Opening caveat: there is no easy way to avoid puns and jokes when writing about toilet paper... In fact, some of the companies that make the best eco friendly toilet paper are masters at the art of punning.
Humans in countries that use flush toilets use a lot of toilet paper. Some estimates suggest we each use one to two rolls per week, but if you actually kept track, you would likely find it’s a half a roll per day (on days you are at home and not using the washroom at your place of business), so that would be 3.5 rolls per week.
It’s bad for the environment and nasty to your budget. Have you allocated about $1,200 per person per year on your household budget for toilet paper? Didn’t think so... If you’re going to spend that much on “wipe”, then spend it wisely.
As adults age (think: Baby Boomers and older) so do their bowels and often issues like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis become more prevalent, which means even more toilet paper is used. Statistics indicate that 50% of people over 50 have some sort of gastric disorder that affects bowel movement. It’s that common.
So, what’s the solution? Buy shares in a toilet paper company? If you do that, you’re not addressing the matter of quantity consumed, nor are you dealing with the world’s necessary goals of reducing pollution and fighting climate change.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why you should be thinking more about the toilet paper you use, how you can make better choices and what options there are.
We’ll study aspects of toilet paper and other forms of cleaning yourself after the emptying of bladder and bowels. We all do it, so we might as well band together and do it with as little environmental impact as possible.
Below, you’ll find the 21 best eco friendly toilet papers available today. We’ll examine the pros and cons of the different types, and in the end (pun intended), recommend the top three that deserve your attention in your decision to upgrade your bathroom tissue to an eco friendly version.
We only recommend products we would use ourself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links, so if you use these links to buy something, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. This helps us to fund our efforts to create more valuable content for you day in and day out.
Why Switch to Eco Friendly Toilet Paper?
If the sheer volume of toilet paper use that we cited in the paragraph above isn’t enough to scare you into switching to eco friendly toilet paper, then how about the massive lost of old growth forests, or the presence of chemicals in regular toilet paper, or the voluminous amount of water used in processing?
All manufacturing of toilet paper uses water, but eco friendly toilet paper can use less, especially recycled, which has already been broken down from wood chips and pulp at least once, or bamboo, which is softer than wood chips and needs less water to process, plus is naturally hypoallergenic and grows back to its full size in a few months with no replanting needed.
Switch to eco friendly toilet paper for the environment, the climate, and your good conscience.
Is Toilet Paper Really Bad for the Environment?
Yes. Here is what stinks (yes, pun intended, again) about toilet paper:
Is there any good news? Yes. All toilet paper is biodegradable to some degree. And there is an array of good alternatives.
Is Bamboo Toilet Paper Really Eco Friendly and Sustainable?
Yes and yes. Because it is softer to start with (a plant versus a tree), it requires less water for processing and is naturally soft. And bamboo grows like a weed; it is said to be the fastest growing plant on earth. And it breaks down easily when flushed. Definitely worth your consideration, but... (pun not mentioned).
We don’t get it. Bamboo grows like lightning, needs no costly fertilizers or pesticides, and is crazy-abundant, so how come bamboo clothing and flooring, etc., is so darned expensive? Bamboo toilet paper is as bad price-wise, maybe worse, and why should you be penalized for having to wipe? It doesn’t seem fair.
Is the upscale price of eco friendly bamboo toilet paper worth it? Stay with us... More on that as we move (let’s stop here and make a blanket apology for puns; done) along. We think that, as happens with any new product, the increasing popularity of bamboo toilet paper will result in the price adjusting downward. There are signs it’s begun to happen.
Are There Any Alternatives to Toilet Papers?
Besides using alternative materials to traditional wood pulp, there is water. Yes, think bidets, which go in and out of home decor style every couple of decades, except in Europe where they are a bathroom mainstay. We don’t understand why. They’re not inexpensive, but neither are toilets, and when you factor in the annual sum spent on toilet paper, they’re worth it.
