Many of us may think that our individual ability to help the environment begins and ends with recycling our paper and plastics every week and not adding to pollution problems by making sure that we aren’t leaving our garbage all over the place.
But what if your choice in toilet paper could add even more ways to protect our planet? You could stock your bathrooms with typical hardwood virgin pulp tree toilet paper, recycled toilet paper, or bamboo toilet paper.
Find out the three ways that using bamboo toilet paper will also offer the added benefit of helping the environment more so than hardwood virgin pulp tree toilet paper and recycled toilet paper.
Water and Chemicals
The felling of trees requires fuel and emissions from heavy machinery. Lots of water is also consumed in the process. But that is not the end of the bamboo benefits:
- Bamboo doesn’t use fertilizer or pesticides.
- Bamboo is capable of being water efficient depending on the climate that it is grown in.
- 56 billion gallons of chemicals are used to bleach traditional hardwood virgin pulp tree toilet paper.
- Studies show that the use of toilet paper has a worse environmental impact than high-fuel-consumption vehicles.
- Trees for toilet paper have to be taken to processing facilities to make the necessary pulp, which is a contributor to carbon production.
Most of the toilet paper used in the United States doesn’t come from sustainable or recycled materials. Instead it is coming from virgin wood pulp that is retrieved from centuries-old trees grown in the Canadian boreal forest.
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency says that just one hardwood tree creates about 100 pounds of toilet paper and approximately 83 million rolls are manufactured every day. In other words, people are consuming about 27,000 trees daily to provide toilet paper that will obviously be thrown away immediately after it is used.
That is an incredible number of trees that have to be cut down in order to make an extremely temporary product. This is one reason why bamboo toilet paper makes for a highly effective way to help the environment. Bamboo is technically a grass and not a hardwood. So, bamboo grows back practically as fast as it is removed from the ground.
Since 2009, somewhere between 25% and 50% of the toilet paper that is utilized in the United States originates from tree farms in the U.S. and South America. The rest of that toilet paper comes from second growth forests, and some stems from virgin forests as well.
Reduce Paper Consumption
Americans use roughly 50 pounds of tissue paper per year, 50% more than Japan or the average of Western countries. The millions of trees getting harvested in North America and Latin America are creating understandable ecological footprint worries.
But by using bamboo toilet paper instead, we can all take advantage of an earth-friendly alternative and decrease hardwood-made paper by a significant amount. Bamboo can also potentially absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, which is one of the biggest greenhouse gasses. Bamboo is an economic benefit to people in some of the poorest regions in the world.
Just how fast can bamboo grow?
- Bamboo is currently the fastest growing plant in the world with record speeds of 1.2 metres in growth per day. It only takes bamboo 4 months to grow to its maximum height.
- Trees take about 30 years to reach their prime height.
- The more bamboo is cut, the more it grows.
By wiping with bamboo toilet paper, you can help wipe out the massive consumption of paper, deforestation, water, and chemicals.