Greengirlinc's Blog

Greening the world one blog at a time.

The Good, Bad and Ugly Paper Products June 23, 2010

Some of you have heard this message from me before; if you’ve converted good for you, if not….well, isn’t it time you got on board?  What am I writing about?  Recycled toilet paper.  I know some of you are hold-outs due to the perception that recycled toilet paper isn’t soft or cushy enough.  I promise you, there are some very nice and cushy toilet papers out there now.  I’ve tried a number of brands, and the softest one I’ve come across so far is Trader Joe’s 100% recycled toilet paper.  It is 80% post-consumer waste and is bleached without toxic chlorine.  Marcal Small Steps is probably the next softest, but it only has 30% post-consumer waste in the 100% recycled paper, and is bleached without chlorine.  Green Forest  and Seventh Generation are tied for 3rd place in softness, both have greatly improved over the last few years.  Green Forest has 90% post-consumer waste, the highest of any toilet papers on the market, and Seventh Generation has 80% post-consumer.  Both these papers use an eco-friendly, non-chlorine bleaching process.  There are other toilet papers on the market, but I’ve not seen them where I live.  Greenpeace has an online, downloadable guide that rates the different paper products on the market.  It rates toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, and paper napkins.  Of course, most of those items could be replaced with cloth options, but if you have to use one of these in their paper form, then at least pick the most eco-friendly one you can.

One piece of good news is that Kimberly-Clark, maker of Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle has stopped cutting down old-growth forests for toilet paper and other paper products.  Yeah!!!  I wrote a satirical paper about toilet paper and old-growth forests.  I’m happy that the paper is obsolete, but it’s still a fun read.  If you haven’t read it, you can find it on my blog at The Poor Consumer and Their Toilet Paper.  If your reason for not buying recycled TP is cost, then consider this: if you replace your paper napkins and paper towels with cloth napkins and paper towel replacements like Skoy or Mü, you will save enough money to offset the slightly higher cost of recycled TP.  Remember, even though an old growth forest is not being cut down for toilet paper, doesn’t mean it’s not hard on the environment.  Does it make sense to cut down a tree for your hind end?  Turning trees into toilet paper uses massive amounts of energy and water.  Changing to recycled toilet paper is a choice you can feel good about, and it will reduce your Carbon Footprint.


3 Responses to “The Good, Bad and Ugly Paper Products”

  1. We use 7th Gen because we can order a case on and get it plastic free. The rolls are wrapped in paper.

  2. greengirlinc Says:

    That is great to know. Thanks, Lisa!

  3. Natalie Says:

    This is a great post. the subject of “family cloths” comes up once in a while at the office here and despite our mission to eliminate disposables where ever they lurk, that one’s always met with a resounding “NOOOOOO!”

    Like Lisa, we order recycled toilet paper in bulk on Amazon. We actually have a subscription so we save about 15% on it.

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