Until we come up with a viable alternative to toilet paper, our only options are recycled versus the fluffy white. Here’s our question: Why are people still using the “regular” stuff at all?We did a quick Amazon search and price comparison of Seventh Generation versus Kleenex Cottonelle, the Kleenex is only 1.5 cents a roll less than the Seventh Generation. Prices for the recycled stuff have come down far enough to be competitive with the standard toilet paper, so at this point it doesn't seem like it should be because of the price.
According to a recent Washington Post article the “big” toilet-paper makers say that they've taken steps to become more Earth-friendly but their customers still want the soft stuff, so they're still selling it. The problem is, according to the article, plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old. So in essence, we’re deforesting the oldest, best trees to make some of the nicest paper, that we then use to eliminate one of the dirtiest things and then we flush it down the toilet. And then it’s gone.
I could care less about the type of toilet paper I use; the softness, quilts and number of plies just don’t matter to me as long as it does the job. I’m fine with using the less soft stuff and if it means paying an extra couple of cents to avoid cutting down additional trees than I’m for all it. It’s that simple for me, but clearly it matters more to other people and it’s an ongoing debate in our household.
The Washington Post article is a great read on why virgin wood fibers are softer than recycled and the steps various organizations have taken to change the manufacturing process.
So, we’re curious readers, does it matter to you? Why are we still talking about it and how have you handled the topic in your household?
• Ever-Green Toilet Paper
• Survey: Recycled Toilet Paper?
• Green Alternative to Toilet Paper?
(Image: Flickr member Est Bleu2007 licensed for use under Creative Commons)