Saturday, February 28, 2009

US Toilet Paper Killing the Planet

The Telegraph (UK) reported yesterday on the latest America-bashing by environmentalists.

The US devotion to multi-ply toilet paper is worse for the planet than gas guzzling cars, environmentalists claim.

The vast majority of the paper used by American consumers is produced from virgin forests, while Europeans are more open to using recycled lavatory paper.

Greenpeace this week launched a guide about the ecological impact of the use of toilet paper. Lindsey Allen, a forestry expert with the envirnmental campaign group, said: "We have this myth in the US that recycled is just so low quality, it's like cardboard."

US consumers consume significantly more of the paper than Europeans - reportedly three times as much. They are said to use 100 times paper per head of population than the Chinese.

Allen Hershkowitz, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council, said: "Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving [petrol-thirsty cars] in terms of global warming pollution."

Maybe things have improved in the last 25 years, but I'm doubtful. On our bicycle trip through Europe in 1983, my then-husband and I learned that Western Europe uses three types of toilet paper: brown wrapping paper, wax paper, and crepe paper. It comes as no surprise that Europeans would shy away from assaulting their bottoms with any of these products.

And as for Americans using 100 times more TP than the Chinese, that's more of a slam against China (do they drip-dry? let it soak into their undies?) than it is against America.

I'm still convinced that carbon dioxide, a natural by-product of breathing, is NOT a pollutant, so I'm not about to get alarmed by the implication that my toilet paper produces too much CO2.

It will continue to be quilted softness for me, thank you very much!


Christina said...

Gee, I know I really want to be just like China and Europe.

Give me a break!

Oh and did you know that sheep burping is more harmful than all of our CO2 emissions? Yep...learned that today too.

I don't buy any of it.

Bekah said...

I laughed out loud on the drip drying part.

Christina will understand how the TP we had to use in college made me choose from day one of adulthood to NEVER skimp on TP. I may eat generic food - but I go brand name softness on the TP.

janice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
janice said...

I'm going to remain a Cottonelle Gal until the Nile freezes over.

David said...

Save Trees? Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without felling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain.

ChuckL said...

I wonder what century these lugnuts want us to revert to? 17th? 16th? Earlier?

I wonder how many greenpeacers, et. al., have HD televisions? They require more so-called greenhouse gases to produce & operate than the tube type. There are probably some die-hard environmentalists who eschew them, but they don't dare make that one of their crusades. They would lose popularity fast. Besides, how could they get their humbug messages out if they didn't do TV ads?

SkyePuppy said...


Good point. I bet Al Gore has a big screen TV. He just pays some peasant somewhere to stay in the dark ages a little longer, so Al can justify his earth-killing toys.