We think that most people are afraid of bidets. Scared of having a spontaneous fountain erupt in the middle of the bathroom. Scared of the sensation of water blasting your nether regions. And then, don’t you have to use toilet paper to dry off?
There will not be a fountain any more than the number of times your regular toilet has overflowed. Some have a temperature control and the water that cleans you is set to be comfortable; good bidets also have an adjustable water pressure force. A few squares of toilet paper will be enough to dry you off.
Having said that, most people prefer “TP” as a means of cleaning up after the fact.
And yes, there are reusable “clean-ups” instead of toilet paper, namely, washable cotton. Yeah, we heard you cringe. Stay with us. More on that later in our list of brands and their virtues.
What Makes Toilet Paper Eco Friendly?
To be blunt: marketing terms. If it says so on the package... In fact, the five main aspects of eco friendly toilet paper are:
Be wary if you see eco friendly toilet paper advertised as being made from “single growth” forest products. Some companies replant forests in compensation for using trees, but more often than not, they plant one kind of tree, and that is a case against healthy biodiversity.
What Factors Make Eco Friendly Toilet Paper Outstanding?
This is a compromise any way you cut it. If you want thick, bright white, ultra-soft toilet paper (which women, in particular, do) then you’re not going to like some eco friendly toilet paper products. The exception would be bamboo. The chlorine used in regular toilet paper versus eco friendly toilet paper serves to both soften and whiten the product; once that is removed in the name of being eco friendly, the whiteness is missing and the texture may be rougher.
Some people say that recycled toilet paper is a bit softer, having literally been through the mill before in its first incarnation from tree into paper, but because it is made from recycled post-consumer paper, it can contain PBA, the result of printing inks used in round one.
Try to find a toilet paper made in your region, thereby reducing the distance it has to be transported to market and the fuel used in transportation.
In an ideal, environmentally conscious world, eco friendly toilet paper would be soft, who cares about pure white?, processed with no chemicals, very quickly biodegradable, no PBA, never bung up a toilet, and use as small an amount of water as possible, not cause clear cutting in old growth forests and be budget-friendly. You can’t have everything, sorry... But there are reasonable options.
Eco Friendly Toilet Paper Brands
Given that toilet papers of all varieties serve the same purpose and are made by similar manufacturing processes, there are more things in common than different. What does affect the toilet paper you buy is where you live. A significant number of locally purchased toilet paper brands are manufactured within proximity of where you reside. For example, some brands made in America are also available in Canada, but the majority of “TP” purchased in Canadian stores is made within the country, if not the specific region.
This list will help you chose the eco friendly toilet paper that is available where you live and that’s right for you and your family.
The basis for comparison is fairly narrow because toilet paper is not exactly a product with multiple elements. Its roll, usually, comprised of many sheets that can be torn off, is commonly white or in the eco friendly toilet papers, natural beige (perish the days when we could buy pink and blue TP!).
Almost all of the eco friendly toilet paper we researched were:
The majority also produce items such as eco friendly paper towels, facial tissue and serviettes. Many, if not most, subscribe to some form of charitable plan such as tree replanting and the installation of toilets for people in need; they’re a giving bunch.
Almost all are available for on-line purchase and home delivery; most of those offer subscription plans, such as, they automatically deliver a carton of 36 rolls per month and you save 5%, more if you pre-pay. That helps bring the cost down to the level of non-eco friendly store brands.
In the case of bamboo toilet paper, we can safely say they are all:
Because these factors create a level playing field, we don’t mention them in each listing; if there is an exception, we will say so.
Generally, then, we have a selection of limited options for the best eco friendly toilet papers:
21 Best Eco Friendly Toilet Paper List
Here are the best 21, listed by the maker first and then the brand name. Unless otherwise stated, the prices given are US dollars. That is likely the key difference between brands: price.
Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper. USA only. $30 for a carton of 24 rolls. Available with a subscription and delivered every 8 weeks; you can also purchase as needed.
Bim Bam Boo
Bim Bam Boo Toilet Paper. USA only. $30 for 24 rolls. Two-ply.
