Marcal Small Steps – “Paper from Paper, Not from Trees”

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Is your preferred toilet paper thick and cuddly? Do you require layers of cushiony softness to pamper your bottom?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re like many U.S. consumers — me, included – who have a preference for a completely unsustainable and environmentally devastating product. I’d much rather use fluffy, soft paper than the thin, scratchy stuff found in many public restrooms. But there’s a huge problem with this predilection for spoiling ourselves.

Every time we use a roll of fluffy toilet paper, we are personally contributing to the death of a tree. Of course it doesn’t take a whole tree to make a roll of toilet paper. In fact, according to a New York Times article from last year, a single eucalyptus tree can produce 1,000 rolls of toilet paper. But wait a minute! We’re talking about harvesting living trees and virgin forests just for the sake of a little extra softness on our bottoms.

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Sneeze Guilt-Free with Greenpeace Tissue Guide

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“Did you know? Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family bought a roll of recycled toilet paper — just once.” — Greenpeace Tissue Guide

Joe is sitting in our office, coughing and blowing into a tissue (Kleenex). He’s got a mound of them in the wastebasket on the floor next to him. One after another, he blows and performs the other functions that go with a bad upper respiratory illness. Without the tissues, we’d need a dresserful of handkerchiefs, hot water, and detergent — to say nothing of the tolerance required for washing cloths filled with virus-borne nasal fluids. I’m grateful (as he is) for the ready convenience of facial tissues…

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