KNOW THIS: The majority of toilet paper is bad for the environment.
WHY?: Millions of trees and tonnes of energy and water are used to produce them each year.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?: Switch to recycled paper.
I admit, I believed the myth that recycled toilet paper was substandard, rough and thin. As a result, I’ve spent most of my adult life eyeing up the recycled paper in the supermarket, knowing that’s what I should buy, but instead putting my bottom first, and going for the luxury quilted option. What I didn’t realise, was that this decision was causing more more environmental devastation, than if I were to drive a gas-guzzling car.
The majority of the toilet paper comes from ancient forests, and requires gallons of water and chemicals to be produced. In fact, according to The World Counts, the difference between virgin wood toilet paper and recycled toilet paper is 400 million trees, 660 million tons of water, and 45 million tons of oil each year. Yikes. And then there’s the plastic wrap that most are packaged in. It’s another shameful luxury that is killing our planet, and no doubt, future generations will look at our love for wiping our bums with virgin toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age.
Luckily our bottoms don’t have to suffer to save the environment. I can safely say that the preconceptions of recycled toilet paper are wrong – at least for the brand that I’ve tried anyway.
I’d like to point out now, that this article is in no way endorsed or sponsored by the brand I’m going to mention – I just think it’s awesome. I was drawn to Who Gives A Crap by their cool, graphic, environmentally friendly, plastic-free packaging, and so I thought I’d give it a go. Boy was I wrong about the recycled stuff! Their paper is so soft and surprisingly strong. It’s also really good value – equivalent to, or less than the cost of the toilet brands I used to use.
But what makes Who Gives A Crap even better, is the fact that they donate 50% of their profits to non-profit organisations, working to improve access to water and basic sanitation in developing countries. Sadly 2.3 billion people (roughly 40% of the world’s population) don’t have access to a toilet, and 800 children per day under five, die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. So knowing that you’re helping save lives as well as the environment, makes you actually feel good about buying toilet paper. Plus it looks super cool in your bathroom. Bonus!