In the Crapper

My mom refuses to use it.
Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) makes jokes about it.
And I am adamant about buying it.
Recycled toilet paper.

It’s not made from used TP and the 21st century varieties are much softer on the bum.
According to Conservatree, North Americans use 50 lbs. (22.4 kg) of tissue papers per person per year up from 37 lbs. (17 kg) per person twenty years back.
That’s a lot of toilet paper & paper towels we’re flushing and tossing.

If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 500 sheet roll of virgin fiber toilet paper with a 100% recycled one, we could save 423,900 trees.

Also, most recycled paper products are whitened without chlorine and other toxins. The traditional bleaching process creates carcinogenic dioxins which pollute our environment and end up in our food and in our bodies (you can find my reference to dioxins in breast milk here).

Now I’m not saying it’s not an adjustment.
When I visit my mom my bum is in Charmin heaven.
But then I ask myself, does my ass really need a virgin tree to get clean?

If you’re up for the challenge, look for brands like Marcal (which recycles over 200,000 tons of paper each year to produce their recycled paper products), Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value and Seventh Generation products (which promise at least 80% post-consumer content), or Trader Joe’s TP (that contains less post-consumer content but is still a good option).

And just for considering it, here’s a funny bit from Larry David from an old LA Weekly (and a link to the NRDC’s campaign on the paper industry).


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About simran.sethi

Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist and the Lacy C. Haynes Visiting Professional Chair at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she teaches courses on sustainability and environmental communications. She is currently writing a book on eco-elitism to be published by Harper Collins in March 2010 and is the contributing author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, winner of the bronze 2008 Axiom Award for Best Business Ethics book. Simran is the founding host/writer of Sundance Channel's environmental programming The Green and the creator of the Sundance web series The Good Fight, highlighting global environmental justice efforts and grassroots activism. Named one of the top ten eco-heroes of the planet by the UK