Learn More

April 5, 2019

Cushiony Soft, At What Cost?

Rethink your "throne" routine.

A Series on the Environment from the Question Line Duo

TP in tree rings

Here's a topic most folks put little thought to, but like many of our mindless routines and conveniences, we must consider the impact and change habits for the sake of our environment.

The never-ending (mostly American) quest for fluffy, soft paper to use on our 'nethers is devastating forests and impacting climate.

"Previous reports into the environmental impact of toilet paper have found American desire for super-soft multi-ply toilet paper to be 'worse than Hummers' for the environment." [America's love of luxury toilet paper is destroying Canadian forests, The Guardian]

There are new options and alternatives available every day to reduce or eliminate (pun intended!) our use of un-sustainably produced toilet paper.

We found an interesting post from a zero-waste blogger that offers details and helpful links to a variety of options:

Zero Waste Toilet Paper: Wait. What?! [Sustainable Jungle]

It's a great starting point for all of us, and not an endorsement of any one option. Don't let option #1 scare you off. Keep reading. Options #2 and #3 are an easy switch to better tp. And option #4 (bidets) will save you plenty of money. Here's what we discovered for a one person household:

I did the math on the toilet paper I purchased in one year (because almost all of it was purchased by mailorder). I spent at least $160 on tp in one year. To invest in a bidet and a pile of washable flannel wipes for $40 to $80 would eliminate all toilet paper expenses for future years, and the wastefulness that goes with it. Add the environmental cost of the water and resources used to manufacture my $160 worth of toilet paper and the carbon footprint of getting that tp delivered, and it's even more significant.

Multiply that by the number of bodies in your house and rack up the savings!

Now that you know the impact of your household toilet paper use and what other options are available, your next step is to make a choice. Then make the change.

TP plant pots

Ideas Can Come From Anywhere . . .

While searching for engaging pictures to include with this message, we came across an idea. For those of you working with nature for your garden who still need to start your seeds indoors, or for anyone planning to work with nature and start seeds indoors at any time: Ask your nature partner if it would be appropriate for you to repurpose and reuse your cardboard toilet paper tubes as plant pots!

The Environment Series