How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Reusable Toilet Paper

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Reusable Toilet Paper

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Reusable Toilet Paper

Why Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?

The average person’s carbon footprint is around 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This comes from activities like driving, flying, home energy use, and consumption of goods. Reducing your carbon footprint is important for slowing climate change and protecting the environment. Here’s why:

  • Climate change is causing more extreme weather, wildfires, droughts, flooding, and other disasters. Lowering emissions can help mitigate these impacts.
  • Fossil fuel extraction and transportation releases pollutants that harm human health and ecosystems. Using less fossil fuel energy improves public health.
  • Future generations will bear the brunt of climate change if emissions are not curbed now. We have a responsibility to leave them a healthy planet.
  • Transitioning to a low-carbon lifestyle saves money on energy bills and transportation costs. It’s good for your wallet!

Every bit counts when it comes to lowering your carbon footprint. Small changes in your daily habits can add up to a big difference over time. Using reusable toilet paper is one easy way to reduce your impact.

How Disposable Toilet Paper Contributes to Your Footprint

Standard toilet paper has a surprising carbon footprint. Here’s why:

  • Trees: Virgin pulp from trees is a major component of toilet paper. Chopping down forests releases carbon stored in trees and reduces CO2 absorption.

  • Transportation: Toilet paper is shipped long distances from factories to stores, using fossil fuel-powered vehicles. This causes greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Energy and water: The manufacturing process uses large amounts of electricity, natural gas, coal, and water to turn pulp into paper. All have embedded carbon.

  • Methane: Paper waste in landfills generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. U.S. toilet paper produces over 15 million tons of methane per year.

  • Chemicals: Bleaching and processing toilet paper involves toxic chemicals like chlorine. Producing and disposing of them leads to pollution.

Reducing toilet paper usage and waste is an easy way to lower your contributions to these impacts.

What is Reusable Toilet Paper?

Reusable toilet paper provides an eco-friendly alternative to single-use rolls. The basic idea is that you use a durable wipe instead of throwing away paper each time. Reusable options include:

  • Cloth wipes – Small squares of cotton flannel or other fabric that can be washed and reused. These are the most popular option.

  • Family cloths – Cut up old towels, t-shirts, or other absorbent fabrics to make DIY wipes.

  • Bathroom towels – Some households dedicate a stack of small towels for just toilet use.

  • Bidets – Attach a bidet sprayer to your toilet to reduce paper use. Air dry or pat dry with a small cloth.

  • Hybrid method – Use reusable wipes most of the time, with a bit of toilet paper for drying/final clean up.

Reusable wipes cut out the waste and carbon emissions of single-use toilet paper entirely. They last for years rather than minutes!

How to Replace Toilet Paper with Reusables

Switching to reusable toilet paper may seem daunting at first. But once you get the hang of it, the system is simple. Here are some tips:

Choose Your Reusable Wipes

  • Cloth wipes are inexpensive andcustomizable. Buy some or make your own from old flannel sheets.

  • Cut up scrap fabric like old t-shirts to make free family cloth wipes. Ensure they are soft and absorbent.

  • Dedicate a stack of small dark towels from your linen closet for wipes.

Set Up a Collection Bin

  • Place a lidded bin or diaper pail by the toilet to collect used wipes. A wet bag also works well.

  • Insert a reuseable plastic bag or reusable liner for easy transport after use.

  • Some wet bag brands have charcoal inserts to control odor.

Get a Cleansing Routine

  • For pee only, simply shake wipes out into the toilet before washing.

  • For messier wipes, do a quick rinse or spray off in the sink before washing.

  • Don’t flush cloths – the fibers can clog plumbing.

  • Wash every 2-3 days with hot water and fragrance-free detergent.

Try a Hybrid Approach

Using reusables for just pee and toilet paper for the rest can make the transition easier. Slowly increase your reusable use over time.

Benefits of Switching to Reusables

Once you get over the initial learning curve, reusable toilet paper offers many advantages:

  • Major carbon footprint reduction from eliminating paper waste and manufacturing

  • Big savings on toilet paper costs over time. The wipes pay for themselves.

  • Less waste and plastic from single-use rolls filling landfills

  • Custom options – make wipes from any fabric in your favorite color or pattern!

  • Soft and comfortable cloth feels better than thin paper

  • Easier on septic systems since fewer solids are flushed

  • Cleaner – wipes mean no scattered bits of toilet paper around the bathroom

With some adjustment, reusable toilet paper can make a real sustainability impact and lower your carbon footprint. It’s an easy eco-swap that also benefits your wallet. Give it a try!