Lisa Frame and Isidro Hurtado were drinking margaritas when their conversation somehow veered to toilet paper.
Now, this subject may not seem too out of the ordinary—especially if the margaritas were strong enough—but their casual discussion ultimately led Frame to pose a question: “Why [are we] literally flushing trees down the drain just so we could wipe our butts?” After mulling over the answer, the two did what anyone with a sticky idea would: pulled out their phones and started researching.
Frame and Hurtado’s findings yielded some concerning discoveries about the environmental impact of toilet paper, namely that we are literally flushing the world’s forests down our pipes. Recent studies show that 27,000 trees are chopped down every single day to make toilet paper—in the U.S. alone. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year. After reviewing these frightening statistics, the two were shocked that no one had come up with an earth-friendly solution to this problem.
Today, it feels like there is an environmentally friendly version of every product––from toothbrushes to textiles. And it’s no surprise, after all; climate change is on everyone’s mind and big brands are finally heeding the warning signs to slow down the impact all of this waste is having on our planet. While it’s easy to connect things like single-use plastic waste and factory-farmed meat production to environmental harm, toilet paper is an equally important culprit.