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I Tried It: Eco-Friendly Bathroom Tissue

Whenever I talk about switching to eco-friendlier products, toilet paper is often a hot topic. People feel quite strong about which type they use and tend to be cautious about switching. (As an aside, have you ever seen the Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry’s house guests complain about the environmental toilet paper? It’s pretty funny.) Luckily for me, I grew-up in a house where we used “whatever was on sale” so I’m not married to any brand or type. However some of my family members have strong opinions about which brand we should buy (Quilted Northern or bust) and have been very reluctant to go the eco-friendly way. However, like most things in this house (composting, no paper towels, Dropps dish detergent), I eventually convinced my spouse. Badgering is probably not the best way to strengthen a marriage, but I digress..

Pre-pandemic, a friend gave me a few rolls of WGAC but they were quickly vetoed by the three people who live with me. So I went back to our usual choices because who wants to argue over toilet paper? But then a few weeks ago, I decided that I was tired of cutting down trees so that I could use the restroom. Especially when I know there is a better way. So I bought two new-to-me brands (Recycled Marcal and Reel) and decided to give them a go. Even if I’m the only one who uses them in my four person household, that’s still a 25% reduction in tree cutting. That’s a legit savings.

Not gonna lie, I love the cheeky slogan

Both options arrived at my doorstep (convenient!) in a cardboard box and each roll was wrapped in paper (no plastic!). I composted all of the packing materials and thus created less trash. Without telling my family, I covertly swapped them out in my bathrooms. Both of my daughters instantly noticed – “why is this toilet paper harder than usual?” To which I replied, “because we are trying new, eco-friendly toilet paper to help the planet.” They shrugged and moved on. Haven’t heard a complaint since.

Reel is made from bamboo, while the Marcal is recycled paper. I guess you pick your poison there, since one is cutting down plants while the other involves water and energy for recycling. They are pretty similar in texture, though I personally prefer the Reel. However the Marcal is cheaper, so definitely a great option for people who want to simultaneously make eco-changes and watch their wallet (who doesn’t?). Will we ever buy Quilted Northern again? It’s possible. But I also think we’ll continue using Reel as a regular product in our home. As recently overheard in my house:

Dad, will we keep buying this type of toilet paper when we finish it?

Yeah, I think so.

Mind blown! If my house can do it (it took years of persuasion), so can yours! – Rachel

PS If you have another brand you prefer, please share below. There are so many options these days!

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