This is the season when we will be seeing more and more drafts of resolutions that will be presented to this summer's triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The text that follows has been made available to me by a member of convention who wishes to remain anonymous at this time.
The Episcopal Church and Single-Ply Compliance
Resolved, the House of _________ concurring, That this 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church urge every parish and Church institution to commit itself to the use of single-ply toilet paper in all restrooms and outhouses; and be it further
Resolved, That every diocese of this Church appoint a Toilet Paper Compliance Officer to monitor adherence to this single-ply policy throughout the diocese; and be it further
Resolved, That the Parochial Report submitted by every congregation of this Church include a check-box to indicate single-ply compliance; and be it further
Resolved, That training in Anti-Two-Ply be required of all persons in ordained and lay leadership in this Church; and be it further
Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music be directed to draft an Earth Day liturgy, to be submitted to the 77th General Convention, which will include prayer for faithfulness to our commitment to single-ply compliance.
The New York Times reported on February 26, 2009, that two-ply toilet paper is environmentally hazardous. The Times states:
The national obsession with soft paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted United Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra – which in 2008 alone increased its sales by 40 percent in some markets, according to Information Resources, Inc., a marketing research firm. But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in
The Episcopal Church has made the Millennium Development Goals its first mission priority. Among those Goals is an important focus on environmental sustainability. It would be tragic if our Church, committed as we are to peace and justice, were to fail in the matter of toilet paper. Our Baptismal Covenant implies a single-ply policy: since we “respect the dignity of every human being,” we must protect the environment in which those human beings live – and must see to it that human beings, in dealing with their most basic needs, do so in an environmentally appropriate way.