The Real Cost of Being Clean

By Lewis Braham - 2013-07-16T19:53:16Z

Photograph by sudo takeshi

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Paper Products

The average American uses the equivalent of one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper products every year. All in all, Americans used $8.4 billion of toilet paper, $4.8 billion of paper towels and $716 million in napkins in the past 12 months, according to IRI. Paper’s environmental footprint is large. One sheet requires 2.6 gallons of water to make. Recycling 1 ton saves 17 trees and the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.