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toilet paper alternative- wash with water  RSS feed

 
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In Canada it was the Eaton's catalog but alas that has not existed for many years. The Sears Wishbook stills exists as far as I know.
 
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Rose Pinder wrote: I also think there is a difference between squatting and sitting on the toilet in terms of how easy it is to have a clean poo.



I can confirm this. In fact, I'm lucky to have a bidet in front of the toilet so I can put my feet up on it. Posture is important in evacuating so I use both the feet-up method (similar to squatting) and the feet-down method (normal position) and I can say that using both methods gets better results. Nevertheless, Once I found the feet-up method I became a big supporter.
W
 
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Mj Raichyk wrote:.... but times are again shifting as we now see that even stodgy Ohio now has (as of 2015) rules to authorize composting toilets and various types of greywater systems but on top of blackwater -- since laundry and kitchen water is considered black in the data on coliforms (e-coli and fecal) plus suspended solids, grease and biological oxygen demanding(BOD).... it will take some hassling with some county health types but some counties are run by decently intelligent types...

We're trying to get some decent system authorized -- composting toilets effectively pretreat the sewage to an extent that seriously improves the quality of the effluent and allows the minimization of the mound dispersal system... wish us luck..... we've got the system design worked out right down to water quality and economic impacts..... ttyl



This is so good to hear amongst all the doom and gloom these days! Good luck! Here in Portugal, I'm involved with an initiative to address problems with village septic tanks. This is mountain country - 30-45° slopes with thin soils (ie. leach fields are out of the question) - so tanks have been discharging into the environment. Even with a very low population density, there's still measurable faecal coliforms in every waterway. We now have approval, in principle and subject to further permissions, to convert one of these village septic tanks into a vermicomposting system as a proof of concept. If successful, all the surrounding villages will also be converted.

Portugal is a predominantly rural economy suffering many of the structural problems of the rest of southern Europe - rural depopulation, mass emigration, the imposition of austerity on an economy already on its knees (for the simple fact that a sparsely populated, predominantly rural economy cannot hope to adhere to the same debt to GDP ratios as populous industrialised nations), the forced sell-off of the country's remaining assets ... I could go on ... but the point is that Portugal grows most of Europe's toilet paper. The favoured species is Eucalyptus globulus because it takes only 10 years to grow to harvestable size. It now occupies over 8% of the land area. Its phenomenal growth rate comes at enormous cost to the environment. Eucalyptus plantations consume what equates to an average annual rainfall of 1214mm over their 10-year cycle. The only places in Portugal with average annual rainfall that high are the top of its highest mountain and the far north of the country. The country as a whole averages 708mm per annum. When you consider that a high proportion of rainwater is lost to run-off, then the scale of groundwater loss becomes clear. Streams that used to flow year-round are now dry in summer, wells and bore holes are drying out, village water supplies failing, the water table rapidly falling. Nothing lives in these plantations. Barely 15 species of plant will grow under them. The plantations are silent - there are no birds. The soil is stripped of nutrients, degraded, and fit only to be eroded once the eucalypts have finished with it. These problems have been known since the 70s - not long after the IMF demanded the widespread planting of the tree as collateral for loans - yet still the land area planted to eucalyptus is still increasing because it's one of the few things the country can export. The sooner the demand for toilet paper falls, the better for Portugal's environment, but demand is growing rather than shrinking like most other paper products. The country is well on course to becoming a desert. And all so Europe can continue to wipe its ass with TP ...
 
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I'm still wondering why there needs to be an alternative to toilet paper? Extremely thin, easily degraded, strips of cellulose seem like a perfect option. The quantity of embedded energy is so trivial as to be meaningless. Quire frankly, if you want to limit paper pollution, a better target would be the elimination of newsprint, rather than toilet paper.
 
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Its true that tp is biodegradable, and may be a good addition to humanure for the C:N balance, yet i feel pursuing alternatives is worthwhile, for those of us so inclined, for the following reasons:
1: While the impact of tp product used in a single session may be nearly negligible, the cumulative impact of that daily act of wiping by billions of people is surely not. (see post above about situation in Portugal)
2: for many people, toilet paper is actually expensive
3: many people seek to find low cost decentralized solutions for meeting everyday needs

there may be many more reasons...

