By Maryclaire Manard
Let’s Talk Toilet Paper…
Our latest recommended swap is one that is a small consumer change with the ability to make a huge impact. Did you know that 1 million trees are cut down EVERY DAY to make traditional, virgin tree pulp toilet paper? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if every household in the U.S. swapped out just one single roll (500 sheets) of virgin fiber toilet paper with a recycled paper roll, it would save 424,000 trees. 🌳
That’s right. Swapping your TP means your bum 🍑 can feel a lot better for not contributing to deforestation. We have the brands to try and the brands to avoid, and all the juicy details why below 👇
Our Top Pick: Who Gives a Crap 🧻
This brand makes it to the top of our list for the ultimate TP pick. Here’s why:
🌎 Better for the planet – Who Gives a Crap makes 100% post consumer waste recycled paper products (like from old textbooks, office paper, etc), and they also make bamboo paper products. Bamboo as a raw material is way more efficient than trees because it grows faster and can be harvested more frequently. Plus, they’re plastic free… perfect for plastic-free July!
👥 Better for people – The founders of the brand are committed to solving the fact that 2 billion people in the world don’t have access to a toilet, and that contaminated water contributes to 1million deaths per year. 50% of profits are donated to projects that build toilets and bring clean water to people everywhere.
💵 A worthy swap – This brand is actually more cost efficient on a per-sheet basis than your standard brands. The cost of their 100% recycled 48-roll pack comes out to 31 cents per 100 sheets (their rolls are 400 sheets per roll). A 30-roll Charmin mega pack comes out to 39 cents per 100 sheets for reference. Plus, with Cluey, you get $10 off your first subscription order when using the code CLUEY101 at checkout. Valid on first-time subscribers in US, UK and AU on orders over $47. The bulk size of the order means you won’t have to worry about refilling for a long time either.
🍑 Good on your bum – We tested this brand on multiple bums in the households of members of the Cluey team… One of our internal reviews from a family member came back with, “it’s the goldilocks of toilet paper.. not too soft, and not too hard. Gets the job done magnificently.”
Another Option: Seventh Generation
If you’re looking for a brand with more optionality in terms of order size, or one that you could buy right now in just about every major retailer, then our next best pick is Seventh Generation. This brand, now owned by parent company Unilever, is also a B-Corp Certified brand, and similarly scores well on Cluey. They help to cut down the negative impact of paper products by making recycled options similar to Who Gives a Crap. Not to mention, they sell other cleaning products like detergents and surface cleaners. A downside? They’re not plastic-free, Click here to shop.
Brands to Avoid: The Status Quo
The other major TP brands (that continue to rely on virgin wood pulp) and their parent companies have simply not done enough to reduce the devastating impact of their industry being a major contributor of deforestation. Not to mention, for Georgia-Pacific owned brands, like Quilted Northern and Angel Soft — they’re owned by an ultimate parent company, Koch Industries, which has remained as one of the few international companies to maintain business operations in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year (although they’ve said they’re looking at an exit strategy). This move has been met with criticism by many consumers.
The National Resources Defense Council releases an annual “Issue with Tissue” report laying out the devastating effects of TP on the climate. One of the reports co-authors said, “Our planet has no time for the largest companies in the world to take half-measures or deflect blame.”
Check out this infographic they released as part of the report ranking how brands performed:
Maryclaire is the CEO and Founder of Cluey Consumer. She started Cluey out of her personal frustration with the inconvenience and difficulty of aligning consumer behavior with personal political, social, and environmental values.
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