General Question

buster's avatar

Are there any alternatives to toilet paper that are more eco-friendly?

Asked by buster (10269points) March 30th, 2008

toilet paper

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

Riser's avatar

You can purhase biodegradable toilet paper at most organic food stores, though pricey, they are definitely better for the environment.

Or buy a fern.

spendy's avatar

If you are truly committed to an eco-friendly alternative for TP…you could make use of a “hanky” the same way people (mostly old men) of older generations use them to wipe their nose. I’m not suggesting you stow it away in your pocket when you’re done, like the nose-hanky users do…but it could work. You’d just spend more time washing your TP-hanky than actually using it. And, you’d need to invest in large quantities of eco-friendly laundry soap and hand sanitizer! :)

andrew's avatar

Toto washlets! You use much less paper, and are much more clean!

So I’ve heard…

allen_o's avatar

use your hands then wash it. Lots of people do it, not me though

Perchik's avatar

@andrew… twould be awesome if their website had text, along with flash videos…

andrew's avatar

@perchik: I know, it’s annoying. But the product is AMAZING!

So they tell me.

spendy's avatar

@andrew – the washlet is amazing. I’m already considering the upgrade!

spendy's avatar

And for the record, I was kidding about the hanky… Matter of fact, I was laughing outloud hysterically while I typed up that response. A few people in the house came to see what was so incredibly funny. lol

spendy's avatar

@andrew – “So I’ve heard,” “So they tell me”? I’m guessing you have one…do tell! Is it wonderful?

buster's avatar

Toto washlets! No wonder those people look so happy!

Rememberme's avatar

Cut up some old t-shirt, and have a glass jar (with lid) next to the toilet, every couple days wash the t-shirt scraps.

bulbatron9's avatar

Side Fact In many Middle Eastern countries, they wipe using their bare left hand. If you try to shake hands with your left hand they will just look at you like |~..~|

P.S. I have to get one of those ToTo washlets!

rss's avatar

Using water instead of paper is also common in Africa and Asia – it’s not so difficult for number 1 and it cuts down on a lot of paper. Typically, I saw a small watering can or bucket with ladle that had clean water in it next to the toilet.

Note: you will have to explain this ahead of time to guests.

(also – when I was in Japan they often had toilets that were ToTo Washlet style)

andrew's avatar

@spendywatson: Hypothetically speaking, the toto washlet is one of the top three gadgets I may happen to own, the next two being my maytag portable dishwasher and my iPhone, in that order.

eambos's avatar

If you search the toto washlet on the tube of you it comes up with a comercial for it. I can’t be sure if its the same one that’s in the flash video, but I find it kinda funny, like a bad infomercial.

The product itself is in no way funny, I actually love the idea. Its just that I find infomercials with toilets in front of waterfalls funny.

mcbealer's avatar

@ Andrew ~ that is hysterical. Not sure if other spanish-speaking Flutherites have been to this thread or not… essentially, the word toto in spanish means vajayjay. It is also the name of a toilet manufacturing company. Always gives me chuckle when I happen upon one in a public restroom.

andrew's avatar

@mcbealer: It’s the same company that makes the washlet… I (think) they’re Japanese, but don’t quote me.

But the toto washlet is also a toto washer!

Rememberme's avatar

the toto is NOT eco friendly!!!!

it is only another thing that you buy, to what, replace toilet paper? The machine is made out of plastic, eek! and uses electricity. It is probably made in china and shipped across the globe to get to you. When the toto breaks, what happens? Throw it away? when toilet paper breaks….. it doesn’t

To be eco friendly you must think about the products you by and how your lifestyle affects the planet.

spendy's avatar

Big Questions: How quickly does TP break down? How much TP do Americans typically use in a year? How much TP is on the market and what about the related manufacturing and shipping costs? Have we calculated extra water/electricity usage vs. the cost of TP and said manufacturing/shipping costs? Let’s start there…

The machine is made out of plastic, eek! – The majority of all toilet paper is packaged in what? And how many trees are being replaced for TP that is not recycled?

Just posing some valid questions, IMO. Would love for someone to shed some light.

bulbatron9's avatar

@spendy Eek, you just made an eekxcellent point!

@rememberme Eek, your computer is made of plastic! The car you drove utilizes plastics! What have you got against plastic?

spendy's avatar

warning threadjacking:

@bulbatron9 – thanks! And, BTW, I noticed in another thread that you were questioning your points and refered to them as staying the same. Your points are way higher than a week or less ago when I joined! :)

spendy's avatar

Back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Scoutaya's avatar

When I am on a camping trip or at a place with access to privacy outdoors, I squat or bend over to pee, then wipe whatever I cannot shake off with a bandana or washrag that I carry with me for this purpose. The pee rag can be used multiple times without getting smelly and saves both water and paper. I am still looking for an alternative to paper for those other times (like after dropping a deuce). Outdoors we still use paper and pack it out for landfill disposal. I’ve tried leaves (got to be careful) and rocks (ouch if heated by the sun or not well rounded) but they don’t clean as thoroughly as paper. Cleanliness outdoors is too difficult to achieve without wiping with ones hand which seems icky anyway. Toto is fine if you have money, an electrical outlet near your toilet and reliable, clean running water.

…Scout, on behalf of The Sisterhood of the Pee Rag

Sonja1270's avatar

I am happy to tell you all that my company has recently developed biodegradable, eco-friendly, bamboo fiber toilet paper that is not only really soft, breaks down easily, but it is derived from a renewable and sustainable resource. A scientific university study recently solved the mystery as to why the chemical compound BPA is showing up in our ground water…it is because of recycled content toilet paper! When they recycle the material that goes into make the TP, they use all kinds of paper, including glossy paper like credit card receipts (source of BPA or Bisphenol-A – a plastic!). Our bamboo bathroom tissue, the world’s first – does not necessitate recycling because of how fast bamboo grows. In addition to all that, we plant a tree for every package of 4 rolls sold, and our bathroom tissue will come in a 100% recycled cardboard box instead of plastic packaging.We also lighten it without elemental chlorine! Please contact me with any questions. Visit to see our current bamboo products and find out when our new bathroom tissue arrive – sometime this spring 2010! We also on FACEBOOK. Have a great New Year!!!

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