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Monday, April 8, 2013

Harsh Facts & Ecofriendly Economics: Tube-Free Toilet Paper

Harsh Facts of the Week

The average American office worker uses 500 disposable cups annually. 

Every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. 

During the International Coastal Cleanup of 2009, the Ocean Conservancy found that plastic bags were the 2nd most common item found, or one out of every ten items picked up. 

Each year, California spends about 25 million dollars sending plastic bags to landfills, and another 8.5 million dollars to remove littered bags from streets. 

In comparison, recycling one ton of plastic bags costs $4,000, and the recycled product can be sold for $32, yet less than one percent of plastic bags are recycled each year.

No matter where you live, you can make simple changes in your life to reduce your waste output. You can exclude disposable dining ware, plastic bags, paper bags, disposable lighters, razors, and many other wasteful products without creating a noticeable difference or discomfort in your day to day life. It’s so easy, and often cheaper, so really, what’s holding you back? 

Ecofriendly Economics

Mini Tips:
Turn off your computer at night
    Turning off your computer at night, rather than putting it in sleep mode, can save 40 watts of energy per day, which translates to about four cents. Over the course of a year, that comes to $14.60 of money saved. That may not seem like much, but it’s an easy habit you can profit from while simultaneously benefitting the environment.

Choose matches, instead of lighters
Most lighters are made out of plastic and are filled with butane fuel, both of which are petroleum products. Over 1.5 billion lighters end up in landfills each year. So, opt for matches instead to reduce the amount of waste you produce. When choosing matches, pick cardboard over wood; most cardboard matches are made from recycled paper.

Wash your clothes on a cold or warm cycle
If all U.S. households switched from hot cycles to warm-cold cycles, we could save enough energy to be comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil. Every day. That’s 36,500,000 barrels of oil a year. Also, make sure you only launder when you have a full load. Need a certain article of clothing ready for the next day? Check your bathrooms. Do the towels need to be washed? What about the blankets in the living room? Ask someone else in your household if they have laundry that needs to be done.

To find 47 other simple green tips, check out this website.

Tubeless Toilet Paper

According to the commercial for Scott’s Naturals tube-free toilet paper, every hour, two million cardboard toilet paper tubes are thrown away in the United States. Watch the creative, eye-opening commercial here. Go to here to see a second by second counter of how many tubes are being thrown away. Each year, 17 billion toilet paper tubes are produced in the U.S., and they account for 160 million pounds of trash. Furthermore, most consumers toss, rather than recycle, used their used tubes. Placed end to end, those 17 billion toilet paper tubes could stretch more than a million miles. That’s a trip from Earth to the moon and back- twice.

Information beyond the release of the tube-free rolls in 2010 wasn’t readily available on the internet, so I called the company to get the scoop. The person I spoke with on the phone said that the Scott’s Naturals tube-free toilet paper is still on a consumer test run, and is currently only available in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Some stores that the toilet paper can be found at include Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreen’s, and Wegman’s, among others. Next time you’re out shopping, look for this line of Scott’s bath tissue. Not in an area that sells tube free rolls? One simple step you can take is to recycle your rolls from both toilet paper and paper towels, rather than just throw them out. Also, Scott’s sells other lines of environmentally friendly products that are more readily available, which you can find here.

Whether or not you live in the three aforementioned states, there is one fairly easy thing you can do to make Scott's Naturals tube-free bath tissue more accessible: contact the company and voice your support of the product. If Kimberly-Clark knows that they have a potentially broad consumer pool, they'll be more likely to take the leap and expand their innovative product. Here are three different ways you can contact the company:

Call the company at:
1-877-856-7268 (for USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico)
Toll-free Monday through Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm Central Time

Mail the company a letter at:
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Dept. INT
P.O. Box 2020
Neenah, WI 54957-2020

Or fill out an email form here:

Want help with contacting the Kimberly-Clark Corporation? I will be sending a letter myself, and I will save it for others to adapt and use. Email me at for a pre-written letter that will be simple for you to complete.

Remember, as consumers, we hold a lot of power in the corporate world we live in. Never underestimate the power of your feedback and your money.


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