AND i couldn't agree more that newsprint alternatives may be even more important than tp alternatives, but there is already a great solution accessible to at least the wealthy among us who can afford internet and that is CYBER editions of newspapers. in some high esoteric sense, the claim could be made that tp is 'nothing more than information' and YET i cannot see how a cyber-edition of TP could ever be effective.
 
Bill Crim
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Corey Schmidt wrote:
2: for many people, toilet paper is actually expensive



If someone lives in a country where flimsy paper is "expensive", then I would submit that they have much bigger problems than sanitation.
 
Wendy Howard
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Bill Crim wrote:I'm still wondering why there needs to be an alternative to toilet paper? Extremely thin, easily degraded, strips of cellulose seem like a perfect option. The quantity of embedded energy is so trivial as to be meaningless. Quire frankly, if you want to limit paper pollution, a better target would be the elimination of newsprint, rather than toilet paper.



I don't think it's just about limiting pollution of the end product. What about the environmental damage from the plantations of trees grown to make it and the energy and chemicals used to produce it? The pulp industry is a major polluter and TP production is just as much a part of that as newsprint. Newsprint is already a declining market. Tissue products are continuing to grow. Use of all tissue products in the USA averages 25kg per person per annum. In Western Europe, that figure is 16kg, while in Eastern Europe, barely 3kg. In the Middle East, where water skooshers built into toilets are common, it's nearer 2kg. China isn't much more and India and Africa less than 1kg. It's not hard to get personal use down to around the 1-2kg mark by using TP for 'number twos' only and reusable cloths for everything else. I have no idea how you even begin to get through 25kg of the stuff.

It does seem an incredibly inefficient (not to mention slightly insane) thing to do - to fell a mature tree in order to reduce it to pulp just so we can wipe our asses and noses. If there are less harmful alternatives then shouldn't we be using them? Even producing TP from 'waste' streams of other processes like cereal production has got to be an improvement on using trees and turning a whole country into a desert in the process.
tp.jpg
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Worldwide tissue product demand
 
Bill Crim
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Wendy Howard wrote:
It does seem an incredibly inefficient (not to mention slightly insane) thing to do - to fell a mature tree in order to reduce it to pulp just so we can wipe our asses and noses. If there are less harmful alternatives then shouldn't we be using them? Even producing TP from 'waste' streams of other processes like cereal production has got to be an improvement on using trees and turning a whole country into a desert in the process.



It only appears insane if you value the hygienic benefits at 0, and the cost of water/sewage at 0. A water-heavy system would exclude most composting toilets. Also, since trees are grown in farms specifically as a crop for this(in most of the country), I don't feel an impulse to protect them. The trees are a yield, and the yield is being put to use in improving hygiene. Wood product manufacturers are not homogenous users of forests. If you are cutting down a mature 80 year old pine tree, you are milling it into lumber. If you are mowing 15 year old farmed pine, you turn it into toilet paper and newsprint.

In general, I think that putting energy into creating better forestry practices (reducing mono-cropping, reducing pesticide use, creating water retention as opposed to irrigation) is more likely to succeed. I think it would be easier to sell(and scale) 100% Permaculture toilet paper with composting toilets than it would be to convince 350 million Americans to start using their hands to wipe their bums.
 
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Bill Crim wrote:I think it would be easier to sell(and scale) 100% Permaculture toilet paper with composting toilets than it would be to convince 350 million Americans to start using their hands to wipe their bums.



I don't think this thread is particularly about America, it's more focused on the rest of the world. Permies.com is a world-wide forum, and many of the posters here are not speaking from a US perspective.
 
Bill Crim
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Burra Maluca wrote:
I don't think this thread is particularly about America, it's more focused on the rest of the world. Permies.com is a world-wide forum, and many of the posters here are not speaking from a US perspective.



