Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our Pampered Butts Are Destroying the Forests!

California Redwoods 2008 Photo by Jacob

I’ve blogged before how shocking it is to examine one’s own consumption and the consequences thereof; we’ve made great strides in our overarching family culture in terms of how much plastic, gift wrappings/trappings, and bottled drinks we consume. We recycle diligently, plant native species in our landscape and we’ve switched to geothermal HVAC in our home. Not good enough, I’ve learned. Not good enough.

Apparently, Americans (including my family) are deforesting the planet at an alarming rate for the sole purpose of wiping our snotty noses and pampered hineys with thick, soft, white paper. According to a New York Times article published on February 25, 2009, we Yanks use an average of 23.6 rolls of t.p. per capita. Anyone who has lived in house full of women can attest to that and then some.

While a mysophobe like myself is never going to switch to the hand and water method of some less industrialized cultures (as many of the more radical environmentalists suggest), I will certainly be more conscious of my hygienic choices. From here on out, it’s recycled toilet paper all the way! Greenpeace publishes a guide to the most environmentally-friendly disposable paper products on their website. Among the worst: Cottonelle (my former favorite). Among the best: Seventh Generation and Trader Joe’s!

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