No that is not a typo. I am starting toilet training so we are singing, reading and doing everything we can to make it encouraging. So I thought it best to share with you a change that we are making in our family, our toilet paper.

Now think very carefully… how many sheets of toilet paper do you use? Write this number down now and remember it.

Toilet paper,  a necessity of modern life.  But have you ever stopped to think about how it is made? How the paper is sourced? The environmental impact of toilet paper? Like most people I had not given this a thought. Is there an environmental alternative? Do you envisage environmental toilet paper to look and feel like newspaper?

This post from Down to Earth Mother got me thinking about this conundrum. I came across Down to Earth Mother from reading Green Lifestyle Magazines  Feb/March 2013 issue about raising green kids (great article to read). From here I follow Jo as she blogs about making greener choices.

Over the past 12 months I had the idea of switching to a greener toilet paper. The reasons it appealed to me were:

  • Better for the environment by saving the trees, reducing the land fill, using less oil, water and electricity
  • Better for my family, as we wouldn’t be wiping our behinds with chemicals like nasty chlorine, fake fragrances and bleach
  • No plastic packaging
  • Made from recycled materials like office waste paper or sustainable forest plantations like bamboo and sugar cane
  • A supermarket free alternative as I could order environmental toilet paper on-line

So how to make the switch? What options are out there?

  • Who Gives a Crap – 100% recycled paper, no chlorine, inks, dyes or weird perfumes, packaged in paper, double length (400 sheets), 3 ply toilet paper with on-line subscription and free shipping. Down to Earth Mother gave a great review. A few of the blogs I follow and Facebook groups I am part of have also spoken highly of this product, particularly as it donates to 50% of profits to charity.
  • GreenCane – 70% bamboo and sugar cane, non-chlorine bleached, plastic free packaged, large (300 sheets), 2 ply toilet paper. Down to Earth also reviewed this product.  GreenCane also have kitchen paper towels.
  • Caboo –  New to the game in late 2014. 100% bamboo and sugar cane, no recycled paper, chlorine bleach free, panda bear friendly, free of inks, dies and perfumes, large (300 sheets), 2 ply toilet paper. Caboo also have tissues in a range of sizes, kitchen paper towels and paper napkins.
  • Supermarket Green options. Standard 200 sheets long generally.
  • Cloth – we are a cloth family for nappies and muma cloth but not sure we could go this far.

However, I had reservations.

  • I want to try before I commit to buying a bulk amount. The idea of 48 scratchy unpleasant toilet rolls is not appealing in the slightest.
  • With the recycled options, where is the waste paper products coming from? If it was printed paper, what about the potentially toxic dyes? I didn’t want to switch from one chemical to another, like BPA, in my toilet rolls, I wanted it to be low-tox.
  • The upfront cost of ordering a 48 pack of toilet rolls on-line and potential subscription, would involve tweaking our tight budget compared to a say $8 pack from a supermarket as part of our regular shop.
  • Where I was going to store 48 rolls with my cupboards already at the point of overflowing?
Toilet Paper

Our current selection of toilet paper – Caboo, GreenCane and Aldi.

So I put it off making the switch. I choose a better supermarket alternative from Aldi, checking the forestation certification and buying a bigger pack to reduce the amount of plastic packaging. In November 2014 we ventured out to the Eco Xpo, and were pleasantly surprised to find a couple of the environmental alternatives GreenCane and Caboo, so I got my chance to try by buying a few of the toilet rolls.

But what about the cost (based on my calculations)?

  •  Who Gives A Crap 400 sheets 24 pack = $0.31 per 100; 400 sheets 48 pack = $0.25 per 100.
  • GreenCane 300 sheets 48 pack = $0.29 per 100.
  • Caboo 300 sheets 12 pack = $0.28 per 100. (based on what I paid at Eco Xpo).
  • Aldi Confidence 3 ply 190 sheets 24 pack = $0.20 per 100; Confidence 2 ply 12 pack = $0.12 per 100. (based on Aldi online shopping list).
  • Green Supermarket Options e.g. Naturale 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.24 per 100; Safe Planet Ark Long Roll 12 pack = $0.23 per 100. (based on Coles online).
  • Standard Supermarket Options e.g. Kleenex 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.46 per 100; Quilton 180 sheets 12 pack = $0.30 per 100. (based on Coles online).

If you got lost in my number crunching above, the sum of it all is there is only a few cents difference per 100 sheets depending on the roll you choose, with the eco options being slightly more expensive than average unless you buy in bulk.

I am loving Caboo, the toilet paper is soft, strong as it doesn’t tear off in pieces, the price is reasonable and the roll is longer than standard so less frequent toilet roll changes is a bonus. The tissues are also soft and I didn’t get a red sore nose using the tissues recently when I was sick. Now to find a local retailer …

Caboo tissues

Caboo Tissues

Now, to your answer to how many sheets of toilet paper you use, say that number of good things about yourself. Enjoy your day!