Hemp Toilet Paper. Is doing your business better with Hemp?
It is such a common fixture in our lives that we hardly think about it at all. Unless you happen to be out, and in need of some, that is! Toilet Paper, a product sold by the tons yearly and used by each and every human being in the civilized world.
It is used from everything from light cleaning and as a tissue substitute to what it was invented for.
Soft, two-ply, jumbo, quilted; it is extremely easy to find a variant that suits your personal needs and likes. But one thing is most common amongst 99% of the commercially available toilet papers on the markets today; they are made from Tree Pulp Paper!
The use of tree pulp paper is prevalent in nearly every paper industry. Even though a huge quantity of paper materials are recycled, there is still a high rate of DEFORESTATION in the world (We’re losing 18.7 million acres of forests annually, equivalent to 27 soccer fields every minute) for "virgin" pulp to be used in paper products. In fact, for every person in the U.S., each will consume over 500+ pounds of paper products in a year! How much of that is just toilet paper?
35% of Trees cut down are done so for Paper Products.
27,000 Trees per day are lost to satisfy the worlds demand for toilet paper.
There is no end to the articles crowing about the advantages of Hemp, Hemp products, and especially Hemp Paper (including some of ours). Hemp was used in paper making for centuries before the timber industry moved in and became prevalent. It is ecologically and economically better choice to use Hemp rather than continuing to mow down millions of acres of trees for paper products that are generally only used once, and then discarded.
In the list below, you will find several facts that will make the right choice abundantly clear.
Hemp is a SUSTAINABLE and RENEWABLE resource, which grows quickly and can go from seed to harvest in as little as 4 months. Whereas, it takes a tree between 20 to 30 YEARS to become mature enough to be used for timber. Along those lines, Hemp is a more efficient use of growing space. 1 Acre of Hemp can produce as much pulp as 4 acres of trees.
When produced en masse, Hemp toilet paper is cheaper than tree paper. This is because it requires less materials and chemicals to process it, and is less labor intensive to farm/harvest it.
Hemp processing and growing is much more Environmentally friendly. Amongst other things, Hemp is grown with little or no chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or other harsh chemicals. Also, the processing of Hemp into paper requires significantly less chemicals and solvents that wind up polluting the environment when used.
Hemp has a more durable and softer fiber than trees.
The basic material which is used to make paper that comes from the processed tree or Hemp is called Cellulose. On average, a tree contains about 30% Cellulose, while the average Hemp plant is 85%, which is much higher and more efficient.
By the same token, another material called Lignin is present in both, and must be removed chemically before the plant's Cellulose can be made into pulp for paper making. The tree contains a much higher percentage, at about 70% (versus Hemps 15%) thus requiring the use of a greater amount of harsh chemicals to process. (Have you ever wondered what causes that foul smell associated with paper mills?)
Mentioned briefly before, the use of Hemp is less labor intensive than trees. It takes less time and personnel to harvest an acre of hemp, and the processing of it into pulp requires less steps.
So, What's the Rub?
Well, we've seen that there are few downsides to using Hemp for toilet paper. In fact, you might conclude that switching is a "no brainer." There's really only one thing slowing us down on this front now, availability! Frustrating as it may be, there are still not a lot of outlets that carry the item today. Save for but a couple of online retailers, it is hard to find. (and, of those two, one was sold out and the other had yet to start operations).
So why shouldn't you be frustrated?
Remember, the growth of Hemp was just made legal in the United States a very few short years ago, and the government (Fed. and States) are still getting their act together on regulations and procedures. As this takes place, there is still much room and necessary growth in the manufacturing sectors that needs to happen.
In general, Manufacturers and retailers respond to a demand AFTER it has been created in a marketplace. If consumers create a "demand" for a change, then these manufacturers and retailers will begin to pivot towards satisfying that demand. So it will take more than just a few lone voices in the wilderness to turn Hemp toilet paper from a niche product into a mainstream staple that it will seem you can't escape from. So, to affect that change, tell your family, tell your friends, and share with everyone you meet why you feel that having this product available is important, and then all of you tell the makers of these products that you want a safer, better, healthier, more environmentally responsible option available.
They will respond. But if they do not, you can always take your "business" elsewhere!
(Of course, if you're feeling ambitious and want to make your own, check out this article here.)