Toilet Paper: The Good, The Bad, and The Poopy

What you need to know about your toilet paper use, how to reduce your TP waste, and more!

Everyone loves good toilet paper. In recent times, it seems like people love it a little too much, stockpiling it from the selves. One-ply, two-ply, however many ply you like! But, most toilet paper ends up in landfills and sewers, decaying and polluting our environment.

Ever wonder what it takes to make the average roll of toilet paper? On average, it takes 37 gallons of water and 1.5 pounds of wood to make one roll of toilet paper. With the average person using 100 rolls of toilet paper a year, it starts to add up, filling our landfills and sewer systems.

How to use toilet paper?

100 rolls a year per person seems a bit excessive, right? Well, that’s because it is. To maximize the lifespan of your toilet paper and reduce the impact on the environment it’s recommended to only use about 3 squares (yes, only 3 squares) adding one new square per wipe.

In the decomposition vaults of the waste-diverting backcountry toilets we use, we’ve gotten a first hand look at the disproportionate toilet paper usage. The vaults often look like nothing more than piles of barely used TP, making up 90% of the decomposition vault waste volume.

I tried it and it actually works, I’ve gone from using 8 or so squares to just 5. It doesn’t seem like much but over the course of a year those 3 squares really start to add up. If everyone used as little of toilet paper as possible imagine how much less we would use as a society. Imagine all of the toilet paper we would keep out of the landfills!

How to reduce toilet paper use?

Well, start off by using toilet paper correctly! But, if you’re really looking to reduce toilet paper use there are some great eco-friendly, reusable options like homemade toilet paper, reusable toilet wipes, plastic-free and tree-free toilet paper. These have a much smaller carbon footprint and eliminate some of the waste created when going poo.

Because the majority of people who have access to Toilet Paper use it, doesn’t mean it’s the best option.

Here are some alternatives:

A cloth, or rag. Even though this sounds kinda gross, reusable wipes/ rags are an easy, waste free way to reduce toilet paper use. Be sure to have a hamper next to the toilet to put the used rags in. Ladies, check out Kula cloth for a great antimicrobial pee cloth option!

Get A Bidet. Bidets are commonly found in European and asian countries, not so much in the United States. Bidets are very eco-friendly and actually use less water than normal toilets. The average toilet uses 5 gallons of water per flush while the bidet only uses about 1/8th of a gallon.

Plastic free toilet paper is another option! Plastic free toilet paper is exactly what it sounds like, free of plastic. This toilet paper is made from recycled paper shavings and comes packaged in recycled paper.

Tree-Free toilet paper. Tree free toilet paper is made from plants like bamboo, eucalyptus, sugarcane, and begasse. Plants like bamboo can be harvested without killing the plant. These plants all reach maturity in 3-4 months compared to a tree which can take 30-40 years to reach maturity.

You might ask why we are so passionate about toilet paper. We aren’t passionate about toilet paper, we’re passionate about human waste management. Here at Do Good Shit we are focused on implementing sustainable and eco-friendly waste management systems in remote and high alpine ecosystems to protect the environment for generations to come and reduce pollution.

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