Could It Be This Simple … Choose the Right Toilet Paper to Save the Forests … a World Challenge!
Who recalls the panicked run on toilet paper a few months ago when a virus became a psychological thriller to ensure your private indoor plumbing was never empty of toilet paper?
As an eco-fiction writer and keen researcher about all ecological matters, once in a while I come across an article that changed my mindset with a new implication that HEMP could save the world because toilet paper is an area that can be improved. Read the article yourself.
What I learned made me appreciate even more the wonder of nature itself and more worry about human development of business models misaligned with Nature’s long term consequences and ecological survival.
Why Hemp makes an excellent toilet paper…
The fibers are softer than trees, naturally odorless, resistant to mold and several other fungi, have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which ensure healthy skin. It is both durable and absorbent, absorbing four times its weight!
It is more biodegradable than any other toilet paper.
Why Hemp is better than toilet paper from a trees…
Hemp toilet paper is cheaper to make using less energy and chemicals in the process. To create paper, you only need the cellulose part of the plant. The trees contain 30% cellulose and harsh chemicals are needed to break down the plant to recover the 30%. Hemp contains up to 85% cellulose, almost three times more than trees.
Hemp produces four times more material (cellulose fibers) per acre than trees. Ten tons of hemp can be grown on an acre, making it the best biomass in the world.
Trees need 50 to 100 years before they can be harvested and turned into toilet paper. Hemp production is ready in 70 days.
Hemp pulp paper can be made without any chemicals.
Why is Hemp Better for Earth’s environment?
It can reduce landfill where a quarter of all solid waste comes from pulp and paper mills. One ton of paper pollutes 76 liters of water. (I know, I live near a town that produces pulp and paper.)
It can also reduce recycled paper waste in landfills or incinerators … even in a digital environment, offices continue to use vast amounts of paper consumption … an increase by 400% in 40 years.
It can reduce toxic air waste … if the average person uses an average of 22 kilos of toilet paper a year, then the production of pulp and paper is responsible for 20% of all toxic air waste.
It can reduce massive deforestation to make paper, including toilet paper where 35% of trees felled are used for paper making.
Always remember that trees absorb carbon dioxide thus help to mitigate greenhouse gases produced by human activity. They play an important role in carbon sequestration, or the capture and storage of excess carbon dioxide including the soil. It is estimated that a mature tree can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and releases enough oxygen to breathe for two years!
Sometimes a historical perspective can show the intersection between nature and business marketplace development. Before mass production, the story of toilet paper began with a variety of plants that sufficed … often dependent on status … hemp, leaves, hay, or the nearby stream.
In 1857 the first invented commercial toilet paper in the US was made from Manila hemp leaves moistened with aloe and sold as medicated toilet paper versus tearing pages from the catalog.
In 1867, the Scott brothers started making dry toilet paper from wood chips pulp that was chemically bleached with chlorine dioxide. This relatively cheap convenience soon dominated the world market and the brand Scott Paper Company remains the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of sanitary tissue products with operations in 22 countries.
Try and imagine the vast tracts of trees that were cut down for both commercial lumber and make toilet paper for a few cents.
Today farmers and business know that an acre of hemp can make four times as much paper as a single acre of forest in 70 days versus 50 years.
Could it be this simple … choose the right toilet paper to save the forests
… a world challenge!
Surely, everybody can see the logic along with environmentalists why hemp products should be used as alternative. Facts prove the logic that hemp toilet paper would save millions of trees, move towards a greener future and help save our planet!
In fact, toilet paper, made from the industrial hemp plant, has been sold in other countries for some time. Consumers have always been the best regulators of marketplaces. Perhaps it is our turn to take the toilet paper challenge and check out hemp products’ suppliers on the internet. A small step can be as simple as replacing your regular toilet paper with hemp-based toilet paper.
I certainly have done my due diligence and will try some Hempies!
In conclusion, the question to ask yourself is:
If you could help save a third of the world’s forests and their ecological benefits to the Earth, would you consider changing your sanitation habits to hemp toilet paper?
I look forward to your answers and comments.
PS: Another interesting side note about the roles of business and government and their personal justifications for using our natural environment.
Who will ever know the quirk of nature that allows hemp to contain the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can produces psychoactive effects in humans? However, hemp has a variety of cannabis that has only small amounts of THC relative to that grown for the production of marijuana.
In the 1930’s hemp was poised to be a billion-dollar crop with Henry Ford a big supporter, and marijuana was a common ingredient in medical products until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 killed the growth of the industry. In 1970, President Nixon classified hemp with no current medical use and high potential for abuse in Schedules of the Controlled Substances Act and hemp became illegal along with drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana (cannabis).
In 1998, the Canadian government made marijuana legal, both in terms of recreational use and medical applications. I believe it is so important to pursue scientific studies for medical cannabis use and learn all we can about this all-purpose miracle plant from Nature.
In the meantime, long live Hempies!