Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recyled toilet paper...

Recycled toilet paper is a great way to help conserve our resources. Before you say "ewwww" we're not talking about re-using toilet paper (which I'm sure you understand is pretty much impossible to do!), we're talking about using post-consumer paper products to make toilet paper. While wandering around reading information about recycling toilet paper we did find a reference to one made from recycled plastic but it didn't get many favorable reviews (OK, it received none at all) so we didn't go any further on that one.

Believe it or not, this is a big topic with so much information available that it will be impossible to begin to touch on all the value in buying recycled toilet paper. We're just going to touch lightly on the topic.

A lot of main-stream companies are now jumping on the conservation bandwagon and offering recycled toilet paper choices. For those of us who've been willing to look a bit harder, there have been not-quite-mainstream choices for many, many years.

Some of the recycled choices are a bit more expensive than the regular tissues we're used to buying, others are less expensive. One difficulty we've found over the years is that most stores only offer smaller packages of recycled toilet paper.

If you're truly trying to help the environment, look for brands that unbleached or use a non-chlorine whitener. The color isn't quite as crisp and white in the unbleached as those that are bleached, but they're much better for our environment and probably less harmful to our bodies, too. If you want white, go with the one that uses a non-chlorine whitener. Chlorine (bleach) is a by-product of a toxic family of chemicals known as dioxins.

If you don't want to use recycled toilet paper, consider buying one-ply instead of two-ply. There's not really that much difference in the thickness as 1-ply is 13# thick while the 2-ply is made up of two 10# thick sheets. The cost for a roll of 1-ply is a bit more usually, but it lasts longer as most people use the same number of sheets whether it's one or two-ply.

Here's a few "fun" facts about toilet paper:

  • In 1996 President Clinton imposed a toilet paper tax of 6 cents per roll.
  • A standard sheet of toilet paper measures 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
  • According to Charmin, the average person uses 57 sheets a day
  • From
    How many consumer products will one cord of wood yield?
    *1,000 pounds of toilet paper, or…
    *30 Boston Rockers, or
    *12 dining room tables (each table seats eight), or
    *7,500,000 toothpicks, or
    *460,000 personal checks, or
    *89,870 sheets of letter head bond paper (size 8 ½" s 11"), or
    *61,370 standard #10 envelopes, or
    *14,384,000 commemorative-size postage stamps, or
    *1,200 copies of the National Geographic, or *
    2,700 copies of the average daily paper (35 pages), or
    *250 copies of the Sunday New York Times, or
    *942 one-pound books, or
    *the heating value of one ton of coal, or
    *the heating value of 200 gallons of fuel oil
Want to find out more? Here are some sources we found helpful:

Community News You Can Use

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