Lisa Pearson lives near Denbigh in north east Wales with her partner Owen and cat Guinness. She is a careers adviser working with teenagers in local schools and the community.
Up until the age of 18, I have always taken for granted the ready supply of toilet roll and tissues. Since then I have travelled to different countries, attended festivals, and developed a keen interest in mountain walking. My travel around northern India and Thailand made me realise that other countries don’t use toilet roll as much as we do in the UK. I found that they would often charge high prices for toilet roll, because it wasn’t as readily available. When I go abroad I tend to take pocket sized packs of tissues in my hand luggage and backpack.
I will always have a pack of tissues (or a toilet roll) in my bag when I go walking, as this is a great way of dealing with runny noses and freshening up during a full day’s walk. I use facial wipes when I go on camping trips. This year we went to New Zealand, and did a three day sea kayaking and camping trip, then a two day walk and camp. During these adventures we couldn’t always rely on having access to running water, so wipes came in handy.
I keep some emergency tissues and hand wipes in my car. This means that if I have to change a tyre, I can clean up afterwards. Likewise, it’s handy to have some tissues when I go cycling, in case I need to reattach my chain. At work we have screen wipes for our PCs and laptops. My work in schools means that I use paper towels when I visit the bathrooms – it makes me feel like a school kid again.
At home we try to be environmentally friendly and buy recycled toilet paper and kitchen roll. Although it works out slightly more expensive, we are happy with the quality of these products, which we purchase from our local supermarket. Kitchen roll always comes in handy, especially since we are the proud owner of a very messy cat. We always take care to recycle our empty loo and kitchen roll. However, when we kept gerbils we would give them the empty rolls to chew and use for their nesting material.
Over the years my tissue usage has definitely changed as I buy a much more diverse range of tissue products. When I was younger I wouldn’t have imagined the different types of products available; nowadays you can buy wipes for everything! I would say I mainly use tissue products for practical reasons, and I try not to be wasteful or lazy in the way I use them – why buy a pack of bathroom cleaning wipes when a re-useable cloth and cleaner is much more affective.