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Any list offering tips for green home cleaning solutions should involve more than recipes for green household cleaners. Not that chemical free toilet cleaners are not a step in the right direction but those of you still using paper products should be aware that paper products (paper towels, facial tissues, etc) made up 20.7 % of the municipal waste discarded in 2008. Yep, that year it was reported that there was 6,550,000 tons of paper and paperboard waste.

I got curious as to how much my own home was contributing to this problem so I decided to conduct an experiment (being as experiments are so cool and I needed something to write about in the worst way). What I did was direct hubby and the older girls to throw every facial tissue and paper towel into a special trash bin. They were so enthusiastic about being asked to participate that they actually asked if there was going to be a waste can next to the toilet! I thought about it and had to admit that collecting toilet paper would have given more accurate results but dismissed the thought as a little too gross.

Before the day was out my trash can was overflowing with wet wipes and tissues used to wipe runny noses much less paper towels that I used to clean the glass, kitchen and bathroom surfaces!

Wow, this really made me aware that I needed to bone up on my all around green home cleaning solutions and not just how to clean a toilet without toxic chemicals and this is the plan that I came up with.

  • toss the mop that has disposable mop heads and shop for one with a washable cover
  • stop using paper towels and invest in low lint microfiber cleaning cloths
  • stop using disposable scrub pads and buy scrubbing stones (that would probably be the only thing that will tackle those pesky toilet bowl rings anyway)

The results that I expect to see should come in the way of less money spent on disposables and a much emptier can on trash pickup day.

The unexpected amount of paper that I collected in such a short time was a reminder that even though I've made great strides toward making a green home for my family, there is much work to be done and that going green is an ongoing process.