Toilet paper. We use it every single day without thinking twice about it. The U.S. is the largest consumer of toilet paper in the world; every year, the average household goes through around 409 equivalized regular rolls.
But there is a dark side to this everyday necessity. It’s not always produced sustainably.
According to a report by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) called “The Issue With Tissue,” major toilet paper brands—including Charmin and Kirkland Signature—are ruining the environment by using primarily freshly cut trees to make their products.
Every day, 27,000 trees are cut down to produce toilet paper. But there is a more sustainable alternative: bamboo.
Why Choose Bamboo?
Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on the planet–it can grow 3 feet in the space of 24 hours, without any need for fertilizer or pesticides. It doesn’t need to be replanted and can be harvested just once a year. It doesn’t require as much water as hardwood trees and it gives back to the environment by producing 35 percent more oxygen.
It also provides excellent soil erosion control. Bamboo roots spread out, forming a barrier to erosion, helping the soil to retain its nutrients.
On top of this, bamboo is also kind to your bum, because it’s super soft.
California-based brand Reel Paper uses bamboo to make its plastic-free, biodegradable, 3-ply toilet paper. By purchasing Reel Paper over mainstream brands, you’re helping to reduce deforestation.
According to the NRDC, the U.S’s toilet paper use is having a “dramatic” impact on forests, particularly Canada’s boreal forest, which is home to 600 indigenous communities and covers nearly 60 percent of the country.
As well as providing a home for people and wildlife, the forest is important in the fight against the climate crisis. It can absorb the equivalent of 24 million car emissions every single year. But since 1996, around 28 million acres have been cut down. Twenty-three percent of the forest’s exports is virgin pulp–one of toilet paper’s main ingredients.
“With over 27,000 trees being cut down daily to make toilet paper, we felt compelled to do something about it,” Reel Paper’s co-founder Derin Oyekan told LIVEKINDLY.
“We started Reel to introduce a more sustainable, earth-friendly option for making something almost everyone uses,” he continued. “We are just getting started on our mission to convert people from using tree-based paper products.”
By choosing Reel Paper, you’re also supporting a nonprofit called SOIL Haiti. The brand’s partner works to remove waste and provide toilets to communities that need them. According to the organization, in Haiti, only 30 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation.
According to the United Nations, 4.2 billion people around the world live without safe sanitation, which is a “hygienic, private toilet that safely disposes of people’s waste.” This can lead many to defecate outside, contributing to the transmission of diseases, including cholera.
SOIL Haiti’s work helps to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, simultaneously protecting vulnerable aquatic ecosystems. The waste collected by the nonprofit is safely treated and transformed into compost, which is then sold on to support reforestation and climate change mitigation efforts.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our work with SOIL,” said Michael McGarry, Reel Paper’s brand manager. “Not only are they providing access to much-needed toilets for those in need, but they are also transforming waste into useful fertilizer utilized by local farmers to grow food for their communities.”
Available in packs of 24, Reel Paper delivers its rolls straight to your door, so not only is the brand better for the planet and the people, but it’s convenient too.
One box costs $29.99. If you want to subscribe, you can choose from 4, 8, or twelve-week plans, which can be paused or canceled at any time. Check out the brand here.
This is a sponsored post.