Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shopping for Greener Tissue Products - Part 1

Trees are the lifeblood of our planet -- without them, or even with less of them, our greenhouse gas problem becomes more pronounced and could even become uncontrollable. Therefore, we really need to conserve trees and responsibly manage those that we need to cut down -- especially rainforests.

Since tissue products can end up using a lot of trees, Greenpeace has published a tissue product guide for consumers, along the lines of the Seafood Watch card concept to help you choose those recycled tissue products that have the least negative impact on our planet and your health. You can print out and carry the little pocket-sized guide with you in your wallet. This guide is for facial tissues, paper towels, paper napkins, and toilet paper.

Here's where you can print it out.

Says Greenpeace "Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forests, clean water, and wildlife habitat. It's easier on the Earth to make tissues from paper instead of trees."

Greenpeace ranked the tissue products based on the below criteria, which you can use as a guideline no matter if you have the Greenpeace guide with you or not -- and especially because brands evolve and compete with each other these days regarding "who is getting greener":
  • 100% recycled content
  • At least 50% post-consumer recycled content (which means of the totaled recycled content 50% of it comes from items that were previously products and now have been recycled; pre-consumer recycled content comes from waste produced as virgin trees are processed)
  • Bleached without toxic chlorine compounds

In Part 2 of this report, I'm going to talk about how easy, or not easy, it is to purchase these cleaner tissue products.

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