Do people know that they are literally flushing forests down the toilet? Tossing trees into the trash? That’s just what they are doing with their Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and Puffs facial tissues.

Procter & Gamble, which supplies these disposables, is a leading driver in destroying the largest intact forest left on earth, the vast Canadian boreal forest. It is the biggest U.S. importer of tissue pulp from Canada. Combined, logging, oil, gas and mining operations there are clearcutting the equivalent of one small city block per minute, reports the National Resources Defense Council.

Not only is this old-stand timber home to multitudes of bird and animal species, but it also is the most carbon-dense forest on the planet, storing twice as much carbon as there is in all the world’s recoverable oil reserves. And old growth forest, which has never been logged, stores up to 50 percent more carbon per acre than previously logged areas. Basically, intact boreal forests function as the lungs of the planet.

So, what can we do to protect this irreplaceable resource? Obviously, we can use less fossil fuel, but we have an easy solution to paper throwaways literally at our fingertips. Instead of Charmin, toilet tissue made from recyclables or bamboo is readily available, and bidets are becoming more commonplace in America. Reusable cloth towels and handkerchiefs can replace Bounty and Puffs. Not buying their pulp-derived throwaways would send a strong message to P&G: Stop flushing forests!

Rachel Burger
South Portland

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: