We don’t usually think about toilet paper until it runs out, but we should. Its ubiquitous presence and low cost misrepresent the dramatic and irreversible toll it is taking on our boreal forests. As with paper towels discussed last week, those forests are also the favored source for virgin softwood pulp for tissue products, and in the past 20 years, an area the size of Ohio has been logged, some 28 million acres. Alternatives to this tree-to-toilet-paper pipeline exist. Tissue products made from recycled materials emit a third of the greenhouse gasses as that from virgin pulp, and are becoming available at neighborhood stores – see Giant’s Nature’s Promise line, for example. Check that what we buy has recycled content, and the more of that the better. When we buy those popular (and comfortable) brands without recycled material, we are literally flushing our forests down the drain. Use this NRDC scorecard to check our favorite brands for sustainability.
–St. John’s Care of Creation Group