Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All Wet

So most of our towels are pretty disreputable.  I'm okay with that.  Or I've been okay with that for years.  But some are so threadbare that they don't quite get the job done, and I've been slowly converting them from towels-for-people to rags-for-scrubbing.

Except that we will soon be down to our last few reasonable towels, and we'll need reinforcements.

Here are my options:
  1. Buy the greenest towels available.  These are available online, and would most likely be a bamboo/organic cotton blend.  So far, seems to get the best reviews for service and product.  They're in Florida - not horribly far, but far enough that I can't help but wonder:  how much does shipping my green purchase via UPS cancel out the benefits?
  2. Buy a reasonably green alternative that I can pick up via Metro.  Bed, Bath and Beyond is a mere three stops down the road from our house, and they sell both organic cotton and bamboo alternatives.  Sure, they've been shipped to the store - but the damage is already done, right?
There are no bamboo/organic cotton alternatives available at my local Target or Macy's, so walking to pick them up isn't an option.

And, of course, I can't help but wonder if bamboo is really as super-green as we think it is.  It's shipped from China, and as I understand it, there's no standard of sustainability in place.  So while we know it grows faster and requires less pesticides and generally has a greener impact on the planet, we're not entirely certain how green is green.  Would I be better off with organic cotton that's grown, we assume, in the good ol' US of A?

It's one of those situations where I'm probably going to buy the potentially less green product locally on the theory that:
  1. I'm not creating any additional pollution or packaging to ship the product to our address.
  2. I can actually see and touch the products, which will make me feel far more confident in the purchase.
  3. Hopefully I'm sending the signal that I'd like area stores to stock more eco-friendly alternatives in general.
I'm planning to test drive a towel before beginning the process of upgrading our household collection, so I'll report back here on how it fares.  Of course, given the competition in the house, it's easy to see that any thing will be an improvement.

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