Flushing the future?

courtesy pexels.com/Marcus Spiske

HOUSTON – Like me, you probably don’t think too much about those rows and rows of toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels lining the stores. You squeeze, you like, you buy, you go. But all that paper has to come from somewhere and at least a million acres a year comes from the Boreal Forest, according to the National Resources Defense Council. I checked out the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group out of New York State since 1970, and this sustainability report and buyer’s guide is not to be just wiped away.

The Boreal Forest rings the northern part of our globe hosting wildlife, indigenous people, and storing 30-40% of Earth’s land-based carbon all of which is being threatened by deforestation. That million acres a year is easily a football field of trees being cleared every minute.

Clearing of the Boreal Forest (River Jordan for NRDC)
Clear Cutting of the Boreal Forest, Dryden, Ontario (National Resources Defense Council)

These folks, as should we, have an issue with tissue, pointing out that as our screens were filled with images of animated bears fussing over the softness of their toilet paper, real-life threatened species like boreal caribou saw their critical habitat lost by the same industrial clearcutting practices that help make Charmin toilet paper.

NRDC has released a report card for companies and stores based on their commitment to finding more sustainable resources for paper products, like bamboo for instance:

NRDC Scorecard

You can find a detailed report on which companies are working to save these critical forests and the methodology used by NRDC to rank those commitments at this link. You can get all the poop there and the bottom line is we CAN do something about this. Shop sustainable!

In the meantime, enjoy the Astros, the Final Four, and that first day of April! Don’t flush away the opportunity to have a wonderful weekend!


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.