Kenn is the plant person in our relationship. He has always done a great job of keeping our yards looking good. However, we’ve learned the hard way that some plants are the gift that just keeps on giving – and not in a good way.

Our last house had a terraced yard which included a few raised beds. One of the beds at the front of the house contained azaleas which gave a nice pop of color in the spring. We planted lantana in the other to add color in the summer and fall. Kenn decided that he wanted to plant bamboo in the beds to the sides of the house, I was a little concerned about it spreading because invasive plants such as kudzu love the climate here in the southeastern United States. Kenn said not to worry, he would be taking steps to keep the bamboo contained so the planting commenced.

We moved out of that house almost five years ago but still maintain it as a rental property. Over the years it has become obvious that the attempt at bamboo containment failed. Not only did it fail, it did so spectacularly. Our property now has a bumper crop of bamboo and it is busily spreading throughout the neighborhood. Oopsie. Our bad.😬

Yep, the bamboo is thriving

I would say that bamboo grows like kudzu, but if you’ve never lived in an area with kudzu that means nothing. Kudzu grows several inches per day. So does bamboo, which is another fact we’ve learned the hard way. The growth is most noticeable in the spring when the new sprouts begin pushing through the soil. The next day, those sprouts are six inches tall. By the end of the week, they’re six feet tall. We’re now taking steps to reclaim the back yard at our rental property from the bamboo jungle it is becoming but it’s going to be a never ending battle. Wish us luck!

Do you have any experience with bamboo? If you have any tips on how to kill the bloody stuff, please let me know!

Businesses with Heart: Who Gives A Crap

I know that title doesn’t make much sense at first glance. Maybe not even at second glance so, allow me to explain. For me, a “business with heart” is a business that devotes some part of its profit toward making the world a better place. I’ve decided that I will occasionally highlight one of those companies here in my blog. (And no, I’m not receiving any sort of compensation from these companies for doing so.) The first company I’d like to share is Who Gives A Crap.

I discovered Who Gives A Crap via a Facebook ad during the Great Toilet Paper Apocalypse of 2020. We were fortunate. We saw the handwriting on the wall a couple of days before the toilet paper and paper towels disappeared from shelves in the local area and purchased a multi-pack of each. (Just one multi-pack of each; not a lifetime supply.) It’s just Kenn and I at home so it’s relatively easy to make the paper products last. (On a side note, it took a pandemic and limited availability for me to learn just how many paper towels I was using and to implement steps to reduce that usage.) By the time I discovered Who Gives A Crap a limited selection of non-quality toilet paper was once again available in some stores but if I could purchase enough to last me the better part of a year online and have it delivered to my house, why not?

For my first purchase I selected the toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper; 48 rolls for $48. There were many things I fell in love with right away. As someone who does what I can to limit the amount of plastic I throw out I loved the fact that Who Gives A Crap uses ZERO plastic in their packaging. My shipment arrived in a cardboard box, each roll individually wrapped in paper. As someone who is all about color and sparkle, the sight that greeted me when I opened the box made my heart happy. Oh, and on orders over $25, shipping is carbon neutral which is another win in my book.

So, how well does the product work? Well, it gets the job done, LOL. The toilet paper is not as rough as others made from recycled paper that I’ve tried. I also like the fact that the double-length rolls are not not glued to the cardboard core so you get to use the whole thing. I’m not a fan of the fact that it has a tendency to pill and to not tear completely at the perforation.

Now that we’re down to the last few rolls, I placed a new order, this time upgrading to the 100% bamboo toilet paper. The bamboo paper is a little pricier at $52 for 48 rolls but, since it will last for a year or thereabouts, I have no complaints about the price. After testing one roll, I like it much better. The bamboo paper is softer, thicker, and tears cleanly at the perforation. It also doesn’t pill like the recycled paper. My only “complaint” is that my color-loving heart is saddened by the fact that the bamboo rolls are wrapped in white paper with black and gold patterns; no cheerful colors to brighten my day.

In addition to toilet paper, Who Gives A Crap also sells forest-friendly paper towels and facial tissue in addition to “Dream Cloths” which are listed as being a “reusable and washable paper towel alternative.” I tried the paper towels and while I liked them, I found them a bit pricey at $16 for 6 rolls. They also aren’t as wide as what I’m used to and I’ve gotten a bit spoiled by the “select-a size” sheets, a feature that is not available from Who Gives A Crap. I recently purchased 12 boxes of the forest-friendly facial tissue but haven’t tried them yet; I’m still waiting on the last box of my existing tissues to run out.

But, product aside, what is it that makes Who Gives A Crap a business with heart? The company donates 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. FIFTY PERCENT y’all! That’s nothing to sneeze at. But, if you do sneeze, I’ll share my forest-friendly tissues with you. 😉

Until next time, happy trails and be sure to pass on any business with heart that you use.