Guest post by Laura Westmore
The toilet is a place of consideration, don’t lie, I’ve seen those books on “how to get rich” stashed in the magazine rack, or “toilet jokes”. I’ve often thought, who spends so long on the toilet that they can read a whole book?! Either way, it’s a place all of us spend quite a bit of time over our lifetimes and it got me thinking about the most taken for granted household luxury, toilet paper. I wonder how eco-friendly it is, so I got searching and it turns out that toilet paper isn’t very good for the planet. Here’s why.
How much toilet paper do we use?
I’m not talking about whether you’re a folder or a scruncher, I’m talking about as people, every day. It turns out that just over 83 million rolls of toilet paper are made every single day. That’s a lot of bum wiping. However, these production methods require machinery, plastic packaging, loads of trees and a lot of planet-killing production methods.
That’s a lot of production, but how many rolls are you personally responsible for? On average a person will use 8 - 9 sheets a trip, and we also have a habit of using toilet paper for blowing our nose, wiping our face, covering the toilet seat, packaging, cleaning, the list goes on. All this usage for one person results in the destruction of 384 trees per human. So yup, your butt is causing a big environmental issue. With 7.4 billion people on the planet, you do the maths, but that’s more trees than we have on this earth (probably). However, 75% of people don’t actually use TP because of lack of access to a toilet or because they use something else. Hand. Water. Leaf. Whatever. It’s better for the planet at least.
How long does toilet paper take to decompose?
The jury is out, and how long it takes to decompose depends on the way it is disposed of. It ranges from 30 days to 5 months, usually averaging about 2. Which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t terrible but that doesn’t regrow those 384 trees. Brits are apparently the worst, each of us flushes 17.6 kilos down the loo every year, which is the approximate weight of a 3-year-old child.
The Solution: How can we have eco-bums?
So after some research, I came across some good news for our planet killing butts. There is a social good enterprise called Who Gives A Crap, who make eco-friendly TP. Their products are made from old books and newspapers or bamboo, as is all their packaging. Their ethics result in a no tree killing, no chemicals, also, NO plastic policy. As if that wasn’t enough, Who Gives A Crap donate 50% of their profits to building toilets for those without access to one. You can finally feel good and do good whilst wiping.
I am 25 now, so I’ve killed roughly 96 trees already :( stop and think. Start giving a crap about the planet and stop flushing it down the toilet. They even do a subscription service so you don’t run out. They EVEN have a roll called “emergency roll” for the last one before the next order, they are awesome. Rumour has it their TP is as soft as a unicorn and as strong as 1000 ponies so...check back for my review to see if it’s true.