Welcome to the discussion thread for the story, A Brief History of TP, From Silk Road Hygiene to Pandemic Hoarding. You can share your comments and thoughts about the story in the conversation below.
I really don’t think you need to worry about the trees being cut for paper making. All of the big paper manufacturers now own vast amounts of land where they responsibly “farm” trees especially for paper making. Here in Arkansas there are huge tree farms growing lots of loblolly pines for paper production of all sorts. These companies know where their bread is buttered, and they are constantly harvesting and replanting.
I write an “interesting knowledge from the age of sail” feature, Flotsam, on the website for our maritime music group, Bounding Main. You might be surprised how often I am asked about how “pirates” wiped their butts. After explaining that all pirates were sailors but not all sailors were pirates I go on to explain what I’ve learned. It seems that at the front of the ship (the head) they relieved themselves and took the frayed end of a worn-out rope out of a bucket of water, wiped themselves with it and swirled it around again in the bucket. One would like to believe that that bucket water was changed out frequently, but then you remember that more sailors died of disease than they did from war. For more tidbits like this please visit, http://boundingmain.com/flotsam/.