Challenge #35: Use less paper products

Use fewer napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper.

use less paper towels

“If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions.”

-John Green

Hey, guys!

We use paper products such as napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper every day. All of them are very useful and they make our life a lot easier. We simply can’t imagine our lives without them. So, don’t get us wrong, we don’t want you to stop using any of them, we’d just like you to use a bit less and switch to recycled paper products.

Often we use more paper products than we actually need without even realizing. It has been shown that we can use way fewer paper products just by having a thought not to use too much paper products at the back of our minds. Let’s elaborate on that a bit.

Let’s say you read about using fewer paper products and you realize this is an actual problem, which makes you decide to do the best you can to do so. This will put the thought in the back of your mind and you’ll automatically remember it every time you’ll encounter any type of paper product without actually thinking about it.

Use fewer napkins

Paper products stats

Looking at the actual numbers can often make it easier to see the problem. Therefore we have listed some shocking facts about paper products consumption and production. Let’s take a look:

  • On average consumers use about 8 – 9 sheets of paper per toilet use, which adds up to almost 60 sheets per day. That’s over 100 rolls per year.
  • To produce the toilet paper that an average person uses in his/her lifetime it takes over 380 trees.
  • Nearly 30,000 trees are used to meet global toilet paper demand every day. That’s 10 million trees a year.

Use less toilet paper

  • We could save 423,900 trees if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100 percent recycled ones.
  • We could save 544,000 trees if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100 percent recycled ones.
  • We could save 1 million trees if every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100 percent recycled ones.
  • There are over 17 billion toilet paper tubes thrown away each year.
  • In the US alone, there is over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste produced each day.
  • 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are used to produce one ton of paper towels.
  • Paper towels produce methane gas during their decomposition – methane gas is a leading cause of global warming.

The fact is, we throw away enough paper to make toilet paper for a lifetime, we just have to change our habits, recycle paper, and start buying recycled paper products.

Recycled paper vs. virgin wood pulp paper

Generally, one ton of recycled paper saves 3,700 pounds (1,682 kilograms) of lumber and 24,000 gallons (90,849 liters) of water. It takes 64 percent less energy and 50 percent less water to produce recycled paper. It also creates 74 percent less air pollution and saves 17 trees. Recycling paper creates five times more jobs than paper production from virgin wood pulp.

Keep in mind that pulp and paper industries are the third largest industrial pollutants!

“There are a helluva lot more of us who care about the environment and the world than we realize. We’re the majority, and we can do something about that.”

-Woody Harrelson

Take-home points:

Have a nice week.

With love and care,

Good Earthlings

4 comments

  1. Robert Junk says:

    Wow I didn’t realize how impactive it is on the trees for paper products. What a great article. I am going to post this on google plus and share on Facebook if that is ok with you? I think it’s depressing the footprint we have as humans and as the world continues to grow in population we need more articles and websites like this to keep the topics on the front of everyone’s minds.

    • Good Earthling says:

      Of course, that is the whole point, to spread the word. Will really appreciate you sharing our post. Thank you. Stay in touch.

      Best regards

    • Chris says:

      It’s funny, this very topic I was discussing today with a friend. I was notorious for being a paper waster, oh my goodness, I don’t even want to think about it lol! But over the past few years and becoming more conscious of how using less paper products is better on so many different levels, I have made some changes. Recycled paper products, I use to laugh at the idea of using recycled paper products, now, I look for such to buy/use. My usage habits for sure have changed, I am more aware of my usage of anything paper, plus I actively separate all paper products any put them in our recycling bin for weekly pickup. I can say paper towels last way longer in my house as well as toilet paper. I think the idea of using less paper should be introduced to students at a young age to set the tone for future conscientious usage of paper products and overall push for “less” usage.

      • Good Earthling says:

        Chris, we’re very proud of you. Keep up the good job. We completely agree with you, they should stress this topic more in schools.

        Warm regards

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