Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are You Wiping Out Virgin or Ancient-Growth Forest When Wiping Your A**?

Mr. Whipple was on the right track with his cry of:
"Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin!".

To This I Would Add...
"Please Don't Buy The Charmin."

... Or any other chlorine-bleached, virgin forest-based, ancient/old growth forest-based toilet tissue - for that matter.

Why Not?

If you insist on wiping your a** with one of the massively marketed brands of chlorine-bleached, triple-ply, quilted, ultra-, mega-, softer-than-a-baby's-butt bathroom tissues...

You are contributing to the decimation of virgin and old-growth forests to a degree that is even more damaging to our shared environment than if you were driving your gas-guzzling, negligible mileage-getting, Stupid Urban Vehicle to CrapDonald's for some super-sized fast faux food.

Not only that...
You are a Boil on the Buttocks of Humanity.

(Hopefully Not.)

"Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forests, clean water, and wildlife habitat. It's easier on the Earth to make tissues from paper instead of trees." - Greenpeace
(Greenpeace's website offers a Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.)

"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."
- From the Great Law of the Iroquois


(Greenpeace image)

From: www.guardian.co.uk/.)

American Taste For Soft Toilet Roll Is 'Worse Than Driving Hummers'
- Extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply toilet roll made from virgin wood causes more damage than gas-guzzlers, fast food or McMansions, say campaigners -

By: Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 February 2009 18.29 GMT

The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public's insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.

"This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council.

"Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution." Making toilet paper has a significant impact because of chemicals used in pulp manufacture and cutting down forests.

A campaign by Greenpeace seeks to raise consciousness among Americans about the environmental costs of their toilet habits and counter an aggressive new push by the paper industry giants to market so-called luxury brands.

More than 98% of the toilet roll sold in America comes from virgin wood, said Hershkowitz. In Europe and Latin America, up to 40% of toilet paper comes from recycled products. Greenpeace this week launched a cut-out-and-keep ecological ranking of toilet paper products.

"We have this myth in the US that recycled is just so low quality, it's like cardboard and is impossible to use," said Lindsey Allen, the forestry campaigner of Greenpeace.

The campaigning group says it produced the guide to counter an aggressive marketing push by the big paper product makers in which celebrities talk about the comforts of luxury brands of toilet paper and tissue.

Those brands, which put quilting and pockets of air between several layers of paper, are especially damaging to the environment.

Paper manufacturers such as Kimberly-Clark have identified luxury brands such as three-ply tissues or tissues infused with hand lotion as the fastest-growing market share in a highly competitive industry. Its latest television advertisements show a woman caressing tissue infused with hand lotion.

The New York Times reported a 40% rise in sales of luxury brands of toilet paper in 2008. Paper companies are anxious to keep those percentages up, even as the recession bites. And Reuters reported that Kimberly-Clark spent $25m in its third quarter on advertising to persuade Americans against trusting their bottoms to cheaper brands.

But Kimberly-Clark, which touts its green credentials on its website, rejects the idea that it is pushing destructive products on an unwitting American public.

Dave Dixon, a company spokesman, said toilet paper and tissue from recycled fibre had been on the market for years. If Americans wanted to buy them, they could.

"For bath tissue Americans in particular like the softness and strength that virgin fibres provides," Dixon said. "It's the quality and softness the consumers in America have come to expect."

Longer fibres in virgin wood are easier to lay out and fluff up for a softer tissue. Dixon said the company used products from sustainbly farmed forests in Canada.

Americans already consume vastly more paper than any other country — about three times more per person than the average European, and 100 times more than the average person in China.

Barely a third of the paper products sold in America are from recycled sources — most of it comes from virgin wood.

"I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenon," said Hershkowitz. "People just don't understand that softness equals ecological destruction."

• This article was amended on Wednesday 4 March 2009. We mistakenly referred to virgin forests when virgin wood, which includes that from planted, managed forests, was meant. This has been corrected.

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