Thank you for committing to this 30 Day Christian Green Living Challenge with us! Each day as we step through our journey, I’ll share the challenge for the day then, depending on your green goals, I will share resources where you can learn more, dig deeper into the topic, or challenge yourself even more. We will do the challenge once *live* together, but you can participate anytime by joining in on the comments below and by using the hashtag #ChristianGreenLiving. So, when you’re ready, let’s Go Christian Green!
“Some forms of pollution are part of people’s daily experience. … These problems are closely linked to a throwaway culture which affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish.” — Pope Francis, Laudato Si’
If we stop to think about the details of disposables like paper towels, paper napkins, and even toilet paper, we don’t need Pope Francis to tell us that they are a problem. Think back to science class or even the T.V. show “How It’s Made.” Everything that is commercially produced has a process and somewhere during that process, chemicals are most usually involved.
In the case of disposable papers, the process includes chemicals both in process of preparing the raw materials and then again in the production the paper towels themselves. Chemicals are needed to clean, bleach, and whiten the pulp and then more chemicals are needed to make the products strong and absorbent. Some of the chemicals used are toxins like formaldehyde and dioxin, both of which are concerning for our health and the environment.
Through these processes, our prolonged everyday use and immediate disposal, toxic chemicals make it into our bodies, the earth, and the water supply. We absorb the chemicals through our skin and air during use and then because they aren’t recyclable we expose them to the environment when we throw them away.
Today’s Day 5 Challenge:
Take some time today to consider the health and environmental dangers of disposable products like paper towels, paper napkins, and toilet paper. Think about your family’s consumption of these products at home, at work, or when in the community then consider the impact of these products across the world.
Pray today for those who work in environments that use large amounts of toxic chemicals in manufacturing processes. Pray that their work environments are safe, that their companies are socially responsible and that they seek safer, more eco-friendly processes in the future.
Commit to a day or even better, a week without using paper towels and napkins. Consider buying cloth napkins and take them with you when you go out if it helps. During that time, look for ways to eliminate or drastically reduce your consumption of disposable paper products. If you find that you still need paper towels for the really dirty jobs, consider purchasing greener alternatives made with post-consumer fiber without chemical bleaching.
Comment below and/or use the hashtag #ChristianGreenLiving. Share how your day/week is going without paper towels/napkins. What will be your biggest challenge to living without them?
- 5 Fantastic & Eco-Friendly Reasons to Switch to Cloth Napkins —by DarleneGoesGreen
Paper towels are a rare thing in my house and this post can help you find more good reasons to switch too.
- How to Break the Paper Towel Habit —by Audrey Holmes/Earth911
This is a short post with helpful ideas on how to break the habit. My favorite, “Everything is a Towel”!
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