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Over The Line

I recycle, compost and use low energy appliances. I take anything hazardous to the appropriate site, and haul tree limbs to the chipping plant. I try to be as low impact as possible, but there are some things that just can’t be compromised, and McClatchy has a story on one of them: Soft toilet paper becomes target of environmentalists.

When I lived in Europe the one item I always bought on base was toilet paper, and I always had a roll in my luggage. I don’t doubt that things are better these days, but in those days the products offered locally were either like the rippled center of corrugated cardboard, or wax paper. You couldn’t count on having access to a bidet, so you needed the genuine, made in the USA toilet paper to get the job done.

There are some sacrifices that people shouldn’t be asked to make.

11 comments

1 Badtux { 12.08.09 at 10:14 pm }

Not to mention that there are more trees on American soil today than when Columbus landed. You’ve seen all the tree farms in north Florida, so you know. Of course, Greenpeace and friends carp “monoculture!” about those tree farms and yeah, they’re right, but it ain’t old growth that’s being cut down for toilet paper, it’s the young growth being pulped from these tree farms that goes into toilet paper. And that young growth would get thinned out regardless of whether it got turned into toilet paper or just chipped to be turned into more OSB chipboard.

– Badtux the Tree Farm Penguin
(yes, I have trees on my land in the piney woods).
.-= last blog ..Sarah Failin =-.

2 Bryan { 12.08.09 at 10:36 pm }

The property of the St Joe Paper Company, trash pine that is harvested like any other crop, and replanted.

They started as turpentine plantations and when that died, as lumber, and now as pulp. The other native species of pines and live oaks are not replanted. Between about ten miles from the coast to 100 miles inland you have pulp pine, broken up only by state and national forests that actually have diversity, and would reseed the area if they aren’t replanted after harvesting.

They are owned by the big paper companies, and are the primary source for paper production.

St Joe has shifted in some degree to real estate development, but that is only in the coastal zone, not their large interior pulp forests.

3 fallenmonk { 12.09.09 at 9:04 am }

They basically have the same TP in Europe, Japan and China that we do over here. The only place I have been ‘toilet paper challenged’ is in the wilds of South America and I mean wilds not Rio and the like.

The whole thing is kind of silly. Tissue manufacturing is almost a closed look process. Trees are harvested and replanted and in the interim provide excellent wildlife habitat. Most of the pulp for the tissue is mechanically produced and not ‘digested’ with chemicals and even those that are digested are done so in a closed loop with the extracted lignin used for fuel to produce the steam for the rest of the process. Modern papermaking is a fairly benign thing when it comes to the environment.
.-= last blog ..Pissing Off the Liberals Because They Can =-.

4 Badtux { 12.09.09 at 10:58 am }

Fallen, those pine barrens are lousy wildlife habitat. There’s nothing for wildlife to eat there. Can’t eat pine needles! The only thing they provide is places where people aren’t where wildlife capable of going where food is (like deer) can hide between foraging expeditions. So the people yelling “monoculture” are right, the timber companies need to plant some oak and other mast trees in there to create some food for critters. Sawtooth oaks in particular would work well in most of the uplands where the pines are being monocultured, they don’t use much space and make a *lot* of acorns to provide food for squirrels and such.

But these tree farms still are a damn sight different from old growth forests. Nobody cuts down old growth to make toilet paper, that lumber is far too valued as construction lumber because it’s much harder and much more resistant to insect and fungus damage than new-growth lumber, not to mention you can cut much longer timbers out of it because it’s taller. The yahoos talking about “old growth toilet paper” are full of shit. Period.

– Badtux the Timber Penguin

5 Steve Bates { 12.09.09 at 3:39 pm }

What are ordinary citizens supposed to use? Unlike the paper corp’s, they can’t pay to wipe on members of Congress…
.-= last blog ..Snow On Snow =-.

6 Bryan { 12.09.09 at 5:41 pm }

The farms are an excellent habitat for a lot of annoying insects that then infest the any natural habitat, and they also provide great fuel for wildfires, during the dry spells that we once had.

If they grew a bit longer, there would be pine nuts, but most are harvested before there is any significant production. A little variety would not only help with habitat it would also slow or prevent infestations from spreading. Alas they are treated like any other crop.

Fallenmonk, I last spent significant time overseas in the 1970s, so I assume things have gotten better. Actually the existence of toilet paper in Asia is a vast improvement over the conditions I was used to from the Med to the Pacific. I was there in the days of ditches and “bombsights”.

That’s probably why politicians still wear ties, Steve.

7 Kryten42 { 12.10.09 at 2:00 am }

That’s probably why politicians still wear ties, Steve.

Ohhhh… And I thought that was what their custom made cotton shirts with the long shirt tails was for! Doh!

I thought the ties were for lunch… catching the food they drop, and wiping their mouths after.

Ya learn something every day!

8 Bryan { 12.10.09 at 12:12 pm }

The shirt tails are a CYA move when they have to exit a motel without their pants.

9 Moi { 12.14.09 at 10:24 pm }

Bry, they’re talking about the soft stuff like Charmin. You could still have Scott, and it would be ok.

I have a well, would not think of using the soft stuff.
.-= last blog ..PA Progressive Summit – January 2010 =-.

10 Moi { 12.14.09 at 10:24 pm }

Oops, I mean I have a septic tank! lol
.-= last blog ..PA Progressive Summit – January 2010 =-.

11 Bryan { 12.14.09 at 11:06 pm }

It’s quantity, not quality that mucks up septic tanks, although, because of our rural conditions down here, there are brands that advertise as good for septic tanks.

We’ve always had dry wells for the shower and washing machine, using the septic tank for the toilet and sinks, so capacity has never been a problem.