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PC TP. September 24, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , ,

Silence Dogood here. It’s not every day that you see an article about toilet paper, but there was one on MSN when I started up the computer this morning. It said that environmentalists were battling the toilet-paper companies to try to pressure them to stop making soft toilet paper.

Great God, I thought, must these holier-than-thou types take every last shred of comfort and joy out of living? Are they determined to reduce us to sackcloth and ashes? Toilet paper, for mercy’s sake! First no scented toilet paper. Then no colored toilet paper. Now no soft toilet paper?!!

Outraged, I clicked on the article. And then I discovered why the environmentalists were up in arms. Apparently, what makes toilet paper soft is long fibers in the wood pulp used to make it. And long fibers come from old trees. Apparently, old-growth forests, including Canada’s Boreal forests, are being sacrificed so we can have soft, fluffy toilet paper. Talk about a shock!

The alternative proposed by the environmentalists is recycled toilet paper—which is to say, toilet paper made from recycled newspaper and the like, not recycled from the bathroom!—and that’s the kind you find in most offices, restaurants, and other public places. As all know who’ve had to use a public bathroom, this kind of toilet paper is thin and scratchy. It’s awful. That’s why most of us love our soft, thick toilet paper, and wish public places would be better about putting it in their bathrooms as well. It really didn’t seem like too much to ask.

But obviously, it is too much to ask, if the great forests are falling because of it. I’m going to check out Marcal’s green tp, made from recyclables, next time I’m at the store and pray that it’s bearable. Meanwhile, manufacturers, please think about creative ways to soften and thicken your toilet paper without resorting to cutting down old-growth trees. How about recycling lint and rags as well as paper? There must be a way.

            ‘Til next time,




1. deb - September 24, 2009

Well, now I feel super guilty.

Me too!!!

2. Lzyjo - September 24, 2009

WOW! The evil TP industry has really been hiding a lot! How shocking! I hope Scotts uses less of those old growth forests.

It was certainly news to me, Lzyjo!

3. Barbee' - September 24, 2009

I couldn’t believe you were posting about toilet paper. When I saw that TP, I recognized it immediately. Because, when I print out my monthly grocery-reminder list I have on it side by side TP PT (toilet paper and paper towels). Oh me, another way to feel guilty. Guess I better look around the shelves next time I shop. Thank you for sharing that info and enlightening us.

Sigh. I know, Barbee’, what next?! Apparently they’re not fond of nice, soft Kleenex either.

4. sarah - September 24, 2009

arghh. Thanks for the heads up.

Arghh is right, Sarah! Who’d’a thunk?!!

5. Jen - September 24, 2009

I don’t mind the recycled stuff, but my hubby has to have his Quilted Northern. (OMG he would kill me if he knew I wrote that on a blog!) I have to be sneaky.


6. Daphne Gould - September 25, 2009

I’ve seen this issue on lots of green blogs in the last year. I really should switch over to recycled all the time. But occasionally I want my nice cushy TP. What I really need are two TP holders in my bathroom. That would work well. Tissues have the same issue. Normally recycled is fine, but when I have a cold and my nose is sore I really want the softest ones I can find. I often avoid the issue totally with tissues and use a cloth handkerchief. I’ve heard of those that do the same with TP, but I’m not ready to do that yet.

Ah, yes, back to the cloth diaper, right, Daphne? I’m still a bit befuddled by the whole TP thing, since the thinner the TP, the more of it you have to use. My own feeling is that using way less of the thick stuff might even out in the end, but only if the manufacturers can come up with a way to make it without killing old-growth trees. As for handkerchiefs, I know what you mean about needing something soft for a sore nose, but I just read yesterday that if you have a cold, you should never use a cloth hanky unless you only use it once before washing or you’ll just recontaminate yourself. But since hankies are a dime a dozen at many thrift stores, maybe stocking up would make sense! Anyway, count on you to be keeping up with the issue!

7. Alan from Roberts Roost - September 25, 2009

aaah, the great toilet paper conundrum… the bane of green thinking people everywhere…

Maybe they could make TP using long fibers from bamboo. I know that the fibers are long enough you can spin it and the cloth produced is super soft. It grows fast, is totally renewable, and widely adapted. I’m not a paper scientist so I don’t know if it would work. If you know someone who is maybe you should ask.

What a great idea, Alan!!! I hope a paper scientist, or at least one of my friends who knows one, will come on and hook us up. Maybe it will end in a breaktrhough!!!

8. elephant's eye - September 25, 2009

Um, here in South Africa we manage to make 100% recycled loo paper, which is soft. And Switzerland does too.

That’s great news for us all! Now we just need to send over the chemists from our own TP plants to see how you do it!

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