OK, that makes sense. But, that isn't a US issue, it is a hygiene-vs-resources issue. Washing your butt with water can only be sanitary assuming you have the sewage system to support that much black-water. What would the pivot point be, economically, between a TP+Composting(urine diversion) vs a Water+Sewage system?
 
Corey Schmidt
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Some excellent points made by all!
i think the countries where the tissue use is at a low are the ones that principally use the water washing method. i can only speak from experience about India, where that is definitely the case and where toilet paper is definitely expensive. When i was there, a roll might cost from 30-50 rupees and a construction laborer might earn per day200- 500 rupees.
at about 1/2 pint per use, i'm not sure water washing would interfere with the composting process as long as no other water is introduced.
I feel, at the bottom of it all, these are deeply personal choices we are discussing here. not all methods are for all people.
Your comments have made me think. I thought that an outhouse was the only choice here that would not deeply disturb the neighbors, but now i see that a composting toilet that looks like an outhouse might be the very best option. I may still adopt the two hole system at some point, as my outhouse is on skids.
 
Corey Schmidt
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I would like to add some info here for consideration

we use about 1/2 pint of water to wash ourselves with each poo, and of course no flushing water. we throw sawdust in the hole after (which is mostly from processing waste stream wood for firewood --when i tear up something rotten for somebody and rebuild it, they invariably give me the old wood to get it off their hands, so instead of burning it on the beach it gets burned to heat our home, eventually, when the sun isnt keeping us nice and toasty-). we have a moderate climate in terms of precipitation (24 inches/year) and upon inspection there is a bit of standing water just at the low edges of the hole, but little smell and some areas looking like soil. So my analysis is if i shift holes every 2 or 3 years and leave the wet poo/sawdust mixture' fallow'' for that time, it will dry out and I'm likely to have good compost indistinguishable from topsoil after another 2-3 years when its time to shift back to the first hole. So the water use is minimal, and i suspect less than all the 'embodied water' in tp that would be needed for the same purpose. While i have no doubt that responsibly produced tp could only be of benefit to the system it might then require the addition of a bit of water to get the moisture level just right. And for me very personally i just have a strong preference for that feeling of squeaky cleanliness and no itching down there, and a preference for not having to haul that expensive tp (everything costs a bit more here in AK!) to this remote location.
i think the potential beneficial solutions to meeting this everyday need are as numerous as the potential high cost high resource solutions that popular culture holds are simply required. The point of solutions that the average american can or will also accept is, i feel, a very valid one as well and worthy of consideration. I seem to remember Geoff Lawton saying that in most cases it will take a crisis to make people accept permaculture solutions. A year ago I installed a rainwater catchment system for our home and we have relied on it exclusively, except for laundry, ever since. The feedback i got was anywhere from "gross, there's bird poop on your roof" to 'wow, you're very dedicated to permaculture going to all that trouble when you could just use the public well.', to 'wow that's cool, but not for me." BUT just recently there was a crisis- the well is at an all time low! and then 3 people asked me about rainwater catchment systems immediately, 1 definite job (paid at my normal rate) and 2 most likely. I shudder to think of what kind of crisis might bring composting toilets into widespread use... (the outhouse is still the most common system here)
 
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I have tried to..."just follow along"...yet, when I keep reading certain "perceived points/issues" being raised as if they are "factual reasons" and not the "subjective views" that they are, I think I should again add to the conversation.

There is a clear "personal preference" that exists here, and all one side is suggesting is to "examine the environmental damage" that is done by a practice of using toilet paper that the majority of the planet does not currently (nor has historically) ever committed, while the less populated countries consume the most of resources...including toilet paper.... It is also hoped that other countries won't develop the same level and types of consumption that others seem to...

The primary challenge I keep reading presented in various ways and being anchored to "hygiene" as the primary catalyst for not cleaning with water but rather the alternative of a piece of paper () is flawed (in my view) on so many levels that I feel a need to speak up...

