How Single-use Toilet Paper is Worse for the Environment than a Tofu Press
There is a growing trend of consumers saying no to unsustainable products and business practices.
According to a recent study from IBM, 80% of consumers say sustainability is important to them, with 60% willing to reshape their shopping habits to reduce the environmental impact of their purchases.
And you don’t have to look far to find information about the devastating effects of single-use plastics. However, it is important to note that in some cases, plastic is better than paper.
We decided to crunch the numbers around pressing tofu and found that: reusable tofu presses decrease users’ carbon footprint and are cheaper than most other pressing alternatives in the long run.
How does paper and a tofu press compare?
Since many people use paper towels to soak up excess water from their blocks of tofu, we wanted to compare the use of those disposable paper towels to the plastic used to create presses like the Bgang tofu press.
Our research shows us that reusable tofu presses are far better for the environment than other options using disposable paper towels.
Why Would You Want To Press Tofu At All? 🤔
Tofu is often skipped over because people think it is just a soggy, tasteless soybean protein, but if you know how to prepare it, tofu can be flavorful and full of texture! Which makes it a great alternative to meat!
When using firmer types of tofu, removing the excess water by pressing the tofu can make a world of difference in both taste and cooking quality.
The most common way to press the extra water out of tofu is to stack heavy things on top of a block of tofu while using a plethora of paper towels to soak up the water as it is slowly squeezed out.
Here's How Not To Do It ⛔🙅♂️
Single-use VS Multi-use Plastics: What's More Sustainable in the Long Term? 🌍
Single-use plastics are only used once before they’re tossed – they’re rapidly filling our landfills, oceans, and harming the environment.
Not all plastic is created equal, though, and oftentimes multi-use plastics can replace single-use items for the greater overall good of the environment. According to National Geographic, no matter the material, anything that can be used multiple times is better for the environment than single-use items. Even reusable, non-woven polypropylene plastic bags become the eco-friendly choice after their 11th use.
So, like those reused bags, our tofu press, despite it’s plastic materials and production impacts, is greener than options using paper.
What Is The Break-Even Point? ♻
To produce one ton of paper, according to a study done by worldatlas, we need 24 trees and at least 20,000 liters of water is contaminated and used in the process. This does not include any of the transport etc.!
During our research, we found out that most people use around 5 paper sheets to press their tofu.
If you would only press your tofu once, the more sustainable choice would be paper. But most of us don’t eat tofu once, but once a week or maybe more.
For the production of a tofu press, there is a set amount of CO2 it produces for it’s lifetime. Only once, while if you use paper, every time you press your tofu that is going to increase.
The breakeven point on average is at just 25 tofu blocks.
This means that after the 25th block of tofu, a tofu press is the eco-friendly choice.
On average, a family of three that consumes tofu once a week will press 25 tofu blocks in just 2-3 months.
Additional money and time savings
Beyond a plastic tofu press’s lower environmental footprint over its lifetime, investing in a tofu press can also save both time and money.
Time saving ⏰
In our surveys, on average, respondents needed to place heavy items on top of their tofu for 45 minutes. In comparison, respondents using a plastic tofu press only needed 15 minutes before their tofu was ready to use.
The chart below maps out exactly how many hours of food prepping time a year you can save. If you press 6 blocks of tofu a month, that’s 20 hours in food prep time saved! Unless you press your tofu overnight with a press, which is always a smart option ;).
Cost savings 💸
Though a tofu press has a higher up-front cost, investing in a tofu press is a fantastic way to save money in the long term.
With proper care a high-quality tofu press should last for years. A plastic tofu press will quickly pay for itself with regular use.
It is also important to keep in mind here, the cost that using throwaway paper and non-reusable products has on the environment.
Is A plastic tofu press Worth it?
Sustainability may look a lot different than we originally imagined, but when it comes to taking care of our planet and making the world a better place we have to go with the numbers.
It’s time we all started looking at the long term impact of all our decisions.
Those 5 paper towels you use to soak up water today may not be so bad, but how many paper towels are you using in a month? In a year?
Besides that, if a tofu press enables you to eat one day a week less meat, you’re already lowering your environmental impact in a huge way!
Plastics can be sustainable. When you invest in high-quality items you use regularly, the carbon footprint can quickly be negated by the amount of disposables you no longer need.
And you never know, you may just find some shortcuts and money savings along the way!