Wondering which paper towel or toilet paper is the greenest? The nonprofit advocacy group Greenpeace has released a pocket guide to paper products -- an updated version of the old National Resources Defense Council guide. The products also include facial tissues and paper napkins, although many people suggest ANY paper napkin is not a good thing. Use cloth until it's dirty, wash it with the rest of the clothes and skip the ironing.
Anyway, among the brands Greenpeace recommends are Green Forest, Natural Value, Seventh Generation, 365 and Trader Joe's. It suggests you avoid Kleenex Cottonelle, Charmin, Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and even Scott Naturals.
You can download the guide at www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/forests/tissueguide .
Greenpeace uses three benchmarks in making its ratings. The recommended brands are made from 100 percent overall recycled content, a minimum of which is 50 percent post-consumer recycled content, and are not bleached with chlorine or toxic chlorine compounds.
The guide lists those recommended, those that "can do better" and those that should be avoided. With each brand, it lists the percentage of recycled content and specifies the bleaching process.
"Tissue products that are made from recycled content help to reduce our impact on ancient forests, protecting forest ecosystems and wildlife," said Greenpeace forest campaigner Lindsey Allen in a statement. "By using our guide and voting with their dollars, shoppers can help save endangered forests."
Critical among them is the Canadian Boreal, which provides nesting grounds for millions of songbirds. But it is being heavily logged, and Greenpeace contends many of the trees go straight into paper products.
Greenpeace has had a long-standing battle with Kimberly-Clark, the largest tissue product company in the world. Greenpeace gave an "avoid" rating to these Kimberly-Clark brands: Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle and Viva.
(c) 2009, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
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