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From blowing our noses to using the bathroom, we rely on tissue products for many aspects of our daily lives.

“A lot of the fiber that ends up in our tissue products – facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels – comes from the Canadian boreal forest,” says Jennifer Skene of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This is a forest that is absolutely critical to avoiding catastrophic climate change.”

Skene was part of a team that graded tissue products on their environmental impact.

Skene says that to help protect forests and the carbon that they store, any tissue products made from trees should come from forests that are certified as sustainably managed.

Products made from other sources, such as bamboo — which regrows quickly — can be an even better option.

“The products that scored the best are the brands that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material,” she says.

Better options are increasingly available in stores. But Skene says to meaningfully reduce the impact this industry has on the climate, large tissue manufacturers need to fully embrace them.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media