Potty Talk

There's been a lot of potty talk these days and not from the usual under-four-foot tall crowd.

It started over a month ago when Samantha at Our Green House wrote about hating waste and hum... could she somehow reduce that daily, down the toilet, paper waste??

Right around the same time I was feeling pretty good about our family making the switch to recycled, save-the-trees, toilet paper. That didn't last too long though as my friend Cori upped the anti with her Uber-Eco recycled, for real save-the-trees, cloth toilet wipes.

I'm not the only one noticing all this potty talk. Even my friend Rich (not so much of a tree hugger but great guy who plays a mean uilleann pipes), just posted this week about the growing cloth trend.

What's going on here? Until just a couple months ago I was blissfully ignorant of any toilet "alternatives", excepting of course composting toilets which are very cool but kind of impractical in our current bathroom directly off of kitchen house arrangement.

I'd of been content, for now, to stop the discussion here. However, my research-happy husband, whose RSS reader keeps him up to date with all the techie-eco trends, has one-upped ya' all.

I should of started to worry when he innocently asked "how much do we spend on toilet paper each month?". Next thing I know, "because for a year's worth of [kind of expensive recycled] toilet paper we could get a bidet. And it would fit right on our current toilet." (like this is a good thing)

Oh brother! We are weird enough already. This would shoot us right up into the eco-wacky stratosphere.

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  • Cori

    Cori on July 25, 2008, 1:10 a.m.

    Wow! I checked out the bidet site. A few people mentioned that to me as I was investigating the cloth issue, but I never heard of warm water and heated dryers and all that jazz! I can just imagine Abby taking a shower with it!!! (Wouldn't that picture be worth a thousand words!)


  • mrussell

    mrussell on July 25, 2008, 4:47 a.m.

    So you have fed into my most recent quandry. . . consumption. Some of our friends at the Hoff reminded me recently that technology isn't bad, it's how we use it that makes it good or bad. i agree that we use way too much. But substituting one for the other. Hmmm. . . The only problem with moving to bidets (in my opinion) is that if you look at current trends the next major wars will not be fought over oil, but water. Even here in Maine we are draining water out of aquifers and watersheds than the environment is able to replenish it. It ends up being a darned if you do, darned if you don't. Unfortunately (and this lends to my disdain of people using the "go and be fruitful and multiply" command)the only obvious solution to me is to reduce the population. There are simply too many of us using too much. So i don't know. . . i can't seem to get my mind wrapped around it all.


    • damien

      damien on July 25, 2008, 11:01 a.m.

      I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but less water consumption is one of the benifits of a bidet actually! As it turns out (from that bidet article anyway) it takes 13 gallons of fresh water to make one roll of toilet paper. Calculations I have read put a bidet somewhere in the neighborhood of using 1/4 of that amount to achieve the same number of butt-cleanses. I have also read of people collecting rain water and using that for their bidet which has the potential for an even better water savings.

      The other big win for a bidet involves making a change in the way we view bathing. In other parts of the world people shower less frequently because of a bidet. Before bed they wash their face, hands, armpits, and use the bidet - all instead of a shower. Showering less would go a very long way to conserving fresh water.

      There is a third suggestion I read as well, although I don't think I would do it: Some claim that because a bidet means you don't actually have to put your hands anywhere near your-rear end any time during the bathroom process, you don't need to wash your hands afterwards... as I said, it may not sound like a great idea to some, but hey, if you want to try it go ahead!

      Anyways, lots of fun food for thought!


  • Mike

    Mike on July 27, 2008, 3:40 a.m.

    I've been using a bidet for over 2 years. I can not say enough good about them. Very little water is used, not to mention no trees are getting cut down. It is my goal to get all of America using bidets.

     No need to use water to wash cloth wipes when we can use water to wash our butts,      Cut the middle man.
    We have all known people that need help cleaning after toileting.    Bidets offer a hands free cleaning method for the old or handycapped.       I could go on and on.    

    It is only fair to say that I sell bidets. I will also say any bidet whether I sell it or not is far better than toilet paper. I sell very high end units but even inexpensive bidets work great.

     Please keep an open mind to water and start your family on another healthy life style change.      Thanks for reading this ----Miked

    • Mike

      Mike on July 27, 2008, 9:32 p.m.

      I apologize I should say "seat mount bidet" not Bidet. Most people think of a bidet as a seperate fixture. I'm talking about a bidet that fits on your toilet.



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