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Give Up the Fluff: Buy Recycled Toilet Paper

By Green Diva Meg
March 21, 2012
File under: Eco-Friendly Activities, Environmental Concerns, Home, Lifestyle, Recycling, Sustainable Practices, Waste Reduction

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.

Why Should We Care About Recycled Toilet Paper & Paper Towels?

Hate to burst your bubble about the cardboard-tubeless toilet paper rolls, which is an innovative step in the right direction, but that fluffy, bleached toilet paper is still killing trees. I was NOT a happy camper when I learned that to manufacture the soft, cushy TP that I’ve gotten kind of attached to, requires trees. But, you can get recycled toilet paper that doesn’t require any fresh tree pulp, but is made entirely from recycled paper (don’t get nuts people, NOT recycled toilet paper!). The slight bummer, that my husband likes to point out, is that recycled paper just doesn’t have that fluffy feel. Oh well!

For a recent Sleeping Naked is Green segment, I did a little homework on why we should get recycled toilet paper and paper towels. Here’s what I discovered:

The Environmental Impact of Paper Towels

  • Generally one-time use
  • Aside from trees being used, most brands use bleach in the process, which releases dioxins into the environment – dioxins are bad, causing birth defects and cancer

The Environmental Impact of Toilet Paper

  • In a New York Times article about toilet paper and its impact on the environment, RISI an independent market analysis firm in Bedford, Mass., the pulp from one eucalyptus tree, a commonly used tree, produces as many as 1,000 rolls of toilet tissue. Americans use an average of 23.6 rolls per capita a year.
  • Our obsession w/ fluffy soft TP is costing our forests: According the same New York Times article,

. . . fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada. Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material, it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel, and most large manufacturers rely on them.

So, What Can We Do?

  • Suck it up and use recycled TP!
  • Get recycled paper towels – use less natural resources and energy to produce
  • Use washable dish towels instead of paper towels
  • Paper Towel v. electric hand dryer – use the hand dryer. it actually uses more energy to produce the towel(s) and people tend to use several at a time
  • Listen the Green Divas Sleeping Naked is Green 5-minute segment on using recycled TP & PT.

More Why Should We Care Fun!

Please join us in being part of the solution! Watch the Green Divas short YouTube video and visit our Why Should We Care Campaign page and enjoy our silly video, donate and share (and get some awesome goodies when you do)!

Meanwhile, we are busy lining up even more interesting high-profile folks (we’ve already talked to Ed Begley, Jr.Jessica Alba), who are passionate about a variety of causes that help to make this a better world, for this ongoing feature on the radio show. Look forward to hearing from Fran DrescherFrederique and Carol Alt – all beautiful, passionate women using their power of celebrity and success for good - in the coming few weeks! More fun surprise guests for this segment soon to be announced!

The Green Divas Radio Show, podcasts, audio vignettes and blog posts feature fun and low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green, while maintaining some comfort and style. Green Diva Meg, co-host Green Diva Lisa and sidekick, Green Dude Paul offer tons of easily accessible information and resources to help make the journey to a more sustainable world easier and a little more fun and entertaining. The radio show broadcasts live every Saturday morning from WMTR 1250 AM in Northern, NJ/NY Metro area, streaming live on, or catch up on the podcast.


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