Can You Save the Earth By Simply Wiping?

toilet paper roll

 So, what are you going to replace it with?

Think about it.  Can your toilet paper save trees?  Probably not.  Just the opposite I bet.  Most people buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store, and never think where their toilet paper came from or what is in their toilet paper.   No one thinks twice about how much toilet paper that they use to wipe.  As long as you feel clean, that’s what matters.

Here is some startling thoughts as a recap of my previous article, “Give a Crap About Your Toilet Paper.”  If each household replaced one roll of 500 sheets with an equivalent recycled roll, we could save over 423,900 trees according to the National Resources Defense Council.  What about how is regular toilet paper made?  Both chlorine and mercury can be used in the process resulting in harmful chemicals that can harm our environment. 

Let me extoll the redeeming qualities of recycled toilet paper.  First off, this is not paper that has been taken out of the sewer system and recycled.  In order to make recycled toliet paper, companies use paper that would ordinarily go in a landfill.

 The following companies do not use chlorine or mercury to manufacturer their paper.  Most of the brands are very accessible at local grocery or health food shops, and save many trees. You obviously have nothing to lose if you try the following recycled toilet paper and the Earth has everything to gain.

  Here are some suggestions:

ShitbeGone (SBG)

 Since this is a G rated site, I have to apologize since this is truly the name of the company.  Toilet paper by SBG is made out of one hundred percent chlorine-free recycled paper, and is two ply with 500 sheets per roll.  It is sold in bulk either online or through retailers.  Right now, the site lists stores in New York City and one in Maryland.

How did SBS get started? Basically, Jed Ela, the creator of SBG, felt that many brand companies sell their toilet paper using images to conjure up feelings of softness but fail to discuss how it is made.  According to Ela, “most national-brand toilet paper contains not only 0% post-consumer recycled fiber, but 0% pre-consumer as well, meaning it is made of 100% virgin fiber (freshly killed trees).”

SBS is not the manufacturer of the toliet paper.  Various companies make and distribute the product.  However, Ela, as president of the company, coordinates the various aspects to make sure that the concept of SBS exists–that of recycled quality toliet paper. 

 So, what is SBG made out of?

“When putting together each batch, we loook for the highest post-consumer content tissue then available to us on the wholesale market. Wholesale recycled tissue can vary between 20% and 80% post-consumer content with the rest being pre-consumer recycled material. We never use tissue containing virgin tree fiber, nor do we use tissue containing less than 20% post-consumer recycled materials,”  states Ela.

In addition, SBG is not embossed.  Ela explains as follows as to why SBS is not embosed: 

 “This is because embossing is all about making little bumps or texture on the paper to trap air between the layers. You don’t use the air so why would you pay people to emboss it in there and then haul it around? If the embossing isn’t done well (and lots of it isn’t) then the paper will feel rough. If you want to really feel how soft a toilet paper is going to feel against your skin, then instead of squeezing the roll you should do this. Unroll a couple sheets of each one and put them down flat on a hard surface. Now stroke them lightly with the tips of your fingertips …

If you do the stroke-test on the back side (the side facing the inside of the roll) of a heavily embossed roll you will feel the problem known in the industry as “back side scratchiness.” This is where the back side of the paper gets even scratchier than the front side from the embossing. Only the best patterns and companies are able to overcome it and they all spend a lot of money trying. Buy why bother since it’s totally unnecessary anyway.”

SBG costs online $1.79 per roll for 24 rolls or $.99 per roll for 96 rolls.  Shipping is sent through UPS for free.

 An interesting point about SBG according to Eda, is that it is not packaged in the stores or via mail with plastic.  Many people are against the use of plastic for many reasons including our dependency on petroleum based products. 

It actually received a good recommendation on (Yes, this is a real website.)

Seventh Generation

  When I think of environmentally safe household products, I immediately think of Seventh Generation, which distributes to thousands of stores all over the world.  What is Seventh Generation about?  Just from the meaning of their name tells you about their mission.

“We derive our name from the Iroquois belief that ‘In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.’ Every time you use a Seventh Generation product you are making a difference by saving natural resources, reducing pollution, keeping toxic chemicals out of the environment and making the world a safer place for this and the next seven generations.” (Via their website)

Their toilet paper is made out of 100% recycled paper, with 80% of the paper being derived from post-consumer materials.  It is whitened using hydrogen peroxide and/or sodium hydrosulfite according to Gaiam, one of their online retailers, and is mercury free.  Each roll sold on Gaiam is 2 ply with 500 sheets.  However, in the health food store, I saw the product was 2 ply with 400 sheets.

Seventh Generation tissues can be purchased through retail and online stores in the United States and Canada. In addition, the company offers e-coupons for use at retailers in the United States.

