Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going too Far for Green

I have been complaining to friends for some time that the quality of toilet paper (TP) in public restrooms in this country is deteriorating.  Laugh if you must, but this can be an uncomfortable problem for some.

As background:  Back in the 60's when a friend and I left for a 'European 'tour' of three months, we each packed three rolls of TP in our one and only suitcase.  It was well worth it.  Most European TP was dreadful if not sometimes 'non-existent'.  Once, in Spain, we had to pay for TP at a public restroom.  Our worst disaster of the trip was forgetting to pack a half-used roll of TP when we departed a hotel in Majorca.  European TP was so bad that we brought home samples to show our friends.

Several years ago my doctor told me that my skin irritation was probably due to an allergy to TP.  Sure enough, they had changed suppliers at work.  I started bringing in my own TP until they agreed to buy stuff I could use in my private bathroom that was not allergenic.

Since that time, I have noticed that TP is getting thinner and thinner and rougher and rougher.  Then, this week, I received my latest copy of National Wildlife magazine.  There on page 16 is an article titled 'Why Soft Paper is Rough on Forests'.  The article points out that Europeans are happy to use rough sandpaper TP because it is better for the forests and that Americans should do the same. 

I think not.  How about, in the name of saving trees, we stop printing so many magazines, stop sending out so many requests for donations in the mail, (including unsolicited calendars, address labels, and greeting cards) and just publish everything on the internet.  Just leave my sensitive skin alone.

UPDATE:  After posting this I came across an article saying that the Newark, NJ Mayor is trying to close a $70 million budget gap by eliminating items like 'toilet paper'.  BYOTP to Jersey.  What next?

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