Being Green Isn’t Always Easy

As the office manager, I am in charge of keeping all of the paper products, cleaning supplies and any other supply you can think of stocked.  I have been trying to switch to “green” products wherever I can in my efforts to be a better friend to the environment. 

Sometimes this is easy – I have switched over to the HP Office Recycled paper.  This might not be the greenest option there is – it is 30% recycled fiber – but it is a step in the right direction.  I have switched over to GreenSense or Seventh Generation cleaning products and office trash bags. These changes happened with little to no hiccups and are just as effective as their non-green counterparts.

Sometimes it is a little more of a trial and error process – i.e. the toilet paper.  Like almost everything that changes in this office we put whatever we are changing to a test (see previous post of changing our water).  For a week we had one side of the toilet paper dispenser sporting the Seventh Generation brand and the other side had the CVS recycled brand Earth Essentials.  Neither was winning anyone over and some people were downright annoyed at my little product “wipe-off”.  I ended up just switching back to Scott for the time being and would have a couple of rolls of the Seventh Generation to swap in every now and again to see if anyone would notice….they did.  Just as I was about to give up on “greening” that area of the office, Seventh Generation must have realized that their recycled toilet paper option wasn’t much of an option unless you were soooo into being green that you didn’t care that your private areas were slowly being sandpapered away.  They had come out with another version with an “improved softness” shout out on the front.  I gave them another shot – and FABULOUS – I won’t go as far as to say that it is as soft as Cottenelle or Charmin but I think it holds its own against Scott, so we have officially made that change.

And then sometimes it just isn’t happening no matter how much I want it to.  I have not been able to find a recycled paper towel to even come close to being good enough to switch over to.  I have tried Marcal, Seventh Generation and Earth Essentials.  It is almost like trying to dry your hands with a sandwich bag – and not even a paper bag but sometimes it is closer to a Ziploc bag.  They have a low level of absorbency so drying your hands or wiping up the counters become difficult tasks. You end up using 3-4 paper towels to do the job of one Bounty.  That kind of defeats the point in switching in the first place, right? So back to Bounty I go. I can’t support switching over to a product that doesn’t really work – then it just seems like a waste of money.

So please consider this a plea to all paper towel companies – give the customers what they want.  We are trying to get behind your products and will gladly support a recycled paper towel – it just needs to be able to dry your hands or wipe up spills – I don’t think that is so much to ask.  If anyone out there has found a great paper towel I am open to suggestions and will go out to the store tomorrow and start the ever popular office product testing.

Posted by: Becca

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