I used to be skeptical about reusable toilet paper. Like most people, I was accustomed to reaching for a fresh roll of soft, disposable paper whenever I needed to use the bathroom. However, reusable toilet paper has completely changed my mindset. After doing thorough research and trying it out for myself, I’m convinced that reusable TP is an eco-friendly alternative that everyone should consider.
The Environmental Benefits of Reusable Toilet Paper
The main reason to go with reusable toilet paper is that it’s better for the environment. Here are some of the key environmental benefits:
Saves Trees and Reduces Waste
Standard toilet paper is made from virgin tree pulp. It’s estimated that 27,000 trees are flushed down the toilet every day just in the US alone! By switching to a reusable product, you avoid perpetuating this waste. Reusable TP can last for up to 100 washes, drastically cutting back on waste headed to landfills.
Reduces Water Usage
It takes a shocking 37 gallons of water to produce just one roll of regular toilet paper. Reusable TP avoids this major water usage, conserving this precious resource.
Decreases Your Carbon Footprint
Between the trees cut down, industrial processing, and transportation – traditional toilet paper generates excessive carbon emissions. The EPA estimates that bathroom tissue creates 573,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year in the US. Reusable TP practically eliminates your TP carbon footprint.
Single-use toilet paper is the epitome of our wasteful, throwaway culture. Reusable TP aligns much better with eco-conscious, sustainable living. Small daily changes like this make a massive difference over time.
How Reusable Toilet Paper Works
Reusable toilet paper might sound odd if you’ve never heard of it before. Here’s a quick rundown of how it functions:
Comes in the form of small rags made from highly absorbent textiles like flannel or terrycloth.
Stored in a hanging dispenser within arm’s reach of toilet.
Use each rag just like you would regular TP, then deposit in laundry bin.
Rags are washed on hot cycle with bleach or other disinfectants.
On average, each rag can be reused 50-100 times before needing replacement.
It’s a very simple system when you get used to it. The rags are surprisingly effective and hygienic when laundered properly.
The Pros of Switching to Reusable Toilet Paper
I was hesitant at first about trying reusable toilet paper, but it has exceeded my expectations. Here are some of the biggest pros I’ve experienced:
It’s Extremely Soft and Comfortable
The flannel or terrycloth rags feel smooth and cushy against your skin – much nicer than typical scratchy TP. Some are even infused with soothing aloe!
Provides Better Hygiene
Studies show that bacteria and viruses can survive on toilet paper for several hours after use. With reusable TP, the thorough washing between uses kills everything. You end up with a more hygienic product.
Saves Money Over Time
Although reusable TP has a higher upfront cost, the long-term savings are substantial. You’ll no longer have to constantly buy packs of toilet paper. The rags pay for themselves within just a few months.
Customizable Size and Texture
You can choose reusable TP rags in different sizes – from small interfolded wipes to full-size cloths. The fabric texture also ranges from flannel to terry to rayon. Find your perfect preference!
Convenient and Discrete
The streamlined modern dispensers keep your reusable TP easily accessible and discreet. You can even stash some travel pouches in your bag or car for on-the-go convenience.
Answering Common Concerns About Reusable Toilet Paper
I know reusable toilet paper comes with some understandable concerns too. Here’s my take on the common worries:
Hygiene and Sanitation
This used to be my top concern. However, studies have found that reusable TP harbors no more bacteria than traditional TP when laundered properly. Hot water washing and bleach kill germs very effectively.
Dealing with Soiled Reusable TP
No one wants to handle soiled rags. Luckily, you can go days between laundry without excessive waste buildup. Just toss the used rags directly into a sealable wet bag – no mess or odor.
General Ick Factor
It admittedly takes some mental adjusting to get used to reusable TP. But it becomes second nature very quickly. The environmental benefits make the switch well worth it!
Finding the Time for Laundering
To streamline washing, I recommend doing one hot load with bleach each week. Or, look for a reusable TP service that launders the rags for you. Very little time and effort required.
While pricier initially, reusable TPs cost pennies per use and pay for themselves quickly. And you can try out small starter sets for under $30 to test the waters affordably.
Bottom Line – Reusable TP is Eco-Friendly and Effective
Reusable toilet paper might seem unusual at first glance, but it offers impressive environmental savings compared to traditional TP. It also proves just as comfortable, convenient, and hygienic with proper laundering. I’m a full convert after giving reusable TP a fair try – my wallet and the planet are thanking me! I suggest anyone serious about reducing waste gives it a shot. Your bathroom habits make more of an environmental impact than you may realize.