Monday, November 5, 2012

Bamboo and Sugar Cane Husks in a Tissue? Yes, Please!

A couple of days ago, I went to Walgreens to see if they had any remaining Halloween decorations still on clearance.  When I walked in, something caught my eye...

And it wasn't a Halloween themed item.

Oh, those wandering eyes...

What I found was a display of tissues and toilet paper.  Yeah, I know... That's not exactly something to get excited about.  At all.


These were different.

ology: well being (tm) 100% tree free, soft and strong facial tissue. 90 two ply sheets

The words "100% Tree Free" popped out at me.

I've never seen this brand before, which told me that it's new.  Going direct to the Walgreens website later, these tissues had a huge, green  New!  label at the top of the site's image, so I was able to confirm that.

Many trees are wasted every year to make tissue, whether for the nose, or for the posterior.  

We use way too much of it.  I've begun using cloth tissues for use when I have a runny nose due to the cold, or due to reading a fantastic book, but I don't feel good about using them while I'm ill.

Lovingly holding on to those nasty cold germs so that I can experience them again and again just doesn't sit well with me.

But disposable, tree free tissues?  This I can take interest in!

I bought a box so that I could learn more about this concept.  There's very little information out there, so I'm glad I did.

First, it's bleached white by the use Hydrogen peroxide rather than any chloride bleaches.

This is good news.  H2O2 isn't something I'll have nightmares about polluting the earth with.  It's a responsible choice.

Second, it's made from sugar cane husks and bamboo.

This is awesome.

Sugar cane husks are byproducts of sugar cane harvesting.

The sugar that you buy at the store?  The husks of the sugar cane plant (called bagasse) are set aside and not used in this process.  The husks have been used in various ways, such as fuel or paper, and their collection does not kill the plant.  Even better, sugar cane husks can be collected twice a year!  Score!

Bamboo is a very fast growing plant.  

When my husband and I visited a few of the Hawaiian islands on our honeymoon, we went on a nature hike (Although I simply called it a 'slight walk', because, seriously, those group excursions that cruise lines set up require such a small amount of energy).  I had the opportunity to see bamboo growing in the wild, and to learn about its growth rate, as well.  Bamboo seems to grow like a weed there.

Bamboo has been used in a wealth of different ways, including the creation of some amazingly strong plastics.  Finding it in a tissue, therefore, isn't particularly surprising, but it is something that puts a smile on my face.  It lets me know that the tissue is strong, and that it's the product of a natural, renewable resource that I love!

happy face surrounded by hearts and rainbows and stars

So what about the usability factor?

Well, the box claims it's "Soft & Strong", and I agree that it is indeed strong.  Indeed, I honestly think that in order to cause it to tear during use you'd be doing something crazy... like having an elephant blow its nose with it.

Yeah, it's that strong.

On the flipside, however, I have to partially disagree with the "soft" part.  I mean, it's not something that's going to give you that red and painful nose that comes from many other products, but in the event of a continual nose-blowing event, like during a cold, I can see it not doing the job of keeping you comfortable as well as Kleenex or Puffs would.

But then, it's new.  It's not even sold online yet.  I could easily see Walgreens' ology brand coming out with a 'lotion-added' version in the future.  And for normal, daily use?  I'd give it a thumbs-up.

About the only true gripe I have with this tissue is that even though we have sugar cane and bamboo growing like crazy in Hawaii, the tissues are made in China.

"Made in China" at the bottom of the tissue box, circled, with three arrows pointing to it... all in red, of course.

I understand the whole idea about cutting costs and charging less by outsourcing production to China, but this is marketed toward people that are trying to do the right thing for the environment.  Yes, Hawaii is pretty darned far away from the mainland states, but it's still closer than China, and therefore, production there, rather than across the globe is a much more environmentally responsible choice.

This is a product that could actually sell quite well amongst people that are making an effort to go green.

We are willing to pay a bit more for a product in order to make an eco-friendly choice, and we aren't exactly a small group.  If we were, places like Whole Foods wouldn't exist.  Seventh Generation products wouldn't exist.  gDiapers certainly wouldn't exist.

But they all do.  

They exist because we want them, and we're willing to pay a little more for a product that doesn't harm the environment or our families' bodies.

Walgreens, you're so close to having a product that those of us in this group would go head over heels for.  It's that good.  Give us what we want from it.  Reduce the number of miles it travels and create a few extra jobs in this country while you're at it.

***As an aside, if you have a child that's still in diapers, and you've never looked into gDiapers... do it.  Follow the link above.  I used them on my daughter, and loved them (and I started when I was still squeamish about doing more than tossing a diaper in a pail).

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