Breaking the Habit of Too much TP

Abbey Castor

August 1, 2020

We all know the pandemic wreaked havoc on our toilet paper supply as people everywhere rushed to the stores to stock pile as if it were the actual apocalypse.

TP shortages caused some of us to really think about how much we are actually using when we gotta “go”. Just how many squares on average are you using?

Well according to a survey taken by Charmin measuring user experience with toilet paper people typically use 8.6 squares per use. If the average person goes to the bathroom six times a day, then in one year the average person is using around 20,000 sheets of toilet paper….Crazy right?

Small things add up and I think that noticing the importance of how much we all individually waste, especially when it comes to something as controllable as a sheet of toilet paper, can make a big difference.

Question: Ever wonder why trees are brown, but all of the paper products we use are bright white?

Well toilet paper like most paper products are created from either recycled paper or from the cellulose in the tree fibers. Then the pulp is put through a bleaching process, giving it’s sparkling bright white pop. The word bleach comes from an old English word called blæcen meaning to whiten.

Do you know what bleach is?

To understand bleach, we must first understand chlorine. Chlorine gas was first used in warfare during WWI. Today it is very commonly used in the industrial world.

Chlorine is a naturally occurring element, but it so easily abused and overused in our products that we use. I always remembered the mr.yuck stickers my mom put on all of the cleaning products we used in the house. I could not understand why we would use it at all when it wasn’t any different than if I put it directly on my skin or if we used it to clean the same floor I would play on with my sister.

Too much chlorine exposure either from breathing, ingesting by drinking or eating, and touching can affect our health. Of course, it relates to how much and the route of exposure, however small things add up and I believe that through all of the short term exposures we are deeply hurting both our overall health/ wellbeing and the environment overtime without realizing it.

Bleach is a powerful oxidizer comprised of chlorine. Too much chlorine can be extremely harmful on human skin. All of the paper products we continually use and come in contact with are rubbing more and more and more chlorine onto our bodies. Our health is suffering as a result.

Although there is not a ton of research supporting indirect exposure from bleached paper products to human skin, there is a ton of research supporting what it does to the earth beneath our feet.

The products decompose and leach the chemical process into the soil when they are either thrown into the dump, or littered. The snowball effect: the soil over-nourished with chlorine can runoff into the streams and waterways which get into the ocean leading to more ocean acidification which leads to the destruction of natural habitats and wild animals including the extinction of coral reef which also rises the temperature of our oceans…. etc.

Every. Single. Thing. Is. Connected.

We have no idea how much chemicals from plants are either directly flooded into streams and waterways. If we stop buying the products containing the chemicals–they will be forced to stop making them eventually.

So, rather than choosing bright white napkins that are unnatural and do not belong in our world we should first opt for using reusables (when it comes to napkins, paper towels, and even paper.) As for toilet paper, there are tons of different products that aren’t put through the chemical bleaching products that get the job done just fine!

Who Gives a Crap offers a great alternative to grocery shore shopping by delivering right to your door. Don’t worry about the stockpile being low- order ahead on live and save the planet!

Seventh Generation has a wide variety of eco friendly products, and plant-based solutions to share to be able to provide for generations to come. They can be found in many Whole Foods nationwide and other grocery stores like Walmart and Target!

Stop feeding your money to the industries that are slowly killing us. We have to start investing our energy and money into the companies trying to make a difference so that we aren’t continuously living in a damaged world. If you are living under circumstances where non-bleached products aren’t accessible, that is okay. We can’t always control everything. However, what you can control is how many squares of toilet paper you wipe your tush with. Just TRY! Seriously. Next visit to the porcelain goddess count the sheets you use and it will help you to become more mindful in your wastefulness.

XOXO- Like, Share and REPOST!!

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