Field of Science

TP really bums me out!

This really bums me out! Old growth forests are being pulped to make cushy soft toilet paper! Talk about squandering of a natural resource! Why this is even stupider than buying water in plastic bottles! So why not use recycled paper for TP, especially since it gets flushed down the crapper any ways? Well, the fiber length gets shorter, so the paper gets a bit coarser and a bit stiffer. For decades makers of TP have waged advertising wars to convince consumers that each has the most squeeze-ably soft TP. And of course strength is an issue. You can’t save trees by reducing the layers or the thickness if it then requires you to “double up”. And there’s lots more research to do too. No one has done a definitive study to determine if crumpling is more efficient use of TP than folding, or if perforations at different intervals, or even absent, reduces or increases use, even if they never tear really well anyways, or if the roll is supposed to feed over the top or from underneath. OK that last one has actually been decided by our feline TP attendant who requires an over the top feed for him to do his job efficiently.

In the Phactor’s many travels around the tropics, he’s encountered lots of “inferior” TPs, and they all get the job done. So does a bucket of water and a towel (You were carrying one?), once you get the technique of it, and then you begin to understand the prohibition of eating or touching someone with your left hand. Bottom line, cotton cloudy softy cushy bummy wipes are not a product anyone needs. Of course none of us can remember when last year’s Sears & Roebuck’s mail order catalog got recycled in the house out back. So the idea of cutting down old growth trees for TP because the longer fibers feel softer on your bum gives you a good idea of what’s wrong with American consumerism. Their job is to sell TP not save the environment or use resources wisely. So it is up to the consumer to watch the real bottom line. The next time you see a clear cut section of coniferous forest, you’ll know what to think. How charmin’.

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