Toilet paper guilt

When I was a kid back on our bush farm I knew what it was like to wipe my backside with pages from the Eatons catalogue, and compared to that experience I think most toilet paper is  pretty luxurious.  In other words I don’t require quilted TP that’s been soaked in skin lotion.  Recycled content is fine, and I don’t mind if it hasn’t been bleached to a brilliant white.

However when I read about the latest Greenpeace campaign against soft toilet paper I thought it went overboard in demonizing the Canadian forest industry.

I think that this response by Patrick Moore (former Greenpeace director) provides a good rebuttal.  A couple of  excerpts:

…Paper is made from the sawdust and chips left over from sawmilling, and from logs that are not suitable for making lumber. In environmental terms this is the beneficial use of what would otherwise be a waste product. Indeed, the parts of the log that are not suitable for paper, such as the bark and fine sawdust, are burned to make energy to run the sawmill and to dry the lumber.

In the end, 100 per cent of the tree is used. What is wrong with that?

Greenpeace and the NRDC claim that cutting trees to make paper is causing deforestation and huge emissions of greenhouse gas. This is simply false. Nearly all deforestation is caused by clearing forests for agriculture or for human settlement. Forestry causes reforestation, the opposite of deforestation. To verify this all one need do is read State of the World’s Forests by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

The International Panel on Climate Change and the Kyoto Climate Treaty specifically recognize that forest management plays a positive role in absorbing CO2 and preventing its release in the first place. It is stunning that Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist for the NRDC, seems to be unaware of this.

Full article here.

2 Responses to “Toilet paper guilt”

  1. Marc says:

    Little anecdote (don’t read over a meal): I was a little sick one day out tree planting. Went to do my business in the tree line, but it was a bit of a catastrophe. Not only did I use my t-shirt sleeves (very common out there), but my whole shirt. Had to ditch my underwear as well.

    (Of course, we usually carried a roll of TP in our backpacks. I just happened to be out that day.)

  2. Phil L says:

    Thanks for sharing that anecdote.
    And thanks for the warning – I’m glad I wasn’t eating.