Tissue Issue

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MAIN TOPIC OF VIDEO: How can we use less disposable paper?

14 Play Picture

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Frame:

  1. What kind of disposable paper products do you use every day?
  2. Do you know where that paper comes from or how it is made? Do you think it’s important to find out?
  3. How do you dispose of your used paper products? Do you think that matters?
  4. Do you think that we have a tissue issue?
  5. Do you ever use cloth instead of paper? Why or why not?

Focus:

  1. What are the two women going to eat?
  2. Why does the woman on the right take so many napkins?
  3. What is that strange noise? What idea is it supposed to show us?
  4. Why does a different person sit at the table?  Why do you think he appears?
  5. Do trees really get shorter every time you use a napkin?
  6. Why is using a linen (cloth) napkin not as practical according to the man?
  7. What funny alternatives to paper napkins does the man suggest?
  8. What is the serious alternative that he does suggest?

Follow-up:

  1. Are there good alternatives to using a lot of disposable paper?
  2. What did people do before we have disposable paper products? Was that better for the people, for our world? What about personal sanitation (keeping yourself clean and clear of harmful substances)?
  3. What changes can you make to cut down on your disposable paper usage?

 

ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Frame:

  1. What kind of disposable paper products do you use every day? Here are some examples:
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Kleenex or other tissue
  • Paper bags for trash or shopping

2.  Do you know where that paper comes from or how it is made? Answers might include:

  • From trees
  • From recycled paper
  • Chemicals are used to bleach wood pulp
  • Do you think it’s important to find out? The Green Ninja teaches us to make informed decisions. What does that mean to you? How can you get informed? Answers can include:

a.  Watch more of the Green Ninja

b.  Do your own research

3.  How do you dispose of your used paper products? Do you think that matters?

  • Recycle in compost
  • Throw out in trash
  • Flush down the pipes
  • Reuse if they’re clean
  • Yes, it matters because paper is a limited resource that comes from trees.
  • If we litter, our world becomes dirtier and trashier.

* The movie Wall-E, for example, shows what can happen if the world is full of trash.
* We already use a lot of space in disposing of paper products

4.  Do you think that we have a tissue issue?

  • Probably because we use a lot of paper products
  • We need to use less paper
  • We need to find better ways to use our resources and not waste so much

5.  Do you ever use cloth instead of paper? Why or why not? Answers can include:

  • Only in fancy restaurants
  • When I’m in another country
  • Never!
  • I use a cloth towel to dry myself; I don’t use paper towels—it wouldn’t make sense

Focus:

  1. What are the two women going to eat?
  • Organic greens
  • Healthy and tasty
  • Using organic produce is  generally more expensive, but since they’re grown more naturally, there should be fewer chemicals in the earth and our water supply

2.  Why does the woman on the right take so many napkins?

  • Maybe it’s her habit and she’s going to splash when she eats?
  • She’s not thinking, is she?
  • Do you do that sometimes?

3.  What is that strange noise? What idea is it supposed to show us?

  • It’s the tree “shrinking” because we’re using part of it for our paper napkins

4.  Why does a different person sit at the table?  Why do you think he appears?

  • Maybe he’s there to make his point that we use too many paper napkins
  • He’s funny and that may get us to pay attention

5.  Do trees really get shorter every time you use a napkin?

  • No, but we do cut down trees and turn them into pulp for our paper needs
  • The number of trees that are growing will be less. Even if we replant a tree, it takes a long time for a new tree to grow

6.  Why is using a linen (cloth) napkin not practical according to the man?

  • Not many people use cloth napkins like they did in the old days before we had disposable paper napkins
  • It takes more work to wash a cloth napkin and dry it than to just buy paper napkins. For further information on the debate between paper and cloth napkins, see this article-click here

7.  What funny alternatives to paper napkins does the man suggest?

  • Wiping your hands on your sleeves, in your beard, on your dog!

8.  What is the serious alternative that he does suggest for this situation?

  • Using fewer napkins. Be thoughtful and don’t just grab and waste.

