I’ll admit it, before I was concerned about the environment, I used toilet paper without thinking about the negative impact it may have on the environment. We all just wipe our bottoms with it after doing our business, place it in the toilet bowl, flush our human and paper wastes down the septic tank and forget about it. There is also the matter of how much water is flushed down our toilets but that’s a story for another day. Now we need to look at how toilet paper affects the environment.
Toilet Paper and the Environment
Did you know that with every tissue roll that’s used, we’re signaling the death of yet another tree and in a virgin forest? Yes, plenty of you may not know about this troubling fact but here’s the truth about where our toilet paper comes from.
Softest Toilet Tissue = Swaths of Virgin Forest
Unfortunately, the soft toilet paper you may take for granted is actually manufactured from millions of trees in a virgin forest. Soft toilet tissue is not from just any virgin forest either as the forests of Canada are the main supplier of American toilet paper. Even 大卷廁紙架 the fact that these are farmed forests, the lumber of which could be used for more worthwhile causes like building homes, does not mitigate such an act of atrocity against the environment, all for the sake of a tidy bottom.
Here in the United States, there is much emphasis on using the extra-soft, multi-ply quilted toilet tissue. Supposedly, it makes for a better wiping experience, thanks in part to the aggressive marketing promotions of toilet paper manufacturers.
When more people use recycled toilet paper, more virgin forests will be saved. Just think of the environmental benefits it can bring – less soil erosion and less ozone layer destruction, to name just a few.
Now, this is not to disparage the American public. On the contrary, this is to make the American public and the rest of the world know that a lesser quality toilet tissue will do the job just as well. It’s not exactly sandpaper, if you must know and your butt won’t care whether the toilet tissue used is not extra-soft, floral-printed and finely scented either.
Pick Your Recycled Toilet Paper
Now that I made my pitch for recycled toilet tissue, the next step is to educate you about the right kind of recycled tissue paper. The best pick is the unbleached kind because its processes are more eco-friendly. This is because the bleached kind has to go through a de-inking process where chlorine is used to make it whiter. Only then will it be subjected to further processes like pulping. Keep in mind that chlorine-based chemicals can produce toxic compounds like dioxins and organochlorines.
Among other health problems, dioxins can lead to decreased immune response, cancer, learning disorders and diabetes. Is wiping your bottom with virgin forest soft tissue worth all these risks? Definitely not. So, again, always opt for toilet paper with labels that say “chlorine-free”, “bleach-free” and “unprocessed”. If your grocery store doesn’t stock these types, then you should definitely ask them to.