Each year, we lose 13 million hectares of forests, the equivalent of 36 rugby fields per minute! Having a dramatic impact on the loss of habitat for millions of species and contributing to global carbon emissions by 15-20%.
Trees also play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming and help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapour back into the atmosphere. Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts which lead to larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and increased speed and severity of global warming.
With the equivalent of 27,000 trees flushed down the toilet every day we wanted to produce toilet paper that would have little if any impact on our environment. That's when smartass was created using a combination of sugarcane (bagasse) a waste product and the fast growing bamboo that can be grown year on year with little wear and tear on soil quality, just rainwater and lots of sun. We thought this had to be a smarter way to take care of our bottom line.
Smartass is cushiony soft, strong toilet tissue made from sugarcane and bamboo fibres free of bleach, inks, dyes and perfume. So it's kinder to the planet that grew it.
THE RETREE PROJECT
For every carton(48 rolls) of smartass sold we plant a tree here in NZ with our partner Million Metres to improve water quality and enhance freshwater biodiversity.
Why plant trees along streams?
Recent statistics about our waterways are not good news. 44% of all monitored lakes are polluted beyond the point of eutrophication, with these conditions creating toxic bacterial blooms, bacteria dangerous to human health and oxygen-depleted 'dead zones' devoid of plant and animal life. And 62% of our lowland rivers have more pathogens than are safe to swim in! The stats are even worse for lowland lakes in farmland – a whopping 84% are so polluted they become eutrophic. In fact, many of our waterways are so bad that even our native fish have disappeared. It’s not the clean green image we associate with New Zealand, is it? And without significant intervention now, it’s only going to get worse.