Friday, 25 September 2020

September 25 is a Global Day for Climate Action: What does that have to do with toilet paper?

 Help at home: It's a day of Global Climate Action, but what can we do in Ontario while sitting on our butts?

September 25 is a Global Day for Climate Action: What does that have to do with toilet paper?


It's a day of Global Climate Action and I'm here to talk to you about butts... How many of you panic purchased toilet paper when the COVID-19 pandemic hit? I get it! Okay, I don't really get it that much- I didn't buy any extra toilet paper. I was thinking more about my respiratory system and less about my bottom. Next question. When you filled your Costco cart with stacks of bulk TP, extra soft, extra strong, how many of you thought about how toilet paper affects Ontario forests?


I feel that Canadians have a special relationship with nature and the environment. Many of us are concerned with single-use plastics and papers, to the point where seeing litter on the ground of our great country feels like a personal attack (remember the commercial with the single tear falling down the cheek of an indigenous man when he found litter on the ground?) But do you consider toilet paper to be a single-use paper? We flush it and it goes away, so it's not surprising that we don't often think of it as single-use. It may be the most common single-use paper in existence and it's used across the globe.


Single-use products create waste and increase our carbon footprint. So I hate to say it, but wiping our asses has a direct effect on climate change. According to Ontario Nature "Tissue, including toilet paper, is the fastest-growing area of production in the paper industry. Between 2010 and 2015, tissue production increased by 3.5% annually and is expected to grow by almost 6% per year in the coming years. In 2018, global tissue consumption reached 38.7 million tonnes and is approaching the benchmark of 40 million tonnes this year. For reference, in 1993, the market was only 15.5 million tonnes. Per capita, Canadians and Americans are huge consumers when compared to the rest of the world."

September 25 is a Global Day for Climate Action: What does that have to do with toilet paper?

The province must be protecting the forests, right? In some ways, yes, but it's not enough- and not broad spectrum enough. Ontario Nature states that "The province's finalized Forest Sector Strategy isn't much different from their initial proposal (which raised wide opposition in the Environmental Registry of Ontario). So, because we see that the government isn't prioritizing wildlife habitat protection or respecting Indigenous rights, we want to approach and demand change from corporations directly." 


We want soft, face-rub-worthy TP for our bottoms. We want the best for our butts- but what about the best for the planet? What can we do? Industrial logging companies need to be put on notice. If the province won't support our forests, then we need to turn off the tap! COVID-19 is entering the second wave in Ontario, so we can't get out and make our voices heard. But you can do something to help from home- while you're sitting on your butt!


Join Ontario Nature and me in asking Procter & Gamble to commit to using post-consumer recycled content in tissue products to create a significantly smaller environmental footprint, and to help us to protect the forests we love and rely on. There are false claims that these recycled products are of poor quality. Furthermore, American paper product companies must be more responsible with their use of Ontario’s forests. Because of this we are also calling on Procter & Gamble to protect the habitat of species at risk, purchase from companies that obtain Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from Indigenous people, increase the amount of post-consumer recycled content, and source from FSC-certified forests.


Please sign your name to let our government know that you want to protect Ontario forests! CLICK HERE!


What does climate change have to do with wiping your butt?

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