29 March 2010


29 March 2010

The deep south is not known as a region of enlightened thought, yet some of our greatest artists and thinkers have emerged therefrom. The general population remains reactionary and rather averse to progressive ideas. One would certainly expect, though, that when presented with evidence, a parent wants to protect their progeny. One would then ask if the protection means from the direct visible threats (speeding cars), or the well publicized “known” threats (diseases.) Does that protective sentiment include the more amorphous, longer-term dangers? We would hope so.

No one welcomes the prophet of doom. It discomfits and frightens. The tendency is to dismiss and ignore. And why dwell on what we can’t see?

Since I got involved with the Kleerkut campaign, I have told my family (in the deep south) about the consequences of their paper purchases. And no, buying a roll of Cottonelle will not immediately endanger your children (like the careening car), but the long-term impacts will with a vengeance. So I was shocked to find bundles of this brand and its polluting cousin Kleenex in the house of my brother, and I ask myself: do they not get it? Do they resent my telling them about the consequences? Do they not believe me? Do my words go in one ear and out the other?

Is this a family thing, or a larger issue?

If the dark message were inevitable, this disregard would be understandable. If the catastrophe were ineluctable, no need to worry about it. But that’s not the case here; we can change this future, with little to no pain.

Buy Marcal, or Seventh Generation, or one of the many brands of paper products made from post-consumer material. Do it for your children. You can find NRDC's paper product shopping guide here.