First, it insinuates that those of use that "wash with water" are some how not "hygienic people" or that cultures that practice "cleaning with water" are somehow not "clean cultures?" That is not only rather insulting to me personally, but is simply does not make sense to me? I personally, and those that seem to practice this "cleaning with water" method have always presented to me...not only in their personal affect...but conduct in life to be extremely clean and hygienically very conscious people...So lets stop using..."hygiene"...as a reason not to use water to clean with...It is a "non point" and just doesn't have any real legs to stand on...and I could ramble on repeating what others know and/or have said on that matter for many pages...

Second, if anyone feels the driven need to use a piece of paper, or some other device, to clean themselves besides the most basic of elements...water, then by all means continue to practice "personal hygiene" the way..."one thinks"...it should be done...It is by all matter a "personal choice." However, please frame it as just that...a personal choice...and not some "superior hygienic method" to what most of the species has practice for a very long time...and many of us still do...

Third and primary to this conversation is that impact that commercial "paper manufacture" has on the planet's waste stream and level of pollution through the entire..."commercial"....paper manufacturing process has. It is real, tangible and measurable issue...and...TP contributes to this to significant degree far more for "personal beliefs" than it does for any other tangible reason..such as Hygiene alone...



 
Bill Crim
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If we are talking about homestead use, then yes, it is a personal choice. Nearly any system can be made to work. As soon as people congregate in any density, human waste starts to become a social issue. If a hand+water system is used, it needs to be combined with pervasive hand washing. Introducing additional water into a sewage system requires that it is designed to handle it, which is entirely possible to do. The sewage systems of Phoenix and Toronto operate on very different levels of water/solid flow. If someone lives in an urban slum, then the existing sewage system is often open trenches that carry waste away, but also flood in the rain. Trying to conserve water in Canada is a waste of energy, just as building a large furnace in Phoenix is. In the absence of better(and higher capacity) sewage systems, I think reducing sewage outflows is a better way to achieve higher human health with existing(poor) sanitation infrastructure.

There is no moral judgement expressed or implied.

In a Venn diagram of "Places where toilet paper is prohibitively expensive" and "Places that are likely to build a well functioning municipal sewage system" my gut instinct is that there isn't much overlap. I'm open to correction.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Conserving water in North America has always been considered a waste of time....until recently.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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As soon as people congregate in any density, human waste starts to become a social issue.



I think we all agree on this 100%, yet that has nothing to do with "wash with water" method of personal toilet etiquette. I would also suggest that "sewer systems" are simply "convenient" for "Western societies" and not necessarily the "better system " by any stretch of the imagination...Having studied ecology and "waste systems" and "water treatment" and compost systems for a very long time, I find most "sewage systems" as we have them today (like leach fields and septic tanks) actually very primitive and backward in all since of the process when addressing the "recycling process" that we need to become better at as a species...


If a hand+water system is used, it needs to be combined with pervasive hand washing. Introducing additional water into a sewage system requires that it is designed to handle it, which is entirely possible to do.



Simply put...No, it does not. No more water and no more "pervasive" than it is at any other time...Not at least beyond what healthy "day to day" humans are doing anyway to maintain good hygiene, and this is one of the "misperceived" notions about this entire modality of personal hygiene of "wash with water." Having done the "culture test" process with several science classes throughout the years, we often find the "dirtiest" places are...

1. The human mouth...it is absolutely dangerous in some humans...

2. The human hand...and this is the "human western hand" that uses toilet paper and allegedly "washes hands" after words...Well, guess what...No they do not, as E Coli and many other fecal pathogens are still found on these hands very very often and commonly. The cleanest hands in the room (the last time I did this with 11th and 12th graders plus staff) was my own, and a young man that farmed pigs and other livestock...some staff and students actually had removable detritus from under the nails...I see it all the time...just the way it seems to be with our species...

3. The water fountain outside the classroom...

4. The bathroom sink...

5. One of the cleanest sources of standing water found...the toilet? Go figure that one out...well it is flush all the time and normally cleaned on a regular basis (in a school bathroom) with some pretty toxic and harsh chemicals like bleach and related...Not good for the eco system and definitely not the "best" sewage treatment system we could have...

The sewage systems of Phoenix and Toronto operate on very different levels of water/solid flow. If someone lives in an urban slum, then the existing sewage system is often open trenches that carry waste away, but also flood in the rain. Trying to conserve water in Canada is a waste of energy, just as building a large furnace in Phoenix is. In the absence of better(and higher capacity) sewage systems, I think reducing sewage outflows is a better way to achieve higher human health with existing(poor) sanitation infrastructure.



I am not sure how to respond to that...??

One we are following the assumption that..."only"...a water based sewage treatment system is "best." Second, I am not sure how this all too overburdened "sanitation systems" and their infrastructure bear weight in this conversation of "wash with water? " If we all became (whether city dweller or country) more responsible and intimate with our own personal "waste stream" perhaps things could become much cleaner and more ecologically responsible all the way around than it currently is??

It has been my experience that most "Westerners" have very poor relationships with their own boils, what comes out of them and simply want the most convenient way to "eliminate" and not deal with it as they can get...both in the "big picture" and to the point of "not touching it" themselves even if it is theirs or their family members...As if the "biome" around them is going to magically take care of it for them...but I own that is just my personal perception of most modern humans in this country...

In a Venn diagram of "Places where toilet paper is prohibitively expensive" and "Places that are likely to build a well functioning municipal sewage system" my gut instinct is that there isn't much overlap. I'm open to correction.



I missed any "interlocking or overlapping circle diagrams" of such comparatives?

I can attest to the point again that "toilet paper" does not equal "cleaner hands" or "cleaner system" by any means or form. I also can address that most sewage treatment systems based on "water" are clearly reflecting overburdened infrastructures. In rural areas individual domestic "sewage treatment" is often used as land and development control by method of "perk test." In as much "if it doesn't "perk" you can't build on it....which again assumes a "water based system only is best method" for human waste treatment. I would also suggest that modern humans are not dealing with "human waste" in all its forms in very logical or environmentally sustainable (or personally responsible) methods...In my view...

In closing...by all means...use paper (or whatever object one cares to) and use a "water system," to treat sewage if one cares to... I can not agree, nor does the evidence indicate to me that one is cleaner and more efficient environmentally or personally and that the "use of water" to treat waste is ever going to compete or exceed the capacity, efficiency, logic, or environmental sustainability of a dry composting system...
 
steward
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I'm just gonna leave this here:

Tushy: For People Who Poop

 
Wendy Howard
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Bill Crim wrote:
It only appears insane if you value the hygienic benefits at 0, and the cost of water/sewage at 0. A water-heavy system would exclude most composting toilets. Also, since trees are grown in farms specifically as a crop for this(in most of the country), I don't feel an impulse to protect them. The trees are a yield, and the yield is being put to use in improving hygiene. Wood product manufacturers are not homogenous users of forests. If you are cutting down a mature 80 year old pine tree, you are milling it into lumber. If you are mowing 15 year old farmed pine, you turn it into toilet paper and newsprint.

In general, I think that putting energy into creating better forestry practices (reducing mono-cropping, reducing pesticide use, creating water retention as opposed to irrigation) is more likely to succeed. I think it would be easier to sell(and scale) 100% Permaculture toilet paper with composting toilets than it would be to convince 350 million Americans to start using their hands to wipe their bums.



"The source of wealth is the functional ecosystems. The products and services that we derive from those are derivatives. It's impossible for the derivatives to be more valuable than the source and yet, in our economy now as it stands, the products and services have monetary values but the source - the functional ecosystems - are zero. This cannot be true. It's false. We've created a global institution - of economic institutions and economic theory - based on a flaw in logic. So if we carry that flaw in logic from generation to generation, we compound the mistake." (John D Liu)

It only appears not to be insane if you value the environment from which you're extracting timber for pulp at 0. Trees are so much more than just a 'yield'. Leaving aside for the moment ethical questions about their sentience, forests and the soils they create are the lungs of the planet. And with an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest lost each year to industrial agriculture, even monocrops detrimental to native ecosystems have value beyond their immediate economic purpose.

Hygienic benefits compared to alternatives are debatable. Personally, having tried both, I find cleaning with water to be superior to TP. I feel much more comfortable and generally fresher with water. And it's not so much a case of convincing 350 million Americans to start using their hands to wipe their bums as it is convincing them that using 25kg of tissue products per person per annum is over-the-top excessive and the planet simply can't support that level of consumption. If the whole of the rest of the world manages with less, why can't America? And as I already mentioned, why use trees? What's wrong with producing TP from the 'waste' streams of eg. cereal production?

Cost of water/sewerage can be more than offset by the value of the end-product if natural aerobic sewerage processing methods are utilised to produce high-quality compost. With more than 30% of the world's soils classified as severely degraded, soil repair is surely a priority?
 
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Interesting. I think that using water is awesome. But, I would need a rag... old western custom.
 
steward
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"Tushy" for people who poop

$69, attaches to your typical toilet seat, squirts water at your butt to clean it.

(thanks Cassie for pointing this out in another thread)
 
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I've watched this thread with interest, and will probably move to a tp-free lifestyle some time soon, probably the water method, as I have two roommates who might not get all warm and fuzzy at the thought of a bucket of used rags in the bathroom.

Although it's tangential somewhat to the focus of this post, I wanted to make folks aware of this product, available at sinkpositive.com, which replaces the lid of the toilet tank with a small sink that uses the water filling the tank as the water source. There are no moving parts and no faucet handles to touch. It has the distinct advantage of making the clean, fresh, potable water we inexplicably use to flush away our waste into grey water, as the used sink water is what fills the bowl. This also reduces the water load of one flush plus one wash into just the water used for one flush. My thought vis a vis this thread is that the water for tushie cleaning is now right at the bowl, instead of across the room at the sink, or in a bucket. It might take some practice to use for this method, as the water is not available until the toilet is flushed, but I'm sure it could work with a little practice. I've even figured out how to brush my teeth using this product (brush first, spit into the bowl, used bowl, rinse mouth into the bowl after flushing and washing).

It's an easy retrofit, I installed it myself within a half hour, and a method for turning a typical Western toilet into something more efficient.

I'm not affiliated in any way with this company, but picked up from their website that it's owned by a young woman who was smart enough to buy up all the patents for similar devices. Featured in the NY Times.

Sinkpositive

sinkpositive.jpg
[Thumbnail for sinkpositive.jpg]
 
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Just lost my comment! Short version: I cut a large flannel flat sheet in a decent color in 2 1/2" strips, and then down to squares...makes several hundred sheets. I store these in a basket on the back of the toilet. I use a 3 gallon bucket filled halfway with water and a TBSP of borax. Leave lid on lightly. I only use for urinating, and not for poops or during menses, which stain the cloth. Once a week when I do laundry, I just drain the liquid and throw in with the other laundry.
For two people, we go through less than a roll of regular T.P. a month, which is pretty good! Not a perfect solution, but it greatly helps! After over a year, I am still using the same batch of cloth, so it is very long lasting.
 
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Kali Maya wrote:I use a 3 gallon bucket filled halfway with water and a TBSP of borax. Leave lid on lightly.


I have been reading this thread with interest, and I think my first step toward using TP will be implementing a method like Kali's. What does the borax do - is it for reducing smell, or pre-cleaning the cloths, or?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Juniper,

Borax is (aka sodium borate) in this context is a cleaning agent and alround wonderful natural material...Google it and there is a world of informations from glazes to blacksmithing applications...

Regards,

j
 
Kali Maya
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It keeps the cloth from molding, and somewhat minimizes odors. It doesn't eliminate odors, but the bathroom never smells bad with the lid kept in place. The biggest thing is just training one's self into remembering at first to throw the cloth in the bucket, and the T.P. in the toilet. You seriously don't want to flush any of the cloth down inadvertently, or end up digging toilet paper out of the bucket, lol.
 
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Or you could make your own toilet paper so you know what you are putting into the bin.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4514690_make-toilet-paper.html
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Ummm...the link is showing folks how to......tear up paper to make...??...more paper out of it...?? That seems like a lot of work to me..I understand and support reusing old paper for such business if needed...I also know of many plant species that naturally leaned themselves to such practice if one cares to...

