When Kyle and I worked on a farm in Hawaii, the man we worked for didn’t believe in buying paper products. Therefore, he did not buy toilet paper for his workers. This was the craziest thing I had ever heard of. We are so used to using toilet paper and the thought of not using it disgusts us.
Kyle was open to the idea of not using toilet paper when we moved to Vermont. I was apprehensive and did not agree to it. However, since moving here we have changed many things about how we live. We do not buy napkins or paper towels, we compost, I started using a moon cup, and we are currently living without using lights for a week. I keep thinking of ways that I could live a greener life and not using toilet paper came to mind. Toilet paper is a huge waste of paper. Even though I felt weird about not using toilet paper I agreed. You don’t know how something is going to work until you try it!
*Americans use over 20,000 sheets of toilet paper per year.
*Making a roll of toilet paper uses 1.5 pounds of wood, 37 gallons of water and 1.3 KWh of electricity.
*Using a bidet is cleaner, healthier, and saves water.
We decided to set up a homemade bidet. We went to Ace Hardware and got a kitchen sink sprayer. Here are directions: http://gidgetgoeshome.com/2008/08/25/diy-tutorial-make-your-own-diaper-sprayer/ After going to the bathroom we just spray and then pat our bottoms dry with a towel. We have been living without toilet paper for a week. It is a lot easier and better than I thought it would be.
You can also buy a bidet at http://www.bluebidet.com/
Some people also use reusable cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. You can use old washcloths, cut up some cloth diapers, or buy special cloth toilet wipes. You keep a container next to the toilet and the used wipes are tossed in there and washed. If using the wipes for poop is just too gross for you, you can use cloth wipes for urine only and save the toilet paper for poop. You can also use a squirt bottle or a cup of water.
And remember, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down.”