If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. Joseph Wood Krutch

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How the toilet paper caused me to flush an entire forest

I'm not sure if you have heard of the "No Impact Guy". He and his family, two year old included, are living one entire year without making an impact on the planet. No plastic, no garbage, no tv... Sounds like quite a challenge but he is spurring lots of people like myself to be more sincere about living cleaner. He's been all over the news recently, even made it onto the Colbert Report, and I think the thing that caught most peoples attention is the fact that he has sworn off toilet paper entirely. Toilet paper! I'm still trying to figure out the details on that one and I am not sure I am ready for that step yet but maybe someday. It did get me to thinking about the toilet paper I use though. Cottonelle. Now perhaps I have been confused or a little dense but I have been buying this stuff thinking they used cotton fiber rather than wood fiber to manufacture it. Wrong! This is the worst stuff you can buy. It is made entirely from virgin wood fiber pulled out of clear cuts of old growth forests in Canada. Hoo boy. I think maybe it is the spotted owls and not Wal-Mart that's been following me

OK. So I have a little supply of Cottonelle left which I plan to use up and then never buy again. I did a quick search on the Internet and that led me to some stuff called Purely Cotton that IS made entirely from cotton. Here's the rub though. It can only be ordered online, link above, but you can order a roll, a case or whatever you want. They make both toilet paper and tissue.

I contacted Natures Way Tissue, the manufaturer and they are an American Indian owned company. I asked about the organic value etc. and they were very nice to send me a FAQ sheet with all of the information. In short, no, it is not an organic product but it is considered a recycled product. The explanation is lengthy and not worth going into here but the product looks good in my book and it is "tree free". Plus I like the fact that it is American Indian owned.

If you still want paper then there are a few toilet paper brands that cut the mustard per Greenpeace. They are CVS Bathroom Tissue 1000, Cascades, Marcal, Natural Value, Earth First, Seventh Generation, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value. If you pop over to the Greenpeace site they also have a very good action pack with tons of information about Kimberly-Clark's rape of the boreal forests of Canada. It is 28 pages of some pretty good information. I had no idea.

I must leave with just one warning about some of the recycled brands though. Some feel as though they were made in a sandpaper plant so you may want to test different ones before switching for good. I'm going to try out the cotton.

No comments: