Living sustainably is a common trend nowadays. We’re starting to reduce our usage of anything that’s not reusable, which may include toilet paper that we often end up using a lot. Toilet paper, when used, not only clogs sewages but also contaminates waters.
Many people are, therefore, looking for ways that we can lessen the burden on Mother Earth when it comes to toilet hygiene. It is possible to go eco-friendly and use something similar to that of toilet paper. Here are some alternatives to toilet paper without harming the environment.
- 1 Alternative #1: Bidet Spray or Fixture
- 2 Alternative #2: Toilet Paper Cloths
- 2.1 Benefits of Toilet Paper Cloths
- 2.1.1 1. They’re reusable
- 2.1.2 2. They’re easily accessible
- 2.1.3 3. They save you money in the long run
- 2.1.4 4. Cloth products are typically eco-friendly
- 2.1.5 5. They also help conserve our forests
- 2.1.6 6. Toilet cloths won’t irritate your skin
- 2.1.7 7. They won’t leak out harsh chemicals into the environment
- 2.2 Examples of Toilet Paper Cloths
- 2.1 Benefits of Toilet Paper Cloths
- 3 Alternative #3: Zero-waste Toilet Paper
- 4 Conclusion
Alternative #1: Bidet Spray or Fixture
When talking about eco-friendliness, the best solution for most environment buffs is to install a bidet spray or fixture in your toilet system. You don’t need to use toilet paper at all once you have a powerful jet spray of water on your behind.
Bidets have been around in hotels and the like, but the problem is that not every household can afford one. Most of us also don’t have enough space for a bidet. That’s why bathroom fixture companies thought of a solution: a bidet sprayer.
Benefits of a Bidet Spray
So, aside from being eco-friendly, why should you get a bidet sprayer? Here’s why:
What a bidet sprayer does is not just completely keep you away from using toilet paper, but it also works wonders for your bottom. Instead of scratching the surface with (usually) bleached toilet paper and irritating your bum, bidet sprayers only spray water, which is gentler on your skin.
2. Less risk for contamination
You’re letting the bidet sprayer do the job of cleaning your behind and that means you’re not touching any kind of gross leftovers. This also means that you’ll less likely come in contact with bacteria and germs.
3. Great for hemorrhoids
Do you have someone in the house that has hemorrhoids or similar health issues? A bidet sprayer system will help them since it’s not harsh to the skin when cleaning up.
4. You can save more water
Making rolls of toilet paper require a lot more water than simply spraying your behind with water.
5. You’re saving trees
Aside from water conservation, if many people start using a bidet sprayer instead of toilet paper to clean their bum, we don’t have to cut so many trees anymore.
6. You keep the bleach away from nature
Many toilet paper manufacturers, especially commercial ones, tend to use bleach to whiten them. Most of us can’t avoid having to buy bleached toilet paper due to the lack of availability of eco-friendly alternatives.
Examples of Bidet Sprays
Here are a couple of bidet sprays that you can buy and install at home:
Slimglow – perfect for when your grandma or grandpa needs to go in the middle of the night since it has a night light attachment. It’s roughly easy to install with all the required parts included, so it’s a good DIY bidet spray fixture to consider.
Brondell Simple Bidet– if you’re looking for a simple bidet attachment, this is a great choice since it is manually operated. With a slim design, it works best for toilet seats that are designed to be lower. As with most attachments, its nozzle has a self-cleaning feature.
Brondell GoSpa– need to go somewhere but want to be environmentally conscious? Try this travel bidet – it will hold up to 400 ml and it has a convenient storage design that’s great for airline travel.
Tushy – as the name implies, it will help your “tushie” become clean without irritation as an elegant-looking bidet attachment. It has aesthetic options, such as either metal or bamboo knobs, to match your other fixtures in your bathroom. It’s also a DIY-friendly setup.
Alternative #2: Toilet Paper Cloths
The next best item on our list would be toilet paper cloths. You might be thinking: how on earth would reusable cloths become sanitary when cleaning my buttocks? Well, most eco-friendly enthusiasts are already getting into this new trend, similar to how you wipe your kitchen surfaces with an old cloth.
Toilet paper cloths come in various designs, which also make them a favorite amongst people who have a taste for design and aesthetics. Since they are washable, they won’t end up in the landfill until they’re completely worn out.
Benefits of Toilet Paper Cloths
So, what makes such toilet paper cloths a new eco-friendly trend nowadays? What benefits could we get from using them? Here are some:
1. They’re reusable
When compared with regular toilet paper, which always ends up in the garbage bag and into the dumpsite, reusable toilet paper cloths can be washed again and again, eliminating the need to throw them away. Reusable items are always superior to single-use items even if they are slightly pricier at first.
2. They’re easily accessible
Toilet paper runs out quickly and you have to go to the store to buy a new roll. You don’t have to do that with a toilet paper cloth – all you need to do is to launder your soiled paper cloths and you’re all set!
3. They save you money in the long run
As with any disposable or single-use item, having a reusable item will usually become more cost-effective when you look at the long run. Instead of buying toilet paper rolls endlessly, why not just buy a couple of reusable cloths and then wash them again? It will cut some bucks off your grocery list.
4. Cloth products are typically eco-friendly
Usually, manufacturers of toilet paper cloths are considerate to the environment so they use mostly cotton for the job. They even go as far as not putting any artificial dyes or inks so that your cloth product can go into the compost bin safely – additional green points!
5. They also help conserve our forests
Just like when we use bidet sprayers instead of disposable toilet paper, reusable toilet cloths also don’t need trees to be manufactured. Cotton is typically a sustainable plant and much easier to grow, unlike trees.
6. Toilet cloths won’t irritate your skin
While regular toilet paper fibers could irritate your bum, toilet paper cloths won’t do that. This makes them also ideal for people with sensitivities or skin conditions.
7. They won’t leak out harsh chemicals into the environment
As mentioned above, toilet paper cloth manufacturers don’t use artificial dyes or inks, making them eco-friendly. When you compare that with bleached toilet paper, it’s already a big factor for the environment.
Examples of Toilet Paper Cloths
So, if you’re interested in toilet paper cloths, here are some worth-mentioning brands to check out:
UNPaper Roll by Marley’s Monsters – such products are made from cotton flannel and have unique colors that would add a little excitement and comfort when “going number two”. What we like about the company is that it’s a family business so they have great control over their product quality alongside customer satisfaction.
Handmade Toilet Paper Cloths by Green Little Nest – also made from organic cotton flannel, this dual-layer product has good absorbency. As with all toilet paper cloths, they may require a certain cleaning process to avoid cross-contamination, but they shouldn’t be soaked in harsh chemicals.
Alternative #3: Zero-waste Toilet Paper
If neither a bidet sprayer nor toilet paper cloth works for you, there’s still another option – zero-waste toilet paper. Some manufacturers of toilet paper completely remove the bleaching process to keep their product eco-friendly and compostable, when possible. Here are some of them:
Made from bamboo, this toilet paper company makes products that can be composted due to its biodegradable nature. Since it is a 3-ply product, it won’t rip apart easily while you also won’t feel guilty about leaking harsh chemicals into the environment.
A plus factor is that it’s made from bamboo so we can reduce our tree consumption. The company is also doing philanthropy work for hygiene improvement in poor countries.
Suddenly, “going number two” has an all-new meaning. This responsible company uses soy ink for manufacturing their environmentally-conscious toilet paper, making it look attractive without sacrificing eco-friendliness.
Aside from that, it’s also made from bamboo to protect our sacred forests while also cleaning our bum. You also won’t find any plastic in their packaging – a nice touch!
If you’re looking for a durable yet eco-friendly alternative to traditional bleached toilet paper, this is a good find. It is also compostable and was manufactured without any artificial fragrances – great for people with scent sensitivities.
Yet another bamboo toilet paper candidate, this eco-friendly product doesn’t have artificial inks or dyes as well. It also arrives in eco-friendly packaging without the use of plastic. The company also donates toilets and helps in composting education among various communities.
No matter which alternative you pick, the decision is yours – so long as you find it comfortable to use and if it works on your budget. By considering these alternatives, we can help save the environment from excessive bleach leaking and deforestation.
Name: Rebecca Tarvin
Discipline: Integrative biology
Degrees: B.A., Biology, Boston University, 2010; Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin,2017
Rebecca Tarvin is broadly interested in integrating studies of natural history with molecular genomics and phylogenetics. Specifically, she aims to elucidate causal genetic mechanisms underlying novel traits, characterize phenotypic diversification at macro and micro-evolutionary scales, and identify factors that promote and constrain biodiversity.
She also likes to write about eco-friendly lifestyle and other material alternatives that are eco-friendly, aside from other ways to save Mother Earth