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08 March 2013 @ 01:33 pm
I think a lot of people may not know that extra fluffy toilet paper is disproportionately environmentally impactful because of its need for long fibers, which mostly come from virgin wood. I know it's a lot softer on your dainty bits than the recycled stuff, but it's much harder on the world.

The Hebrew Hammercock: pic#820100hammercock on March 9th, 2013 04:49 am (UTC)
Plus, certain styles of extra-fluffy TP leave lots of lint behind, which I hate. I'd rather have something thinner and lintless, and buy recycled-paper TP whenever I can. It's always seemed to me pretty dumb to waste virgin paper on wiping your bits.

There's some discussion of bidets as a less wasteful alternative in the comments. Since those are uncommon in the US, there are two easy and inexpensive alternatives to bidets. One is a bidet toilet seat, which could cost anywhere from ~$60 to as much as ~$1400, depending on brand and style. The other is a handheld bidet or cloth diaper sprayer, which costs $30-$150. The advantage to the seat is that some of them can warm the water; the advantage to the sprayer is that it's inexpensive and easier to aim.

Y'know, in case anyone is curious about how they might go about using less of such stuff. :-} There's also the whole "family cloth" thing, but I have to say that I just don't see too many Americans getting into that.
sarahshevettsarahshevett on March 9th, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
What is "virgin wood"?
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 9th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
sarahshevettsarahshevett on March 9th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
I was actually asking you
for your definition. I know how to do a web search. Did you actually look at the link you sent me? Which of those "definitions" are you using in this instance?

We live in logging country where pulp and wood products are part of our everyday life. Many of my friends work in mills or in the woods.
I have never heard the term "virgin wood".
From what I can tell ( from googling it myself..not exactly the answer I was looking for) virgin wood=trees. Or chips. Or treated fiber. Or untreated fiber. Or cellulose in any form.
It is not an industry term.

I was asking you.

Is it just non recycled cellulose? Like lumber? Or firewood? Or wood shavings? Or just any plant based product that is not recycled?
And how is that "harder on the world"? Are you against all logging? Or just that which you consider "wasteful"?

Edited at 2013-03-09 05:42 pm (UTC)
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 10th, 2013 04:24 am (UTC)
Re: I was actually asking you
I am not an expert in wood fibers; why would you think my answer would be more useful to you than the one you get by googling it? I am relying on sources that I have found valid and approachable in the past and ongoingly. You, of course, should use the sources you find most informative. Perhaps your friends who work in mills or woods could help?

I am a conservationist, not a preservationist. I am not against all logging. I do think that we have better immediate uses for trees than fluffy paper with which to wipe the shit off our assholes, which can be done quite adequately by paper made of recycled fibers, in my view. Similarly, I think it's a crime that we flush our sewage with potable water.

Why do you care what I think?