a corn cob, leaf, or Sears catalog. My dad did! My grandparents didn't have indoor plumbing until my dad was around 12 years old. They used the Sears catalog. People in third world countries aren't worried about squeezing the Charmin. So now I am left wondering, could I give up toilet paper? I am pretty sure the answer is no. We use a toilet paper that is made of recycled materials, and I think we will be sticking with that.

My second bit of research lead me to feminine care products, since I had a lot of questions in that department too. I found several sites that were interesting, because some of the options I had never heard of.

The natural disposable products are made without chemicals, such as chlorine, and organic cotton. The traditional products have surprising ingredients that we would never consider ingesting, but we freely use them when the time comes. But, they are still disposable. Feminine product disposal causes a lot of problems. They are major culprits in causing clogged toilets. "Research has shown that the No. 1 bacteria hot spot in a women's restroom is the “sanitary” napkin disposal unit, and the risk of contact with potentially harmful blood borne pathogens is often overlooked."

The cloth pads were no surprise. I have heard my grandmother talk about those. She hated them! and was so happy when disposables came along. I found this site, I have to say that I am kind of swayed by their fabric choices. I actually ordered one. The reviews I read were good and I am curious. I will spare everyone the details, but I am willing to give it a try next month. However, Mother Nature did not bless me with an easy cycle so I have my doubts. I am concerned about the logistics of changing them in public and carrying a used one around until I get home. The idea of that just doesn't appeal to me.

The last 2 items I found were the sea sponge tampons and the Diva Cup. I will let you read about those on your own. I think those are a leap too far for me to take. But, I would love to talk to someone who has used those.

I am still left with a lot of questions. Am I willing to change for the sake of our planet's health? In some areas, the answer is already yes. I have made those changes. In other areas, I don't know. My husband teases me because he says I already walk that fine line between normal and tree hugging hippie. But normal at one time, was using the Sears catalog. I guess it is what you get used to and how willing you are to change. I think in the end, there are some areas in which, I just am not willing to change.


  1. I pride myself in being quite a green person...but I don't know if I can use anything but disposable sanitary napkins and toilet paper. That might be too much. My husband and I are pretty good about waste (we live on a farm) so we barely have a grocery shopping bag size trash bag once a month. Let us know how it goes for you...I'm not sure if anyone could convince me to change those luxuries though! :)

  2. We try to live as green as possible, but no toilet tissue? I can't imagine. We do use a recycled, chlorine-free product though. As far as feminine care products ... women know their own bodies. Some may find great success with the cloth pads, diva cups, and sponges while others who aren't blessed with a light flow would probably be very unhappy and frustrated trying those things. The products made by Seventh Generation and NatraCare are excellent.