("furry" mountains on the drive between Vernon and Vancouver)
If you haven't been yet, this post is about TP. As in for your bum. As in Papier de Toilette. Can you imagine a world that didn't have TP? Where people used, cloths, leaves, or even... water?? It would seem that North Americans are pretty particular and leaders in the TP revolution that has taken on the world by storm in the past 100 years. For thousands of years humans poo'd and peed without the help of fancy, schmancy paper and then... the invention of "medicated paper" was introduced to the United States by Joseph Gayetty who worked extremely hard to convince Americans that wiping their bums with paper was actually a necessity.
Fast forward a hundred or so years and most North Americans couldn't even make it through a normal day without using toilet paper at least once or twice. Have you ever thought about where your toilet paper comes from? The tissue paper industry is a biggy, and according to Greenpeace, Kimberly-Clark (company that owns Cottonelle along with several other big companies) produces more than 4 million tons of tissue paper a year, and currently the majority of their products are made with virgin forests. Including the Ancient Canadian Boreal Forest.... which by clearcutting they devastate the forests biodiversity in plant and animal life. Anyone who has been or lived in BC recently will understand that monocultures can be dangerous. While living in Vernon Andrew and I witnessed firsthand the visual evidence of the pine beetles devasting destruction to BC's forests.... miles of orange pine trees, a monoculture wipe-out aided by warmer winters.
According to Greenpeace, Kimberly-Clark has just announced their new environmental policy concerning sustainable harvesting. Their goal: achieve 100% of their wood product from Certified Forest Stewardship Council forests by 2011.
According to Ecoholic, over 700 000 tons of disposable tissue products are thrown out/flushed in Canada every year, the average person going through about 100 rolls of TP per year. Also, those scary bisphenol A and other cancer-linked chemicals that we're avoiding in our water bottles and products? They have been found to be involved in our toilet paper as well (as if paper is ever REALLY that white naturally). Not to mention the amount of water, shipping and processing that goes into the process of creating those three-ply bum-wipes! (Ecoholic, Adria Vasil 2006).
(pine trees as far as the eye can see on the drive to Vancouver!)
Does my butt REALLY need to be wiped with ancient forests and bleached out chemical soaked paper? Really? Switching to TP made from recycled paper was a super easy solution and there are several companies out there that make fantastic alternatives. Seventh Generation has been one of our fav's... but Greenpeace has a fabulous table to help you wade through the ever present greenwashing poop to find the best eco-wipe!
OR you could be brave... and try cloth wipes. I really like the idea of using cloth wipes for number one, but I'm not too sure I'm ready for the poo-wipes... Please check out The Organic Sister's fantastic chronology of her journey into the cloth-wipe world. It's actually less scary sounding after the first few posts! Also, Crunchy Chicken has a bunch of fun posts about her journey as well!
Thank you so much Grace for giving us those fantastic tidbits of news from Greenpeace!
Article Authored by Eco Yogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com (eco-poo at it's best!)