On the subject of making paper...I don't believe I have ever used "old paper" in the process...which kind of defeats the purpose in the first place of actually making paper...at least to me anyhow......but I own I am a bit old fashioned and silly sometimes...

It is a difficult process to make "good" natural papers, and the last thing I would care to do with that is my "toilet business." However, if one does care to, then I might suggest (though it's still a lot of work) is to collect cattail down and it's leaves to make the pulp. This can make a relatively fast and relatively lightweight paper for the bathroom and all manner of hygiene practices...There are some great books out there on natural paper making...It is fun...

I love Cassie in reference to "bird poop" and the human face...I agree...I am not into "smearing" stuff around to much other that clay and lime plasters and occasional cake frosting...

Just my thoughts on the entire "paper making" as it may relate to this subject...

Again, it is a personal choice that all should be comfortable with...

 
pollinator
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Nature makes toilet paper. The best leaf seems to be mullein. Several Mediterranean herbs have a similar texture. The work involved in gathering leaves, is far less than I would expect to do with any paper making process. Use water when you're done with the leaves.
 
pollinator
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Totally unmentioned within this discussion of Water vs Tp is the " Hairy Butt " group ( a much more common condition, and found everywhere,
not just among those of Mediterranean Heritage.

For This group of our Fellow Members just Tp or even Tp and water are not sufficient for the all important feeling of Cleanliness and Hygiene

I DO hope this was timely and useful For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL

Late Note : This should help put it into perspective :

 
Jake Parkhurst
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Oops, good catch Jay C. White Cloud.

I agree that making your own paper jus to white your butt would be a non-optimal solution. I suppose I was just speaking to the die hard tp users.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Jake
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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No Worries Jake...I like recycling anything...but not "reinventing wheels" or "undoing to redo"...like making "paper from paper"...or...not at least in the "handmade sense." I understand recycling paper products to make more paper...that is good thing to do...

From plant material then that is just a could skill to have...so thanks for sharing the idea...
 
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How about a tail that bats all the crap out the way as it comes out?

https://www.facebook.com/ebaumsworld/videos/10153131053437424/

 
Kali Maya
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I just want to throw something in there regarding using plant material as T.P.. I have done so myself when living in the woods, in an outdoor context. However, most people are still using regular indoor plumbing, and under these conditions one cannot use plant matter. I mean you can if you want, but you are going to end up with some serious back ups!
Plant material is certainly a good choice though if using an outhouse or such. I know in many places outhouses are now illegal. Back in the early 80's my family lived out in the woods in Northern California, and our neighbors had an outhouse. Unfortunately it was during that time period that building codes changed, and they were forced to get indoor plumbing.
 
allen lumley
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Kitty : this should prove to be useful ! Link Below :

http://www.ehow.com/how_4912764_order-phone-book.html

Also especially when an established region gets a new " Area Code " There will be a plethora of contractors hired to deliver the new phonebooks
to the residences, this is usually done at a flat rate per mile which results in underpayments for sub-urban areas compared to rural areas, AND
dumped phone books ! Libraries, Chambers of commerce, and cheap hotels end up as likely dumping grounds !

A little frictional rubbing of individual '' yellow paper '' sheets between the hands helps breakdown the papers stiffness.

This reduces the "john Wayne Toilet paper'' *effect greatly, producing a much more useful and softer material

Hope this helps and is timely Big AL

*'' John Wayne Toilet paper '' _ Its Ruff and its Tuff and it takes Shit off of no-one !
 
Kali Maya
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Telephone books and newspaper have been used by poor people in emergencies for a long time, and work great, as long as you put them in the waste basket, and not down the toilet. Once again, like the plant matter, it will cause your toilet to back up.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Another advantage of the sawdust toilet, use what you have or what you want, the compost pile likes em all.
 
gardener
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Paul Andrews wrote:Why are we the only animals that need toilet paper?

paul



Other animals like dogs and cats have a digestive system designed to handle raw wild meat and carrion; they lick their butts clean. We don't have the anatomy to bend around that far, which is probably a relief to anyone who thought this was a suggestion. (We also don't have the anatomy to cheerfully snack on other critters' poop, as dogs do; our intestines are longer and we can't evacuate everything as quickly if we get into an incompatible pathogen.)

