Now is the best time ever to start reducing waste and a simple to install bidet is the answer to the toilet paper shortages.
When the United States Government started suggesting folks stay at home and toilet paper started flying off the shelf, I received a text on WeChat from one of my Chinese friends. She wanted to know why some westerners store so much toilet paper.
My response to her was that I had no idea. I still don’t know why. I mean, it’s not like it was going out of stock.
Within a few days, friends started asking me to send them information about the bidet I use. I’m so glad!
As frustrating as things are, I have to say that I am thankful to know more people are getting on board with reducing waste. I’m okay with knowing the motivation is out of necessity.
We can get by with less
The numbers: 27,000 trees are cut every single day for toilet paper. That’s not cool.
Once we learn that we can get by with less, perhaps we will continue to use less in the future? We can hope for the best, right?
You see, Americans use 34,000,000 of toilet paper every day. It takes 37 gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper and nearly 300,000 trees.
Another problem with using so much toilet paper is that it is putting a huge burden on waste management facilities.
You might be surprised to find that in many countries people do not flush toilet paper. Also, according to toiletpaperhistory.net, about four billion people do not use toilet paper, so about 70% – 75 % of the world’s population does not use toilet paper.
The waste water treatment facilities have to remove and discard of the solids that get flushed along with cleaning the water. They remove it in a process called raking which removes the large solids from the water that returns to the facility.
Rabbit trail: Also, please know that other items such as contact lenses, dental floss, “flushable” wipes, tampons, or medications also should not be flushed. Yes, even if the box of wet wipes reads “flushable,” they should not be flushed! Do the research.
Why I started using a bidet
I didn’t start out using a bidet because I wanted to reduce the amount of paper I used. The habit came from a cleanliness point of view. My daughter and I recorded a podcast episode sharing our thoughts about using a bidet and how we’d never want to go back to dry toilet paper in this episode of A Healthy Bite.
Why not use a bidet? Over the many years that I have had a bidet, I’ve heard so many strange comments concerning its use. One conversation with a knowledgeable person went like this:
Me: It’s more hygienic to use a bidet, rinsing your bottom before wiping it with dry toilet paper removes everything, then all you’re doing is drying off. If a bird pooped on your arm, you wouldn’t rub it with a piece of dry paper, you’d at least rinse it off, right?
The person against bidets: Well, rinsing with just water isn’t cleaning your butt, you’d need to use soap.
Me: Do you use soap when you wipe with dry toilet paper?
The person against bidets: No, why?
So, what she’s saying is that she’s okay with just wiping her butt with dry toilet paper, but rinsing then drying isn’t good enough, we need to add soap? Not logical.
- “I’d jump off the seat if water hit me in the butt.”
- “That’s gross” (and wiping your butt with dry tp isn’t?)
- “That’s weird.”
- “Bidets aren’t for men.”
For those who think that rinsing their bottom is weird, I can only hope they are washing in the shower. It’s a similar concept – you use water to clean your entire body, including your bottom.
If you’re saying, hey wait, you need soap, think again.
Soap may be an important part of your bathing routine, but how do you wash your anus? The answer may surprise you. There should never be soap on (or in) the anus.
On a side note, the same experts go so far as to recommend a bidet, especially for those who suffer from hemorrhoids—noting that rubbing with dry, scratchy toilet paper can exacerbate the problem.
Drastically Reduce Your Toilet Paper Usage
Now for the few of you who are highly motivated to reduce waste, I will tell you how you can drastically reduce your toilet paper usage.
Keep using regular toilet paper in your guest bathrooms. However, in your family bathrooms where you and your children go, pair your bidet with these soft cloth wipes.
When you go to the toilet, rinse with the bidet, then dry with these super-soft cloths. If you rinse first, the only thing getting on the drying cloth is water – just like after you shower and dry off with a towel. It’s no different.
Put the cloths in a bucket or designated waste can. On wash day, use the sanitize setting on your washing machine with a few drops of melaleuca oil or whatever you do to sanitize a load of laundry. Dry on high, and you’re ready to go.
For sanitizing, you can also use white vinegar in the wash or oxygen bleach.
When everyone started hoarding toilet paper, I was over here cool as a cucumber relaxing with my cats. I have a subscription to Who Gives a Crap toilet paper for guests, but not for myself. Since I’m in self-isolation, I don’t need to worry about having paper around for guests.
Just think of all the money I’ve saved! Earth day is less than two weeks away. Won’t you join me in reducing waste by cutting back on how much toilet paper you use at home?
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