Dear Friends: I rant not only about democracy but about the environment and what will be left for my grandchildren. My concern extends to you and yours. The pro-environment people are no less tenacious than the political fund-raisers. I get oodles of "urgings," some of which are both interesting and important. This is one. Your comments, as always, are welcome.
Earth's vibrant green crown is being chopped down for toilet paper.
Amazon's speedy online delivery makes stocking up on toilet paper easier than ever -- but that toilet paper is often made by logging our precious forests like the Canadian boreal forest.
Each year, one million acres of the boreal forest are logged in Canada. That's equal to 1.5 football fields worth of forest each minute.1
Destroying our forests isn't worth it.
The boreal forest is Earth's vibrant green crown.
Billions of birds breed, migrate or live in the boreal forest. Owls, loons, warblers, sparrows, and on and on. The Ruffed Grouse has unique toes that allow it to snowshoe through the woods with its ruff of dark brown and black feathers puffed around its face like a stylish haircut.2
But when trees from the boreal are chopped down to later become toilet paper, this precious habitat is fragmented, putting stress on the ecosystem. Caribou, wood bison, peregrine falcons, and more are at risk when their homes are cut down.
The Canadian boreal is the world's largest remaining intact forest.3 If logging continues at current rates, the forest will continue to be scarred by chainsaws, leaving roads and bald patches of stumps behind.
Much of Amazon's toilet paper is made with virgin wood fiber from forests. Recently, we gave Amazon an F grade for lack of action to reduce its impact on forests.4
Amazon can turn this around, starting with its AmazonBasics and Presto! brands, which are both made by chopping down undisturbed forests.5 The company has made some progress already with some sustainable options that don't harm our forests. Its Amazon Aware toilet paper is made with 100% recycled paper, and other forest-free toilet paper can be found on the company's website.
Because Amazon has already started offering some sustainable tissue products, we know the company is capable of doing more to protect forests from logging. We're calling on the company to make concrete commitments with clear deadlines to reduce virgin wood fibers in its tissue products.
To protect this critical forest and convince Amazon to do more, we'll need to act together.
Wendy Wendlandt President 1. Sammy Herdman, "Unrolling the year's progress: Were toilet paper companies softer on the environment?," Environment America Research & Policy Center, December 20, 2022. 2. "Boreal forest," Canadian Wildlife Federation, last accessed January 16, 2023. 3. Ryan Flanagan, "How a toilet paper boom is harming Canada's boreal forest," CTV News, February 26, 2019. 4. Sammy Herdman, "Which toilet paper companies are taking steps to be more sustainable?," Environment America Research & Policy Center, December 20, 2022. 5. Jennifer Skene and Shelley Vinyard, "The Issue with Tissue," NRDC, September 13, 2022.
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