Toilet paper is a soft paper product (tissue paper) used to maintain personal hygiene after human defecation or urination. Its origin dates back as far as 1862. It differs in composition somewhat from facial tissue, and is designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas some other bathroom and facial tissues do not.
In many parts of the world, especially where toilet paper or the necessary plumbing for disposal may be unavailable or unaffordable, toilet paper is not used. Also, in many parts of the world such as India, people consider using water a much more clean and sanitary practice than using paper. Cleansing is then performed with other methods or materials, such as water, for example using a bidet, rags, sand, leaves (including seaweed), corn cobs, animal furs, sticks or hands, afterwards hands are washed with soap.
One tree produces about 100 pounds of toilet paper and about 83 million rolls are produced per day. An average American uses 50 pounds of toilet paper per year which is 50% more than Western countries or Japan. Millions of trees are harvested in North America and in Latin American countries leaving ecological footprint concerns. Unbleached toilet paper is no longer manufactured due to consumer resistance to using "brown toilet paper". In its place, oxygen-bleached (AKA peroxide-bleached) paper is made as the "green" alternative.
Widespread acceptance of the product didn’t officially occur until a new technology demanded it. At the end of the 19th century, more and more homes were being built with sit-down flush toilets tied to indoor plumbing systems. And because people required a product that could be flushed away with minimal damage to the pipes, corncobs and moss no longer cut it. In no time, toilet paper ads boasted that the product was recommended by both doctors and plumbers.
. . . In 1928, the Hoberg Paper Company tried a different tack. On the advice of its ad men, the company introduced a brand called Charmin and fitted the product with a feminine logo that depicted a beautiful woman. The genius of the campaign was that by evincing softness and femininity, the company could avoid talking about toilet paper’s actual purpose. Charmin was enormously successful, and the tactic helped the brand survive the Great Depression.
Environmental groups are asking Americans to switch to recycled paper towels, napkins, tissue paper and toilet paper as a way to save virgin forests and the wildlife they shelter . . . No top-selling household paper product uses recycled content, and activists believe that the industry prefers it that way — stocking store shelves with brands that compete over softness, a quality that comes from virgin tree fiber.
Seventh Generation, one of the largest recycled producers, estimates that:
One million trees would be saved if every U.S. household replaced just one 250-count package of virgin fiber napkins with 100 percent recycled ones.
544,000 trees would be saved by replacing a 70-sheet roll of virgin fiber paper towels.
424,000 trees would be spared by replacing a 500-sheet roll of virgin fiber toilet paper.
170,000 trees would be saved by replacing one 175-count box of virgin fiber facial tissue.
Really consider if you can cut down by even a square or two each time you frequent the bathroom. We are not talking about being unhygienic here, but most can cut back by 10-20% and not be aware of the change. Saving 10% could result in a dozen rolls a year or more