Did you know that there is a three-ply toilet paper on the market? Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is the first TP on the shelves to go triple-ply. Maybe those of you who demand a lot from your toilet tissue already knew that, but it was news to me. Sad news at that.
According to environmentalists, toilet paper is usually made from trees that are a few decades—or perhaps even a century—old. The reason? Apparently, each sheet of TP is a web of wood fibers and quite simply put, the fibers from old growth trees are longer and produce a smoother web. Toilet paper made from recycled paper (e.g. newspaper, magazines, etc.) has shorter fibers, which are likely to be a bit coarser.
Now, some people may counter with the fact that toilet paper represents only a small percentage of products that are derived from trees in the forest. Frankly, I don't care. Do we really need to contribute to deforestation for an extra ply?
Then, there's the ripple effect. Wood pulp that comes from natural forests destroys ecosystems that wild animals and birds depend upon for their survival. And, pulp from wood farms takes up land that would otherwise be left in its natural state.
Europe is ahead of the U.S. in so many ways. Its citizens have been using toilet paper made from recycled paper goods for quite some time. But, here in America, we continue to be a society that makes purchases based on wants instead of needs. Consumer demands drive new products and until Americans truly embrace a lifestyle based on social responsibility, there is no real hope for the green movement in this country.