The average American uses about 60 squares of toilet paper each day or 20,000 squares per year. The number of rolls per person is harder to pin down because all rolls are not equal. Toilet Paper Roll Standardization (TPRS) failed miserably a few years back.
Toilet paper manufacturers estimate that an average roll lasts about five days, or 73 rolls per year. 5 days per roll? I haven’t monitored my household’s toilet paper use, but Josh Madison recorded his toilet paper consumption for a year. He used 49 rolls of toilet paper (49,000 squares) at a cost of $52.43. He meticiously documented the life of each roll with start and end dates. The level of detail is simply amazing.
While I’m not ready to document my toilet paper usage (I’m already documenting my food waste), I have made a couple consumption changes.
- Using recycled toilet paper – don’t worry Mom, it’s safe! Using recycled toilet paper reduces my usage of virginal wood pulp – creative marketing phrase from Seventh Generation. Somehow recycled toilet paper is magically whitened without the use chlorine or dyes.
- Using less I’m using a few less squares at each bathroom trip. I’m trying to treat toilet paper like a precious resource, instead of mindlessly grabbing a handful of squares. Maybe a trip to India would help?
Does recycled toilet paper cost more?
Not really. At Safeway, I found an eco brand called Bright Green. The price? Six rolls of Bright Green is 3.99, or 13.7 cents per square yard. This price is not that outrageous compared to non-virginal wood pulp toilet paper (the regular stuff).
The cheapest toilet paper I found was Scott 100 at 7.9 cents per square yard, and the most expensive was a luxurious Charmin variety at 32.7 cents per square yard. Because Toilet Paper Roll Standardization (TPRS) never happened, unit pricing is crucial so that you’re comparing apples to apples.
Is recycled toilet paper safe?
Yes recycled toilet paper is safe and NO recycled toilet paper isn’t brown. Recycled toilet paper looks just like regular toilet paper – it’s WHITE and a little less soft. I found the brown toilet paper at RecycledToiletPaper.com; an entertaining history of recycled toilet paper (RTP). I didn’t know toilet paper was recycled from the sewer and carefully laid out to dry. I imagine it’s a delicate process (wink).
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council: “If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.”
Do you use recycled toilet paper? Do you lay yours out in the sun or just buy it at the store? Please leave a Comment.