Filed under: Energy + Climate, Local Events + Action, Society + Media, Waste + Recycling | Tags: greenpeace, New york Times, toilet paper
It’s something you don’t really think about… unless you’re using it. We’ve all noticed uncomfortable, rough toilet paper before, whether it’s at a restaurant or somewhere on campus. It’s easy not to think about the price of the soft, comfy toilet paper if that’s what you’re used to. But the environmental costs of the softest brands will make you think twice next time you need to go.
Greenpeace recently put out a Tissue Guide that ranks different toilet paper brands based on their recycled content and impact on the environment. In order to get the soft, plush toilet paper most Americans prefer, you have to get fiber from standing trees. This can often lead to cutting down old-growth trees in rainforests for nothing but the use of toilet paper. An article in the New York Times said that European countries were usually satisfied with rougher toilet paper, and used toilet paper with almost explusively recycled content. Why isn’t think something we accept, and why isn’t it something people think about more?
The Greenpeace guide said Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family bought just one roll of recycled toilet paper. One roll? That doesn’t seem so hard. I think a lot of people, myself included sometimes, can get stuck in a green “rut,” thinking that recycling cans and using canvas bags are the only things we can do to help the environment. But there’s always something else you can do to help the environment last, even if it’s just wiping your…. ya know.
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