Hands up those of you that buy the toilet paper for the family? Don’t be surprised if it’s mainly the women reading this that say “Yeah, that’s me”. Recently the Sydney Morning Herald stated that women makes 75% of the everyday purchasing decision for the family. And I’m thinking 75% people reading this post agree with that statistic and 75% people reading this wish that some other lazy SOB would pick up some damn toilet paper on their way home from work before the family has to resort to the box of tissues, paper towel, phone book or even leaves!
Our toilet paper, can anyone tell me what its made out of? 99% of our toilet paper is made out of paper (duh), which is made from trees! So I want you to think about toilet tissue in terms of trees, yes trees. 9 million trees are flushed down the toilet every year and 8 millions tonnes of plastic enter our landfill just to make toilet paper!
Let’s put it this way…Imagine you are walking in the forest, say your local state forest, enjoying nature listening to the breeze in the trees, the crickets rubbing their little legs together and all of a sudden you hear a distant flush, and all around you in 1 minute 17 full grown trees disappear from all around you! Seventeen life giving, carbon absorbing, oxygen producing trees gone! Forever, well not forever but to regrow those trees takes on average 30 years. Just to produce toilet paper.
Now imagine, at the end of a hard days work you are soaking in a full tub of lovely warm bath water, maybe with a glass of wine and a good book (ebook) and that same distant flush happens and suddenly your bath empties! You see it takes 140 litres of water to make one toilet roll, that’s enough to fill a large bathtub.
Most of the toilet rolls that you buy in the conventional fashion from the supermarket are covered in plastic, even the eco friendly ones using recycled paper are wrapped in non biodegradable plastic, and why? If they were wrapped in paper we would save all that plastic entering our landfill, the outer covering could be used to write on, wrap veggie scraps and ultimately composted.
The roll in the centre of the toilet paper is the subject of hundreds of Pinterest Boards on the internet and yet how many of these biodegradable, compostable, useful handy crafty things and squashed into the garbage bin every week. Average toilet paper consumption across the globe stands at 100 rolls per person per year, so an average family of four uses 400 rolls that you could use to sprout seedlings in, create Christmas crackers from or feed to the worm farm or compost heap.
Now given my comments at the beginning of my post, I don’t want you to think I am advocating using leaves to take care of business, or to renounce the use of toilet paper altogether. What I am encouraging you to do is finding alternatives to the supermarket toilet paper rolls.
Now I’m not going to leave you hanging, I have some answers and whilst this is a product it is not something I make any money from endorsing, but I feel the need to educate all bum wipers that they do have choices. My toilet paper of choice comes from pureplanet.com.au Pure Planet, an online shop that produces toilet paper that is tree free, chemical free, totally biodegradable, hand wrapped in tissue paper and sent to you in a recyclable cardboard box which even has colouring in panels on the sides to keep the child in you amused.
You may picture sticks of bamboo as scratchy things you wouldn’t want anywhere near your nether region but if you have ever felt the undies, tee shirts and baby blankets that are being produced from sustainable bamboo you would recognise that bamboo has the ability to produce a soft, smooth, breathable product.
Remember the 30 year trees, well bamboo takes only 3 months to regenerate, making it super sustainable. This toilet paper is made from 100% bamboo and sugar cane mulch.
There are other alternatives if you google them you’ll find another company which has colourful paper wrapped toilet tissue called Who Gives a Crap. They divert some of their profits from their recycled toilet paper to provide sanitation in underdeveloped countries which is fabulous. But I’ve been the test dummy for you all and have tried both and for the reasons I have stated and a degree of comfort I have chosen Pure Planet as my tissue of choice.
You see we are all just so busy, head down bum up busy and many times as the person most responsible for making the purchasing decisions for our families we forget to choose #consciousness rather than convenience when it comes to our consumer choices. I know, I live this too, I’ve also been caught short without my reusable tote, bread bags, keep cup, but when I am, I just think outside the box.
To save you doing your research I have done it for you with just this one product, but there are many other everyday products that we should be finding alternatives for, like plastic toothbrushes, party balloons, disposable plates and cutlery. What I want to do is encourage you when you shop to #use the Planet as your lens when you make your purchasing decisions.
Yes its about your bum saving the Planet, yes its about your teeth saving the Planet, but its all about You saving the Planet by implementing incremental incy wincy changes that will be multiplied by the people you influence, the family, the check out operator, the lady at the bakery, the person standing next in the queue.
One Planet, one person, one bum at a time, we can all make a difference.