Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Small Step for the Potty, One Giant Leap for the Greenes

When I first embarked on the greening of the Greenes, I agonized over costs.  Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid is nearly three times as much as Ajax; don't get me started on Burt's Bees shampoo or Tom's of Maine toothpaste.

I was willing to do it, regardless.  My family has given up so much recreational shopping that spending a little bit of extra cash to protect the Earth for our children is a sound investment.

But thanks to a bunch of other blogs and Diane's Big Green Purse, the light bulb finally switched on.  (Must've been a CFL.)

For the past few years, I've been cleaning our toilets with the Clorox Toilet Wand system.  I had an irrational fear of dirty toilet brushes.  And cleaning the toilet seemed like this huge job of work - hours of scrubbing, surely.  This nifty system made it so easy - just pop on a new head, swish and then toss the head into the trash.


The chemicals!  The waste!  And, as Franklin pointed out the other day, we've cut down on our trash so dramatically that the used heads lingered in our bathroom wastebaskets for at least a week, often more.  Not really an improvement on a dirty toilet brush.

And then I did the math.  It costs $5 for a box of six replacement heads.  (Let's not even consider what I spent for the wands initially.)  That's effectively 83 cents per cleaning.

Yesterday, I nipped out to Ikea and spent 99 cents on a toilet brush.  (Was there a greener, recycled plastic option?  Dunno.  I'll wrestle with that in a few years when we replace the brushes.)  That brush, plus a sprinkle of Bon Ami, will get the job done for a fraction of the cost.  Let's say I use the brush for two years, or about 100 toilet cleanings.  I suspect I'll go through about $3 worth of Bon Ami in the same period.  

That is FOUR CENTS per cleaning - or a savings of 79 cents every week.

Over the course of year, that's $40.  Multiplied by our four bathrooms?  $160.  No wonder Clorox advertised their ToiletWand system so aggressively.  They talked me into parting with a lot of cash!

I'm starting to get it.  I knew we couldn't afford to NOT go green, but I'm delighted to realize that we can save money, along with the planet.

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