Follow-up:

  1. Are there good alternatives to using a lot of disposable paper?
  • Use fewer paper products
  • Use paper goods made from recycled paper. Our friends at World Centric distribute them for example:  http://bit.ly/11ejEge 
  • Use cloth when you can, especially at home.
  • Don’t crumple up napkins if you haven’t used them
  • Use napkins and paper towels that are smaller.  You really only need a little of paper surface for wiping your face and hands.

        *See below for recommendations from Care2.com

2.  What did people do before we have disposable paper products? Was that better for the people, for our world? What about personal sanitation (keeping yourself clean and clear of harmful substances)?

  • People have used cloth (and probably other surfaces) to wipe their hands and clean their faces, etc.
  • Many fewer trees were cut down to make paper products, and it was very difficult to make paper at all. Note: You can make your own paper using paper pulp, saving yourself a lot of work, but realize that machines cut down the trees and ground the wood into pulp before you got it!
  • People did suffer infections from dangerous bacteria and viruses that spread easily through water sources and shared personal items.

3.  What changes can you make to cut down on your disposable paper usage?

  • Use one napkin or paper towel only
  • Recycle or reuse what you can
  • Buy tissues, napkins, and paper towels that use recycled paper pulp (e.g. http://bit.ly/11ejEge).
  • Choose smaller paper products.
  • Use cloth napkins at home.

 

ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND LEARNING EXPERIENCES

  1. How many trees are we cutting down for these disposable paper products? Does this have an impact on our world?
  • Many disposable paper goods are made from paper pulp, generally recycled white paper. That saves cutting down more trees.
  • When you cut down a tree, you do affect our world. Trees play a valuable role in our ecosystems:

*Trees absorb CO2 (carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas) and use it to produce oxygen, which we breathe.
*Trees provide food and shelter for other living creatures
*Trees produce food for humans, too
*Trees help keep the climate stable

     Learn more about what happens when we cut down trees at www.ecokids.ca

2.  If you use a cloth napkin and need to wash it, how much energy does that take? See here. Does the laundry soap you use have any bad effects on our water systems?

3.  Where could you get facts about our disposable paper? For example what is its impact on our water usage, our water waste, our trash, our energy usage?

4.  What kind of paper can be recycled? What happens to the recycled paper?

5.  What is the debate about paper vs cloth diapers?  How could you and your family make informed decisions?

6.  We all use toilet paper and flush it down the pipes. Does it make a difference what kind of toilet paper we use?

7.  What other problems do we face about disposable paper? For example, recently California banned the use of disposable plastic bags, but still allows paper shopping bags. Is that a good decision? What impacts are there? How can you find out?

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND RESOURCES

Recommendations for the greenest paper towels and napkins from www.care2.com:

1)    Paper Towel and Napkin Green Tips

  • Purchase paper towels made of 100 percent recycled materials.
  • Look for paper products that contain a minimum of 90 percent post-consumer waste.
  • Choose unbleached paper towels. If those are unavailable, opt for process chlorine free (PCF) next, or elemental chlorine free (ECF) as a last choice.
  • Choose paper towels and napkins that have no added pigments, inks or dyes (say goodbye to that floral printed border).
  • Select packaging with minimal environmental impact, such as that made of recycled and recyclable materials; imprinted with safe inks; and containing no toxic metals, dyes or inks.
  • Seek items having the largest amount of product to minimize packaging, for example, high-capacity hard wound roll towels have 800 feet or more. Some brands are puffier and allow for fewer paper towels per roll or napkins per package.
  • Avoid folded paper towels, it is too easy to use too many of them.
  • Look for paper towels that are wound on a 100 percent recycled core.
  • Our favorite place to get recycled napkins: World Centric (http://bit.ly/11ejEge)

2)    Cloth Napkin and Dishtowel Green Tips

  • Only wash when soiled. Most adults don’t really dirty a napkin after every meal.
  • Designate a place to store “in-use” napkins and use the same one until it is dirty.
  • If you have a large family, designate a napkin ring for each member to identify their napkin between meals.
  • Toss dirty napkins and dish towels in with other laundry.
  • Use eco-friendly laundry detergent.
  • Wash with cold water and line dry when weather permits.

Read more at care2.com

 

To learn more about water purification and waste recycling visit:

For more educational materials visit:

 

 

Credit: This teacher resource has been adapted from content originally developed by Elizabeth Brooking.

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