My zero-waste journey took an interesting turn lately – one which may make some rather uncomfortable. So to get you in the mood to discuss poop, here is Amy Schumer.
There. Now that you are thinking about your fudge-machine, let’s think about one of the rarely questioned aspects of modern life: the roll of toilet paper beside nearly every toilet in the developed world.
Basically, the only solution we have been offered to wipe up lemonade and clean the fudge off our buns is toilet paper.
Which frankly, is a little bit silly!
Think about it: if a bird pooped on your hand, what would you do? Probably wash your hand or perhaps wipe using get a damp cloth and some soap. I would guess that one of your last resorts would be to smear the poop off with a piece of paper.
Someday, when I am not in a rental, I would definitely install a bidet for next level bottom cleaning, but until that time, I started to wonder if there was a way to a reduce waste in the cleaning of waste.
While there are some recycled toilet papers (including companies like Who Gives A Crapwhose recycled tp has a smaller environmental footprint and is not wrapped in plastic), we are still flushing thousands of trees down the toilet each year.
So I have decided to give up toilet paper at home. Now, wait! Before you recoil in disgust, it is actually quite simple and surprisingly refreshing!
What do you need to make the switch?
Borrowing from the many mommy blogs which discuss poop a lot, the cloth diapering clan has a lot to say about removing poop off bodies in a zero-waste way. This paper-free fudge solution involves three simple components:
I went for a set of soft cotton cloths from Cheeky Wipes, so I can have a stack at the ready. You could also use existing washcloths or re-purpose towels for a deeply zero-waste option.
Again from the cloth diapering set, you can get a wet bag. These are designed to trap the moisture and smell from soiled diapers – usually with a waterproof lining and a odour-locked zipper. Since you are not storing handfuls of fudge, like you might if you have a full diaper, I anticipate that odour issues will be kept to a minimum. (If my flatmates say differently, I may have to reconsider this endeavor! Will update if there are objections). I found a small one from Planet Wise which is both functional and adorable!
Using an amber glass bottle, you can quickly whip up a spray to spritz on your clothes prior to wiping. Again, by trolling the blogs about making a bum spray for babies, I decided on the following list of ingredients:
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp grated Dr. Bronner’s soap
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 5-10 drops tea tree essential oil
I added the coconut oil and grated soap to a bit of water and melted them together in the microwave. After pouring into my bottle, I added the essential oils and filled up the rest of the bottle with water.
Putting it all together:
The rest is simple. Just spritz your wipe, clean your bottom, tuck the cloth into the wet bag. At the end of the week, turn the bag inside out into the washer and run a quick rinse cycle. After this short cycle, throw the rest of your towels etc in, et voila!
I have to say, I already really like this switch! I feel very clean and fresh down there and I have not (yet) dropped the cloth into the toilet, which may happen if I am being absent minded.
I am a recent convert to this system, but I am already hooked! I find myself feeling disappointed at the office to use ol’ tree paper (but I am not quite at the point where I want to carry a baggie of lightly soiled cloths around with me).
What about you? Would you give up toilet paper? What other zero-waste endeavor should I adopt?