Monday, March 16, 2009

Confessions of a tree hugger

I love trees. I have been brought to tears at seeing trees cut down. I have often thought that if I could have a super-power, I would want the ability to create big beautiful trees in a blink. On long car trips, I often spend hours willing trees into existence--some willows around a small lake, rows of majestic elms lining barren streets, spruce trees in wide medians, groves of oak trees covering hills and roadsides. If I had my way, Minnesota would be sheltered under a blanket of oxygen-producing trees!

Therefore, it was with some alarm that I recently read in the Star Tribune that my choice of toilet paper was contributing to the loss of old growth forests. In an article reprinted from the NY Times, Leslie Kaufman stated that the Ultra-soft brands of tissue can't be produced using recycled paper. The fluffy paper we all prefer comes from millions of trees harvested in North and South America.

The average American uses 24 rolls of paper annually. That amounts to a whopping lot of trees flushed down the toilet.

So now I have to decide whether to give up my Quilted Northern and buy the recyled brands of paper products. The recycled brands are never on sale like the specials they run on the fluffy tissue. I'm going to do my environmental best to find the alternative that saves trees. I hope you will do that too.


MaxCity said...

I had better check on my brand of TP. We use an "extra strong" variety because I hate fuzz left on the tush, but it's probably still a tree-killer.

When I moved from western Minnesota to west-central North Dakota eight years ago, I felt like the land out here was naked. There are trees, of couse, but not nearly as many as where I lived in Minnesota. I still miss the trees.

Ms Sparrow said...

Hi Jo,
I raised my family in Fergus Falls where there are lots of trees. When I moved to St Paul I lived for a time in an apt bldg with no trees. I decided that trees were necessary for my well-being. I once took a trip out to Minot when my brother was living there--there were nothing but "miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles". If I ever get my super-powers, I'll make ND a lot of trees!