Sunday, August 17, 2008

How did people wipe their butts before toilet paper?

I have been thinking about what I can do about the excessive toilet paper use in my house. With 6 kids and my nephew here 5 days a week, we go through at least a roll every other day. One of my girls-who will remain nameless-believes that her butt is never clean enough and therefore uses half a roll wiping herself. I finally told her to go get a washcloth and wash her butt after she pooped. That is working for now.

The bigger problem is the actual waste of resources and money. I am convinced that toilet paper is bad for the septic system, our bodies and the planet. So I did a little digging...

An obvious drawback to toilet paper is an issue that I am passionate about in regards to disposable diapers and it never occurred to me that it pertained to toilet paper, derrrrrrrrrr. DIOXIN!!!!!!!!! Dioxins cause cancer, learning disorders, decreased immune response, diabetes and all sorts of other nasty problems in the environment.

Sometimes I am so dingy I swear.

As I was searching online for banana leaves or something equally "safe" to wipe our butts on I learned that 424,000 trees would be spared by replacing a 500-sheet roll of virgin fiber toilet paper with recycled toilet paper.

When shopping for earth friendly toilet paper look for statements such as "unbleached", "processed chlorine-free" or "totally chlorine free" otherwise they might slip some dioxin in on the down low.

This is all great and informative but I want to know what alternatives we have to toilet paper. Seriously, how gross is it to keep stacks of rags in the bathroom and just throw them in the diaper pail after using them? I could handle it. The kids could get used to it. Chuck would grump but he'd come around. What would guests think? Do I care? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....

I am going to do a little experiment. When I switched my family from paper towels and napkins to cloth, I just said we ran out and use a rag. They are now so used to rags as napkins and paper towels that no one has asked in months when I am going to purchase some paper ones. I wonder if I can pull the same trick with toilet paper.

I am going to try, stay tuned for an update.


Jenny said...

I've been dying to try this too. I know I'd have to keep some paper around for the husband, but for me? Good heavens, cloth feels better anyway.

How's this going? (you can just email me if you want, or find me on EM as tuesday)

Jen said...

I've thought about doing this a few times, too - I think I'm a little deterred by the idea of what will happen the first time either hubby or child forgets and tries to flush the rags... :-/