Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. All opinions are my own.
Here’s a bulk purchase you may not have considered…toilet paper. While I would love to get the whole family on board with the bidet attachment and family cloth, they just aren’t there yet. We have eliminated paper towels, but toilet paper is a bridge too far.
What We Buy
For the last two years, we have purchased Sustainable Earth Bathroom Tissue by Staples (Canada). It’s intended for office/commercial use, so a supplier in your area may have something similar. It comes in a box of 48 rolls, which are each individually wrapped in tissue paper. Some of the particulars:
- As of this writing, it is $29.99 CAD per box, which works out to $0.62 per roll
- Each 2 ply roll is 350 sheets
- Made of 100% recycled fibre (with a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled)
I got a lot of questions about this toilet paper when I posted it to my Instagram stories recently. We usually buy two boxes (96 rolls) at a time, which lasts us around 6 months. Somebody messaged me saying this works out to 1 roll every two days, and isn’t this a lot?! I don’t know…maybe? There are 4 of us living here, I menstruate, and both adults work from home. Do my kids probably use to much toilet paper to wipe their butts? Yes. Do they wipe their own damn butts now? Also yes.
Why We Buy It
I chose this brand primarily because of cost, recycled content, and ease of delivery. This was before I had heard of Who Gives a Crap, who definitely have more sustainability information available on their website than Staples, but it costs more with an additional shipping fee to Canada (although they do donate 50% of their profits to build toilets for those in need). While I love their mission and practices, it’s not affordable or practical for us right now. Simply put, we have fewer options in Canada and shipping can be outrageous, both in cost and emissions. I searched for information on where the Staples brand is produced and could not find any, only the local distributing centre.
Is it less wasteful than plastic wrapped options from Costco? In my opinion, yes. Not just because of the (non-recyclable) plastic, but also because it is 100% recycled content. No new trees were cut down for this bum wipe, and the box is recyclable. We no longer shop at Costco, so I can’t speak to the difference in price, but this was a swap we could afford. I do wish the rolls were not individually wrapped (though WGAC does this too), but I use the tissue for other things such as gift wrap, packing Etsy/eBay items, and wiping down mirrors and windows. Because I order 6+ months worth at once, we never have to make an emergency trip to the store for this one item, saving emissions, time, and money.
So the big question is…what is it like? The rolls seem “small” at first, but this is because we have become accustomed to super mega ultra jumbo rolls as a standard size. As for softness, it takes some getting used to. I would rank it between public bathroom and Costco. Remember that it is NOT made with virgin paper. My biggest issue with is that it is hard for the kids to tear cleanly. Then again, we aren’t too precious about it. It’s perfectly fine! If anything, it makes you more aware of exactly how much you are using. That said, it works exactly as intended. It’s sturdy and gets the job done.
As for where we store it all? Under the bathroom sinks! Now that we are not buying bottles of soap and stuff, there is plenty of room under there for all this toilet paper. There would be even more room if I could get these guys on board with family cloth and the bidet attachment, but that is another battle for another time.
This is what we are currently doing, and as with all things zero waste, is something we are willing to evaluate and change if a more sustainable option comes along. I am always open to suggestions and evaluating alternatives if you use something different. Let me know in the comments!