Forget, for a moment at least, whether there is a tiger in your tank. Instead think about whether there’s an ancient tree in your puppy. Well, sort of.
A piece in the New York Times yesterday drew attention to the increasing love affair that Americans have for soft toilet tissue and the threat that poses for old growth forests.
Toilet paper can be made from recycled material with ease — it uses less water to convert paper into fibre than it does to mash up wood pulp. But to get the soft, fluffy whiteness that many of us currently prefer requires the use of virgin wood pulp — the fibres are, well, softer, stronger and longer.
A spokesperson from Kimberley Clark — seemingly one of the worst culprits — said that “only” 14 percent of the wood pulp used by the company comes from the Canadian boreal forest.
This isn’t a new issue. Both Greenpeace and the WWF have been campaigning for years against the destruction of forests for the production of toilet paper. What’s changed is the current global economic slump. People have a raised awareness for the benefits of recycling and re-use: now is the time to switch to 100% recycled toilet paper. It might not be quite so luxurious an experience, but it’s a very easy way to prevent destruction of carbon storing old growth forests.