An Alternative to Toilet Paper
The Toilet Paper Dilemma
I made my bi-monthly trip (that's twice a month, not every two months) to K-Mart the other day to buy paper products for my household and after spending over $100 on toilet paper and paper towels I said, there has to be a better way. Well, I'll leave the paper towel issue for another Hub, but as for the toilet paper, there is another way. And, with Earth Day upon us, what better way to start living green than by doing something that will not only save the planet, but that will save your budget, as well.
First, some statistics. When you think of the wasted paper in landfills, toilet paper does not often come to mind. According to the EPA paper makes up about 30% of the waste in landfills. About 10-15% of that is toilet paper. The reason for this is because toilet paper, because of the nature of its use, cannot be recycled. Also, because it can't be recycled it requires virgin pulp in the making process. Approximately 7 million trees go towards America's toilet paper consumption a year. That's 7 million trees a year that are literally going to be flushed down the toilet.
Are You Ready For the Solution?
While some people debate over whether flushing toilet paper or throwing it away is best for the planet, why not remove it completely from the picture? Not all at once, of course. Change takes time, but even if you could reduce your toilet paper intake by half, you would be greatly rewarded. The satisfaction one gets from being able to say that you are not contributing to a problem alone makes this a worthwhile endeavor. Saving money while you're at it is a bonus.
Investing $5-$10 in a little plastic watering can can practically eliminate any need for toilet paper. If you think about it, Japan puts out fancy and expensive toilet bowls that spray your undercarriage with water for a clean feeling--all I am suggesting is a more inexpensive way to do the same. With a small watering can, you can get a cleaner feeling after each trip to the bathroom, and you can eliminate the need for toilet paper.
Now, I'm not talking about those watering cans with a huge sprinkler type head--I mean a simple little teapot looking watering can with a slender neck that--to put it bluntly--can fit perfectly into that convenient little crack we all have in the back. I'll let you figure the rest out on your own.
The Trick is the Design
As you can see from the examples to the right, a slender neck is very important. Also, there are some cans with slender necks that don't curve, they just jut straight out. This might work for you, but you will have to test it out for yourself. The main thing is to find one that can get the job done. If you have kids there are some really cute ones for them. This will be a fun experience for kids, too. Getting them started while they are young will allow them the benefit of growing into conscientious adults. You can feel good about that.
Of course, toilet paper might still need to be employed, at least until you get the hang of it, but you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to save our trees and you can even feel good about doing your part to keep a budget.
Kids might need help at first, but for anyone who is making a change like this it might be tricky for a while. Be patient. Don't despair if you make a little mess at first. Remember, you are saving the environment--and your finances. Make everyone in your household feel like they are participating by letting them pick their own watering can. Especially the kids, just like getting them motivated about brushing their teeth, it helps if they get to pick their toothbrush.
Where do you keep these watering cans? Well, I just keep it on the floor by the toilet. You might come up with a more clever solution for this. If there are a lot of you, you might have to think of something else or else have a crowded bathroom floor. Watering cans aren't that big, but if you have several of them, they do tend to take up some space. But here's an idea--there might be some extra space where you used to stockpile rolls and rolls of toilet paper. Just a thought.
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