Green Forest Bathroom Tissue. USA; available on Amazon in Canada. Recycled paper with one of the highest post-consumer recycled content (90%) values in the industry. Prices not readily available. Claims to be 14% thicker (than what?) and therefore uses less sheets per wipe.
Georgia Pacific Envision
Envision Standard Roll Embossed 2-Ply. USA. Recycled paper. $87 for a case of 80 rolls. Claims 100% recovered material, with a minimum of that being 25% post-consumer paper. Certified by many authorities including LEED and Green Seal.
Canada, Australia, USA. Bamboo and sugar cane pulp. Certified non-GMO, 2-ply, large rolls of 550 sheets, fragrance-free.
Wholeroll Organic Bamboo Toilet Paper. USA. $32 for 18 rolls, which they say equals 52 standard rolls; compact as it is tightly wound, taking up less space. Two-ply embossed.
Pure Planet Double Length 3-Ply Tree-Free Rolls. Australia. Delivered in a pack of 36 rolls for $58 Australian dollars. Made of renewable bamboo and sugar cane.
Aria Toilet Paper. USA. This one we found a bit hard to decipher. It claims to be 100% renewable “power”, which defines as: renewable energy credits. Technically, then, it qualifies as eco friendly, and the company plants three new trees for every one used. Comes in mega rolls in 6, 12 and 24 packages. Two-ply; 24 rolls will set you back $31.
Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper. North America (subscriptions only available in the USA). Comes in a “big roll”. If you buy 36 rolls under a subscription, it’s $59 USD; without, it’s $69. And, because this witty company thrives on puns, you can join their Clean Butt Club. But here’s the rub (LOL), they also offer an adapter than can turn an ordinary toilet into a bidet. Amazing. Re-jig your loo to be a bidet and get their TP, but use maybe 3 squares to dry yourself. Top marks!
Toilet Unpaper Roll. Okay, this one takes some getting used to. What is “unpaper”? Cloth. Yes, 100% cotton flannel at $45 per individual roll. But you don’t flush it; use and then wash and dry, and reuse. The concept is a bit startling for those of us who were reared (yeah, I know) on disposable toilet paper, but it makes sense when you give it time to sink in. No flushing. Natural cotton on your skin. No trees die; ideal for use with bidets where most of the debris has been washed away with water. USA, but ships internationally. Available in pretty patterns. Wash it first, roll it up, and use it. Sanitary? Wash every 2-3 days in hot water and (forgive me) you’re good to go. This one is technically the most eco friendly version. Not single-use. Can’t argue that.
Who Gives a Crap
Who Gives a Crap. UK (no kidding; clever!). Good value, 3-ply 100% recycled paper. Delivery to your home and a (rare) 100% money-back guarantee. Subscribing saves money; they retail the products (they also have bamboo TP) in Australia, USA and Europe.
No. 2 Toilet Paper. USA and Canada. 100% bamboo. A carton of 24 rolls is $34; subscribe and save 5%. The packaging is made of recycled paper and printed with soy inks. Need we remind them that women also use TP for No. 1?
True Earth Paper
Silk ‘N Soft Bamboo Toilet Paper. Canada; available on Amazon.ca and at some retailers in Canada. 100% bamboo, 3-ply, 12 double rolls for under $13 Canadian dollars. They also make re-usable paper towels.
Rebel Green. Bamboo and Sugar Cane Tree Free Toilet Tissue. USA only, and available through retail stores. Comes in single rolls, and a 12-pack runs $11.
NooTrees 3-Ply Bathroom Rolls. Our understanding is that they operate in USA, but the company is based in Singapore. Made from 100% virgin (translation: not recycled) bamboo pulp. Prices not obvious on their site; looks like they also distribute through on-line grocery stores.
Luxury Bamboo Toilet Tissue. UK, but ships to Europe; free UK delivery. 100% Bamboo, 3-ply in extra long rolls. No dust, which if you clean bathrooms you know is a bonus. A pack of 48 rolls runs 40 Euros, but if you subscribe, you save 10%. We love the name.