Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Green innovation idea of the day

I owe this to Victor Papanek who asked what difference it would make if toilet rolls were an inch less wide? (it would make a huge eco impact, but very little difference - without going into details! - to efficacy in use)

But then there's retooling, the size of loo roll holders blah blah

So here's what you do instead. You cut loo rolls in half at the factory. They package up in the same way. They sit next to each other on the holder at home. They last twice as long. They have half the eco footprint on every measure (even transport miles per usage). And yes it probably still works just as well.

If anyone reading has a toilet tissue client (pref with good paper sourcing/policies - so not Kimberly Clark who is subject of a protest/boycott calls for using virgin fibre from cleacut ancient forests...) this is your green promotion/potential product extension. Would be a nice one for M&S methinks, or Asda.


Andrew Smart said...

I remember something similar to this on a series called 'Scrimpers'. It documented penny pinchers and how they saved money day to day. The person in question always cut loo rolls and kitchen rolls in half with a bread knife. I'd love to see the series again. I be there were loads of other good ideas in there.

I'm off to see if I can find it on youtube.

John Grant said...

found it

mind you I'd really like to see the programmes, I'll see if I can get someone in TV to get a copy


Asi said...

that is brilliant. now you just need a big brand that 'gets it' and you have a winner.

Charles Frith said...

I'm not sure of the free newspapers (particularly on the tube) paper content but I'm hoping that they become a target of the greenormal movement. Penguin should encourage people to carry books that can be shared around perhaps.

Charles Frith said...

One last thing is that in Thailand the use of a 'hose' or water spray is ubiquitous. It's much more hygienic and only a little loo paper is needed for patting your arse dry. I've often wondered if the spray (bit of water and electricity from a water pump) is less of a carbon footprint than lots of loo paper.

Lastly I think we've become too removed from out bodies and is maybe why pissing, shitting, puking, menstruating and vomiting are subjects that make people recoil excessively. Clearly they're not nice but there's something almost pathological about the way we've sanitised the reality.

I'm not saying I like these subjects I'm just saying that they are there. Sometimes watching people eat is a little too visceral for my taste.

Andrew Smart said...

It's not that long ago people used old newspaper torn into small squares. My Mother tells me that if you were posh you'd hang them diagonally (in the same way that diagonally sliced sandwiches are somehow a little finer)

Since I've had children and had to wipe someone else's bottom other than my own I have a whole new relationship with toilet paper. It's actually possible to do the job quite effectively with a very small amount of paper if you can see what you're doing. Maybe small arse mirrors installed on the underside of the bog seat will save the world!