Have you ever thought where we get the resources we use in our daily lives? The gas we use for cars, the deodorant we spray before a night in the town and even a paper roll are all sourced from nature. The cost of this is higher than one might think as the most common resource, wood, is being overexploited. This leads to deforestation that has a whole set of negative consequences. In order for you to be fully aware of what heavy industry does to the environment, we list several ways in which just one product does damage to the nature around us. This pollution of ground and water has been going on for centuries now, so one had to wonder for how long we can keep it up before we change something.
The ozone layer
You have probably heard it in the news that there are holes in Earth’s ozone layer. This layer encompasses our planet, protecting it from hazardous UV rays coming from the Sun. It is the reason you don’t get sunburn every time you sunbathe, but rather a nice tan. If it goes missing entirely, then this planet we call home would be impossible to live on. So what is destroying this precious ozone layer and how does this affects our health?
No, toilet paper is not destroying the ozone layer, but its manufacturing process is an excellent example of how such a meaningless item can have a huge impact on the environment. In the United States alone, each person uses 50 pounds of this product every year. Most people are eco-aware, so they buy recycled paper, but the truth is, paper can be recycled only a couple of times before it has to go to the dump permanently. Even with controlled consumption, an average household of four members uses up the amount of paper that equals to two whole trees that have to be cut down. Then this paper has to be hauled to the factory and made from wood pulp, which also uses up tremendous amounts of energy and it generates pollution. Furthermore, where will the animals which lived in the forest go once their home gets cut down? Remember, we are still talking only about something as trivial as toilet paper. Image the pollution levels if we include other types of trash or car exhaust fumes. All this affects our health in a great manner. It can cause many skin irritations and using toilet paper can be rough for your skin, especially if you have problems with sensitive skin.
Also, there is other paperware that we overuse. Napkins are also used indiscriminately and few people think about replacing paper napkins for cloth napkins. The latter are washable and they will last longer. Handkerchiefs are the go-to solution to the problem of a runny nose, but cloth ones are better here as well, as they don’t damage the facial tissue. For both of these categories, buying recycled produce is a must.
The toilet paper is also an excellent example of how the fight for the environment starts with the individual. Since consumerism is the keyword for big businesses, we have the power to change their dismal disregard of eco-standards. If everybody simply stopped buying toilet paper or paper towels, they would be left without a market and the destruction of nature would stop, and the most important thing – we would improve our health. This sound as science-fiction, but for you, it doesn’t have to be. As of today, stop using toilet paper, simple as that. It is useful, but not mandatory. In Eastern cultures, for example, people use water to wash themselves. The modern, “hands-free” version of this method is called a bidet. Its use is as widespread as the toilet bowl and you can even order durable bidets online. You don’t have an excuse not to change your lifestyle at least when it comes to the consumption of toilet paper.
The best step any individual can do for the environment is to raise personal awareness. Inform yourself on all the ways nature is being affected by the production of various items. And remember that all that products don’t only destroy our mother Earth, they destroy us and our health. If you use these items, then you sanction all the foul play involved in their making. On the other side, if you decide to change your shopping habits, then the market will have to adjust to you. This is the true meaning of the phrase “think globally, act locally.” Our example of the use of toilet paper is an excellent showcase of how you and nature can profit at the same time. Trees will no longer have to be fallen and you will save a fortune each year that would be otherwise spent on paper ware. The change is possible, but the steps to its realization are small. So don’t be afraid to make the first one!
Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make your daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.