Wednesday, October 01, 2008

wherein i talk about toilet paper

while having a mildly popular blog/journal whatever this thing is, one might assume that in real life i am just as outgoing, forthcoming, whatever other adjective you might apply here. true and not true. naturally im going to be much more outspoken about things that in real life i would shy away from unless provoked and i felt safe doing so. i am not one of those people who browbeats people with ideas. wholly useless are such tactics of convincing. walking the walk, now that is how to get things done. here i will stress that i am a constant work in progress and by no means claim that i "walk the walk" in every aspect. whoah no.

it starts simply enough with an interest in environmentalism, conservation, what have you, and then some years later you're sitting in your cabin off the grid thinking gee, that happened rather unexpectedly. that really sums me up. had i no children i wished to socialize, community i felt wedded to, husband who's job necessitated a reasonable commute i could see me living in that cabin off the grid. well so long as i had wireless internet so i could still play scrabble online. lol. it just happens so slow that that i dont even think of some of the stuff that we do in our every day lives as (these are real words people have used to describe such things) "primitive", "weird", "radical", "brave", or "gross". much less powerful words have been used too but those are the ones that i seriously scratch my head at. maybe radical applies. for i do feel that growing your own food, taking charge of your health and well being, etc is a radical idea.

crunchy chicken is doing a challenge, and has been for some time now, about using cloth toilet paper in leu of traditional paper. i felt a little silly signing up because we already do this and have for about 2 years now (an approximate monetary savings of $360!) but i really wanted to throw my weight behind a positive thing. here are some stats that really blew my mind from her site.


According to Charmin, consumers on average use 8.6 sheets per trip to the bathroom. That's a total of 57 sheets per day and an annual total of 20,805 sheets. There are 230 million adults in the U.S., each averaging a roll and a half per week. Since each roll of toilet paper averages about .5 a pound of paper, that's about 40 pounds of TP per year.

That equals 4,600,000 tons of TP used each year. And that's just from adults. To take the calculation even further, if all U.S. adults used only Charmin toilet paper or the like (aka "virgin fiber" with 0% recycled content or post-consumer waste), the environmental cost is approximately (not including the issues with Dioxin):

- 78.2 million trees
- 1.35 million tons of air pollution
- 32 trillion gallons of water
- 2.1 trillion gallons of oil
- 18.75 trillion Kilowatt hours of energy


also dont be afraid to come to my house and be forced to wipe like a dirty hippy. (though we encourage it!) we keep a roll for guests in the bathroom at all times.

14 comments:

Carly said...

This intrigues me! But I have no idea what to even assume. Do you make your own TP alternative? What's the procedure? Do you just treat used TP as if it were a cloth diaper and toss it in with that load? I have so many questions!

jenny mae. said...

some people actually buy cloth wipes, we just made our own out of whatever was handy. i recommend flannel sheets from the thrift store! so soft! just cut the fabric into 6 X 6 squares approximately. we treat them as cloth diapers yes.

Kristin said...

You might find this book interesting-- "the humanure handbook" by Joseph C. Jenkins. It's all about composting human waste instead of flushing it into our clean water supply. It's really an amazing book--- after my hubby and I read it, we started using a composting toilet (ie a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat!) in our apartment. :) :) Even my completely convetional sister-in-law (who was adamently opposed to the idea) wants a composting toilet after reading this book. :)

I'm totally with you in the cabin off the grid thing. But, like you, I don't want to be cut off from community... we're trying to convince some friends to come do this with us... They're almost convinced....... :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, my dearest sister, for the spare roll. I support your causes because I love you, but the Bubby can only go so far. Ee-Gads should I ever be trapped in the mountains with no double-roll of angel soft! :)

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHA "forces to wipe like a dirty hippy" ....made my day! thank you

jenny mae. said...

kristin - yes ive heard of the book though ive never read it. shall i slip further down the crunchy rabbit hole and check it out from the library? :)

bub - yes the roll was with you specifically in mind. i shant force my crunchy ways of the masses.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean this in a challenging way, but more just that I'm genuinely curious... how does 100% recycled material toilet paper use compare with the impact of washing homemade wipes? This idea is very intriguing to me but not really practical until I live somewhere with my own washer and dryer... lugging the used wipes to the laundromat could be unpleasant!

Ashley Malefyt said...

Would you really like one?

mandi said...

wow! i am so impressed that you use 'family wipes' (that's what we call em around these parts). my husband freaked out when i brought home gladrags...i can only imagine his reaction if i switched to cloth tp. ooh, maybe i should just to see what he'd do! : )

very inspiring post...

Judy Crawford said...

All I have to say is that some are braver than others. :) Kudos to you for doing this. My hubby would totally freak out at the idea.

Ashley Malefyt said...

I would love to send it out. I use paypal with ashleymalefyt@mac.com. I can send it out tomorrow if you want to give me an address to ship to.

nathansmart said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ior1lBQadK8

jenny mae. said...

nathan for the win!

hey what are you cats doing on october 18th? uhh babysitting my kids so we can go to agora V?

http://www.agoracolumbus.com

nathansmart said...

email me:

nathansmart -at- gmail /dot/ com