UK:  Green Face in the UK distributes Seventh Generation to all EU member states.  For a store nearest to you, contact or call +44 (0) 1440 713 500.

Mexico:  Mexico is being managed by H. Young International, Inc., and can be contacted at

For Australia, contact Good Nature at 03 9799-3422.

New Zealand will be up and running soon, so please check back for an update.Gaiam offers this tissue paper at the following prices:12 rolls at $13.951 case (48 rolls) at $52.952 cases (96 rolls) at $96.95  Additional shipping charges may apply.


 Marcal, a NJ based company, has been using recycled paper for sixty years to produce tissue products.   I listed Marcal in this article as an example of a recycled toilet paper line that is sold in regular grocery stores. 

“Marcal utilizes a significant amount of recyclable paper from the heavily populated northeastern part of the USA where waste disposal has become a crisis. We work with hundreds of communities to recycle their municipal, school, and business generated paper into quality tissue and other products.”

Their toilet paper products contain either one or two ply sheets with a count ranging from 275 to 1000 sheets.  Their products are made without chlorine and mercury, and contain 100 percent post consumer materials.  In addition, all Marcal products are hypoallegeric, fragrance-free, virtually lint free, and septic system safe.  They pride themselves on the fact that their products are “economically priced for a great value to the consumer.”

The reycling beliefs of this company are so strong that even the sludge at the bottom of the tank when making paper is used. 

 “Most of the fiber is used to produce high quality Marcal towel, napkin, facial and bath tissue products. The clay and some fine cellulosic fibers which are too small for reformation into paper products are captured, processed, and transformed into Kaofin® co-products.”

 Kaofin® co-products are used in agricultural, industrial, and earth work engineering applications such as gasoline absorption, soil and compost blending, roadfill, cement additive, and animal bedding manufacturing.

Their household product collection is available in the following stores: 

ShopRite, Pathmark,Foodtown, King Kullen, D’Agostino, Price Chopper, P&C, Big Y, Farm Fresh, Ukrops,  Earth Fare, Jewel, Woodmans, Meijer Stores and many others.

If a store in your area is not listed above, check at Costco, Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples to see if they carry Marcal products.  In addition, Marcal exports their products internationally through various companies.  To find out where Marcal is carried in your area, contact the company.

As an example of their prices, on, the prices of Marcal toliet paper is listed as following: 

96 rolls of 2ply 200 sheets per roll:  $48.83

48 rolls of 2ply 300 sheets per roll:  $25.91 

Remember, each store has different prices and sales at various times.

Additional sources of interest: NRDC’s Environmental Ratings of Household Tissue Paper by Category (lasted updated October, 2005) for a list of companies who manufacture tissue paper.  This list delineates which toilet papers contain recycled content, the amount of recycled content and if they use chlorine bleach in their process. 

 Another interesting site is the which contains a post on “the most comprehensive survey of toilet paper brands.”  

With any of the brand listed above or the recycled toilet paper list on the NRDC’s site for recycled toilet paper, at least when you wipe you know you are making Mother Earth smile.

 For our UK readers here is an additional source,  Take a look at the article, “7 cheap and easy-to-find recycled products” written by our friend, Tracy Stokes, editor of EcoStreet,  where she lists among other products some UK recycled toilet paper choices along with her favorite. 

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  1. 2

    Green Talk says

    No I didn’t. Can you let us know what Larry David’s character was up to? I can just imagine. I am wondering which toilet paper he used?

    Readers, Chic Girl is the owner of, a website devoted to carrying “what a girl wants” (and absolutely needs) unique jewelry. I am coveting the Myra Elizabeth earrings on your blog. (To go to her blog, just put your curser over chic girl’s name and click so you can see what I am talking about.)

    Chic Girl, let us know if you get any recycled jewelry on your site (or if already do and I missed it) so I can let Green Talk readers know. Who says you can’t be fashionable when you are carrying your veggies to the composter? Visit again!


  1. […] Check out what you can do with old chain link!  Put on a couple toliet paper rolls, and no one will be yelling, “can you get me some TP” when they doing you know what. Be sure to add the recycled toliet paper on the link.  (Don’t know about recycled toilet paper, check my RTP acticle here.) […]

  2. […] Let’s talk about #1 (aka pee pee, urine, pee, or urea) and #2 (aka poop, poo,or  sh*t) .  Frankly, #2 gets alot more attention.  We use the word to express our unhappiness, when we bang into something, or drop something on our toes.  (No maybe that is the “F” word.) We say things like “you think your sh*t doesn’t stink.  Even UPS’ uniforms are brown. Plus, it has presence.  You definitely know when it is around since it smells for goodness sakes. Even I have been known to talk about poop especially when it comes to the quality of recycled toilet paper. […]

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