Sheryl Crow kicked up a storm last week when she urged
her blog readers to restrict themselves to a single square
of toilet paper per restroom visit, "...except, of course, on those
pesky occasions where two to three could be required."
Now, Ms. Crow says, "It was a joke."
But she raised a good point, says Christy Ferguson, a forest campaigner working out of Greenpeace's Toronto office. Ms. Ferguson's team is preparing for the upcoming annual general meeting of Kimberly Clark - the world's largest manufacturer of tissue products - where Greenpeace plans to urge the company to wean itself off virgin tree fibre in favour of recycled.
"Reducing use is always a good idea, but we have to look at where these products are coming from," says Ms. Ferguson, whose office wall is hung with a poster that says: "It takes 90 years to grow a roll of toilet paper."
BY THE NUMBERS
Average number of sheets per bathroom visit: 8.6
Average squares consumed per person over a year: 20,805
Number of tonnes of facial tissue and toilet paper used by Canadians each year: 700,000
Number of kilograms per Canadian in a year: 22
Number of tonnes of virgin tree fibre used by Kimberly Clark annually, in millions: 3.1
Portion of that tree fibre cut down in Canada: almost one-quarter
Number of trees that would be saved if every Canadian home switched just one roll of toilet paper to a 100 per cent recycled brand: 47,000
Annual value of Canadian toilet paper sales, millions of dollars: 778. 9
Sources: toiletpaperworld.com, Greenpeace Canada and Euromonitor