Is toilet paper unsustainable?
The trees that leading producers use take a long time to grow, and the production of toilet paper requires cutting down a large number of trees. One estimate asserted that more than one million acres of the Canadian boreal forest are clear-cut each year. Inhabitat reported that it takes an estimated 31.1 million trees each year to meet the demands for TP in the United States alone.
Additionally, manufacturing toilet paper is energy-intensive and releases tons of harmful carbon pollution into the atmosphere, contributing to the overheating our planet.
Toilet paper production is also very water-intensive. Scientific American reported that making a single roll of toilet paper takes an estimated 37 gallons of water. And since Americans use over 36 billion rolls of TP annually, it really adds up.
Improving toilet paper sustainability
Additionally, manufacturers can use more efficient production processes to reduce the energy and water used to produce toilet paper — although manufacturing conventional TP still requires significant resources.
There are tons of toilet paper brands that are limiting their environmental impact. But you don’t need to sift through all the options — the Natural Resources Defense Council ranks them yearly in its “The Issue with Tissue” reports.
If you’re looking to really up your bathroom game, you could swing for a bidet. With bidets, your toilet paper use will go down significantly while at the same time helping you become more hygienic, at least when used correctly, according to The Washington Post.
Although they have a higher upfront cost, bidets could save you an estimated $180 to $350 per year in reduced TP costs. Because bidets can be inexpensive to install and they do not add much to an electricity bill, a bidet may pay for itself in savings over a matter of months.
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