Consumption of disposable toilet paper
It was mainly around the 1950s that single-use toilet paper seemed to have become democratized and become an “essential” everyday object. The Planetoscope paints an eloquent portrait of Europeans:
- A French person consumes on average 103 rolls per year while a Belgian takes 120.
- This corresponds to a total expenditure of 90 Euros (approximately $140 Canadian) per person
- An average user takes 8.6 sheets each time
The ecological impact of toilet paper
- According to the WWF, 270,000 trees are used every day to produce paper-based household products around the world (toilet paper, absorbent paper, handkerchiefs, paper towels).
- Greenpeace states that 98% of the toilet paper used by Americans is considered luxurious (multi-layer fleece, triple thickness, etc.) and is made from trees taken from virgin forests.
- In several regions of the world, it is established that toilet paper has a great responsibility in terms of deforestation. We can imagine, although we do not have the data, that Quebec is no exception.
- It is estimated that a roll of toilet paper has a carbon dioxide emission per sheet of between 1.1g (recycled) and 1.8g (non-recycled) .
- It is also estimated that manufacturing a single roll of toilet paper requires 140 liters of water!
Washable toilet paper: an ecological choice
There are washable hemp and cotton toilet paper . Some will add snaps so you can roll them up. For our part, we much prefer without a snap button. For one, you have to button them after every wash and they end up anyway, more often than not in a flat basket. Two, snaps can sometimes be very irritating.
How many sheets per person?
For a life where we work or study outside our home, around twenty sheets of washable toilet paper per person per week should be sufficient.
If you work or study at home, you have to count double.
How to use it ?
For urine : most people will prefer or start with urine only. In this case, there is nothing special to do. Simply wipe off and put in our dirty clothes bin.
For bowel movements : there is no single way to proceed. Here are 3 proven ways.
1. We dry ourselves, we put in an open container (closed would increase the risk of fermentation and odors) or in a waterproof bag . You can put baking soda in the bottom of the tank to prevent odors. Before washing, add white vinegar and water and leave to soak for a few hours.
2. We manually rinse the toilet paper as it is used and then put it in our dirty clothes bin.
3. This last, but not least, is easily our favorite. Not only does it facilitate the use of washable toilet paper, it reduces its use and is economical and ecological: We use a bidet (water jet) or a rinse bottle, we wipe and put in an open container or waterproof bag .
Maintenance tips :
- Use a mild soap, ideally fragrance-free to avoid irritation and itching.
- You can add white vinegar to the softener container, it is a degreaser, disinfectant and softener.
- Avoid bleach and bleach
- Avoid fabric softeners which will reduce the absorbency of your washable toilet paper.
- Rinse cycle with cold water if necessary
- Wash with cold water if using only for urine and with lukewarm or hot water for stool.
- Air dry or dryer
Some additional tips
- Simply place your washable toilet paper in a basket accessible from the toilet.
- Still have single-use toilet paper for guests or members of your household who are not ready (we lead by example, without imposing!)
- During your period, you can rinse the reusable toilet paper with cold water after use and place it in your dirty laundry bin.
- Respect yourself: Are we only ready for urine? We are happy and we respect each other. This is already a great and beautiful step.
- We are patient: The fabric will reach its maximum absorption level after 2 or 3 washes.
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