Other animals like horses, cattle, sheep, etc. don't tend to clean themselves; they eat mostly plant matter, and in the event they "miss" and get poop on themselves, they wear it around for days (or years, in the case of a sheep that isn't shorn - they get crusty "elf-locks" or "dags" on the back end, one reason why sheeps' tails are often docked to reduce infections and insect infestations). They are covered in hair, and in most pasture conditions the poop eventually dries up and falls off, or gets brushed off if it bothers them.

Other animals like pigs are omnivores like us; what do they do? My impression is they wallow in dirt if available, birds also take "dust-baths" to remove mites, and the right kind of earth could probably dehydrate most pathogens. If not, they end up wearing their own poop a lot. They are also able to eat rotten stuff without a problem, so again, not the same digestive vulnerabilities we have.

Ants and other colony critters also have sanitation protocols, such as toileting chambers or disposal areas. I have not heard of them using toilet paper, but it would not surprise me if they have some equivalents.

Wild or feral animals get sick and die if they are not robust enough to remain healthy in their normal, natural living conditions. Domestic animals may become dependent on human intervention to remain at the peak of health (horses require hoof care, for example). People who get sick expect someone to help them get better, or blame someone for causing their illness (witches, hospitals, food preparers). We don't just let the sickly child die and figure "it was natural causes."

Having domesticated ourselves and developed sanitary precautions that separate us from other animals, we now require those cultural precautions in ways other animals don't. And there are legal consequences for bucking this trend - human societies establish cultural protocols for sanitation, and shun or punish violators.


Note that everyone having this discussion probably had a mother and/or father who changed your diapers with their bare hands, and yet survived to raise you to adulthood.
What does this imply about the consequences of touching poop?
"Family germs" are not as dangerous as most of us believe.
But the precautions we take are still good sense. If you're growing food in your garden that you might share with neighbors, or you like to prepare raw or cultured foods that could be spoiled by stray and prolific germs, or just in general considering that most of us come into contact with strangers and strange illnesses on a daily basis: It pays to be careful with poop so that we don't accidentally pick up pathogens (incompatible germs, or those that cause illness). It's almost more of an invasive species problem; your "native" germs are already in there and doing fine, assuming you're healthy, but foreign germs might cause dire upsets.

Germs from your own poop can be quite dangerous if they get into an open wound, eyes, ears, respiratory system, etc. It pays to be hygenic even around family. It pays to keep wounds clean and covered, and not poke dirty fingers into eyes or mucus membranes if you can help it.

Also FYI, urine rapidly begins to grow microbes after leaving the human body; it's not "sterile" for long. If you really want to apply only sterile fertilizer to your garden, you'd probably pee in the garden and use the rinse water to dilute the pee. Stored urine in buckets becomes microbe soup, then ammonia-rich tanning solution. It can be dangerous to handle if it sits around for too long; same precautions would apply as to handling poop (don't do it with open wounds on your hands, don't apply directly to ready-to-eat crops, etc).

That's my two cents.

-Erica

 
Erica Wisner
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p.s. The sitting position also contributes to our toileting issues. Butt-cheeks are together more while pooping, resulting in poop contact.
I've noticed that a deep squat tends to leave the butt cleaner.
Squat toilets seem to be more common in much of the world - I've heard about them in African latrines and Asian public restrooms. It would be interesting to know if toilet paper is largely restricted to areas with sit-toilets.
 
Corey Schmidt
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If memory serves me, the ceramic squat toilet model is more common in India and Indonesia, at least, at least away from the areas more visited by foreign travellers. And in these places toilet paper is a rarity or a luxury.
 
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Paul Andrews wrote:Why are we the only animals that need toilet paper?

paul



IMO its because of our unnatural diet.
 
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