Did you know that your roll of toilet paper contributes to the deforestation of millions of acres of forest? The earth loses forest cover of about 18 million acres every year. The reasons for deforestation are many, but one of the major ones is paper. 10% of trees cut down are used only for the manufacturing of toilet paper. So if you made the change to ecofriendly toilet paper, you’d be helping to conserve millions of trees for future generations. We should make an effort, to hand over a planet to our descendents, which has at least a few million acres of forest left. Read on to find out more:
The importance of ecofriendly toilet paper
Every day, 27,000 trees are felled to supply the raw material for toilet tissue. Trees are sustainable, and replanting and harvesting trees to manufacture toilet rolls can be highly beneficial for environment. However, it depends which kind of forests are utilized. Virgin forests or primary forests i.e. forests which have not been cut down earlier, need to be saved, as a lot of wildlife is dependent on these forests. Rare animals like Sumatran tiger, clouded leopard etc depend on the diversity of virgin forests. Forests also prevent erosion, flooding, and provide a source of livelihood to indigenous populations.
Therefore, choosing the right toilet paper, which is made using timber derived from plantations, grown at sites that did not have forests earlier is very important for the environment. The western civilization cannot do without using toilet paper, but people now need to make the right choice. They must choose friendly toilet paper as it can also help in preserving forests.
How do you choose eco friendly toilet paper
The best toilet paper which is eco friendly will be 100% recycled, and its packaging would also be recyclable. Before buying, check the materials list on the loo paper – some only have 5% of recycled material, and the rest comes from tree plantations. Look out for toilet paper brands that are certified by forestry bodies as using trees from sustainable forests.
Many brands are now developing sugarcane and bamboo forests to manufacture paper. These plants help in manufacturing paper and they grow really fast. This toilet paper is both biodegradable and septic safe. Choose chlorine free, unbleached and elemental chlorine free toilet paper. Recycled TP is of two types, one is made using pre consumer waste paper and the other is made using post consumer waste paper. For example, your office waste paper is post consumer and paper which is discarded before the manufacturing process is pre consumer waste paper. When TP is made using waste paper, you save a huge amount of natural resources. One tonne of recycled paper saves 2.5 oil barrels, 13 trees, 4100 KW electricity, and 31,380 litres of water. Now you see the importance of ecofriendly toilet paper, it has a big impact on saving trees.
Myths about eco friendly toilet paper
Many people have some reservations about going for environment friendly TP. They think that this kind of toilet paper might be scratchy and thin, and won’t work well, and that it’s too expensive. Price does matter, but you also have to consider, that for just a little bit more money, you’d be saving a huge number of trees. Eco friendly toilet paper does not have harmful phlathates in it i.e. it does not have any fragrance, which is good for you and your children, as these chemicals can also cause hormone disruption.
Labels and certifications to look for
Choosing the right toilet paper means that you have to check for the labels and certifications that the toilet paper brand has been issued by various environmental protection agencies. These will carry logos like Choice NZ, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). FSC and PEFC are NGOs which work at an International level. Both ensure that your TP brand meets various criteria, only then it is issued the certification.
A simple thing like using eco friendly toilet paper can make a huge difference to the nature conservation movement. In the past two centuries, humanity has robbed the planet of a great amount of natural resources, including forests, and unless we take some remedial steps, many animals and old ecosystems will be lost forever.