You might find the idea of going without toilet paper a bit shocking, but lots of people around the world do it, and there are good technologies available now to replace your toilet or add on to it. It is cleaner and healthier, and saves a lot of water -- making a roll of toilet paper uses 1.5 pounds of wood, 37 gallons of water and 1.3 KWh of electricity.
Many bidet-style toilets or toilet seat add-ons are expensive, but the Blue Bidet is only $69. It can be installed in under half an hour.
Most people find they have no problem using a bidet. Occasionally, a few sheets of paper are needed for drying. To avoid this, you could get an air-drying bidet that would eliminate toilet paper entirely.
I love sharing simple, inexpensive technology advances that can make a difference in your life and in the world, and the Blue Bidet is certainly one of them.
In one day Americans use 34 million rolls of toilet paper, which uses massive resources to produce, including:
255 million gallons of water
88 million pounds of greenhouse gases
161 million KWH of electricity
Using a Blue Bidet, or any bidet, can reduce this usage by 75 percent. It’s not 100 percent because even with a bidet most people will use a small amount of toilet paper to remove any remaining moisture, however this extra toilet paper can be eliminated too by getting an air-drying bidet.
Even eliminating a few rolls of toilet paper in your household each month could have major implications worldwide when you consider that each roll of toilet paper produced uses:
1.5 pounds of wood
37 gallons of water
1.3 KWH of electricity
Harmful chlorine, sulfur and calcium carbonate
The Blue Bidet is also worthy of looking into because it can be installed onto any toilet (you don’t have to do any major plumbing in your bathroom) in under half an hour and it sells for just $69, which seems like a reasonable price to pay given the benefits.
Using a bidet is also a simple way to increase your bathroom hygiene, as it’s very easy to contaminate your fingers when wiping yourself with toilet paper -- a risk that is eliminated when you use a bidet. It’s also a gentler form of cleansing if you have hemorrhoids, as rubbing the area with toilet paper can irritate and inflame your skin.
More Healthy Bathroom Tips
While we’re on the topic, I’d like to share another “innovation” I actually had an opportunity to use during my trip to India last year, and that would be: the squat toilet. Interestingly, many places in India do not have regular toilets but just a hole in the floor. When you use a toilet like that, your body will be in the position it was designed to be in when you’re having a bowel movement, which is a squatting position.
I’m certain most Westerners would find this unusual or odd but it actually is very efficient and works quite nicely. They have an empty pitcher on the floor and a faucet above it so you can actually flush the waste down.
When you sit on a regular toilet, you lose a lot of the force that helps with elimination. Now, I’m not suggesting you cut a hole in your bathroom floor; there are other devices you can put around your toilet that will somewhat simulate that squatting position, to help you eliminate with greater ease.
Further, here are four more safe and effective toilet habits:
Allow your body to work naturally by using the toilet whenever you feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Go as soon as you feel the need -- delaying can cause or aggravate constipation.
Don’t sit on the toilet for prolonged periods. This increases pressure on your rectum, which is not good for you. Limit time on the toilet to three to five minutes per sitting. If necessary, get up, walk around or otherwise distract yourself, and wait for the urge to return before returning to the toilet. You can also use a small footstool while seated on the toilet to elevate your legs and relieve pressure.
Don’t strain excessively to have a bowel movement. Exert gentle pressure only, for no more than 30 seconds per attempt, focus on using your abdominal and pelvic muscles.
Use a squatting position. Hemorrhoids are rarely seen in countries where people squat for bodily functions. Results of a study published in the late 1980s showed 18 out of 20 hemorrhoid patients had complete and sustained relief from pain and bleeding with use of a squat toilet.