Do What you Can

Marcal Paper Products

Marcal Paper Products

We have very strict rules in my Household about Disposable Paper Products.
100% Post Consumer Recycled Only.
As a former student of mine phrased it,
“No one needs to kill a Tree to wipe their ass!”
Crass, but Clear.


The Words are decidedly in that order.

First Rule: Use Less.
A Sponge or a Rag is Better than a Paper Towel.
Less Water = Better.
If I can Do Without, that is how one Grows in Spiritual Strength. I’m in!

Second Rule: ReUse.
Instead of throwing away that worn T-Shirt with holes in it, I put it in the “Rag Bag.”
That’s what MAMA called it.
Raising Four Kids, she had plenty of worn out and outgrown Clothes — upon retirement, they went into a bag under the kitchen sink.
It never would have occurred to her to throw them out.
In Daily Household Cleaning, she reused these items.
Even threw them in with the Laundry and reused ‘em again.
It was the Sixties.
Everyone seemed more aware then of this Planet’s Resources as a finite commodity.
They still are today — only there’s Way Less of them.

Third Rule: ReCycle.
This is the one so many people seem to jump to first.
It is intended as a Last Resort.
If you can’t Do Without it…
If you can’t ReUse it…
Only Then, Resort to Recycling.

And try to Avoid Entirely Using Stuff that just gets thrown out.

So Why is it so Difficult to find Marcal Paper Products in New York City?
I Like Marcal.
They are Very Reasonably Priced and printed right on their packaging is
“Paper From Paper, Not From Trees.”
They work Fine.

We pay Exceedingly High Taxes on Alcohol and Cigarettes.
Why not have a tariff on Virgin Paper Products?
We can still have them, but price them discouragingly high.
Then People might think.

I learned some time ago that “Recycled” doesn’t actually mean anything.
It’s like “Natural.”
It has to say “100% Post-Consumer Recycled,” in order to be Truly Recycled.
…Another Legacy of the Corruption of GEORGE W. BUSH and his appointees to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Staples and Bounty, two of the World’s Largest Deforesters, apparently get to label their products “Recycled” as long as they throw some wood bark and traditionally unusable parts of the tree into the pulp.
And whom does that Benefit?

Out of Paper Towels a few weeks now —
Busy New York City Theater Person Lifestyle —
I went to get more.
Three different Supermarkets didn’t have ‘em.
Kmart didn’t have ‘em.
Staples, too, offered No Options.
Aisles of Paper Products… Lots of BOUNTY… No MARCAL.
No Recycled Paper Products of Any kind.
On this, the Liberal and Sophisticated island of Manhattan?
Even in Greenwich Village?

I finally found a SuperMarket in my neighborhood, though quite a distance away, that had Marcal Paper Towels on sale for 99 cents per roll. (Original Price $1.29)
Too expensive I thought.
I kept searching.
Nowhere else had them at all.

Seventh Generation... Also Very Terrific Tree-Saving Products

Seventh Generation… Also Very Terrific Tree-Saving Products

I tried the Organic Market in my Neighborhood.
They had Seventh Generation Paper Towels, another brand I like.
A little pricier.
More than Twelve Bucks for six rolls.
That’s’ more than Two Dollars a Roll.
I resisted.
Two nights later, I went back and bought a six-pack.
I’d rather be overcharged for Recycled Paper than face the Cost of Not Using it.

I returned another day the following week to the SuperMarket that had Marcal.
Package Price: 89 cents Per Roll!

I bought Thirty Rolls!
Filled up my Shopping Cart!
As I placed them on the conveyor belt, the rather somber checkout clerk commented a bit too seriously,
Then added with deep concern, “What happened?”



It took two more weeks of searching for me to find a SuperMarket that sold
Marcal Tissues.
When I finally did, I bought twenty boxes.
Some might say, “Well, just use a handkerchief!”
And maybe that’s an even better way to go.
But we do what we CAN.

Some of the best advice I was Ever Given:
Do What You CAN.

I have a New York City Apartment!
I don’t have room for thirty rolls of Paper Towels and twenty boxes of Tissues!
Perhaps I shall stack them into a pre-season Christmas Tree… I don’t know.
I only know that as a last resort, Paper from Paper, Not from Trees,
means that everytime I look at a Tree,
I feel Good,
That I left it alone,
And it’s still standing there.

Do What You Can

Please Let’s Shop with Consciousness.
Paper from Paper, Not from Trees
If we all stop buying Virgin Paper products, perhaps Stores would get the Message,
And start carrying more Recycled Paper Optons.

More Trees is a Very Good Thing.

# # #

Leave a comment


  1. I love trees and really appreciate what you’re saying here, Arnold. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. We have a world to save here and future generations to think of…and we know heedless shopping doesn’t fit that picture. Thanks for the reminder, Arnold.

  3. dsbishop

     /  November 1, 2015

    Yay, Marcal! Keep up the inspiring work, Arnold! PS Your new logo looks great. 🙂


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