Saturday, July 25, 2009

Recent Thoughts On Green Towels & Sheets

This week I discovered a blogger who decided to offer up some definitions of common eco-terms in her blog Living Green, Living Well. In this domain, I think we all need a little help. Have you ever tried to make sense of which towels are really best for the environment? I received an email this past week urging me to "green" my towels and clicked through to ECO-FRIENDLY GREEN EARTH TOWELS: “100% Cotton - White Only Softer, more absorbent, eco-friendly version of microcotton towels, manufactured in a state-of-the-art, bio-wasted powered, zero discharge facility that produces no emission of effluents into the local water tables ...” I was left scratching my head. With half a dozen other types of towel for sale from the same company on the same site, it seemed obvious I was witnessing a case of greenwashing. I did find some organic cotton towels this winter and ordered up a set of "Green Threads" from Organic Linen Source, located in nearby Quincy. The quality is amazing: soft and absorbent. They wash well, too. But these lovely towels only come in white (pearl) and beige (earth). Still, the next time I refresh our supply, chances are I will go with Green Threads. Organic cotton is much better for the environment than regular cotton. For anyone who does not yet know why, there’s a full explanation at Coyuchi. Ever since we began the bed & breakfast, we have been using Coyuchi sheets. While I love the feel and the fact that they are made of organic cotton, I must admit that it's hard to keep them clean. I know that sounds silly. Use detergent, duh! Well, we try to avoid detergent and go with more gentle washing products from Seventh Generation. The checked sheets are especially vulnerable to stains and sweat. Cuddledown has nice “Certified Eco-friendly” sheets, and I bought a pair for the Green Room, but they are NOT organic cotton. So far, Cuddledown has not added any organic cotton products to their hotel line. I tried Gaiam organic cotton sheets as well, but they're not as soft and need ironing. We air-dry our sheets, whenever possible. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh linens!