Less Wipes, More Trees

When we first think about making our homes more sustainable, we look at the obvious problems: plastic bags, yucky products loaded with harmful chemicals, and food grown with pesticides and antibiotics. But perhaps the less obvious changes are causing our biggest problems. Even though recycling is incorporated into many trash pickups, there's still that whole deforestation problem, and one of the biggest culprits is toilet paper.

In the U.S. alone, we cut down 15 million trees per year and use more than a trillion gallons of water to turn bark mush into those soft, supple rolls that bears in the woods love so much. Recycled toilet paper is a better choice, but if you've ever tried it, you know it doesn't quite hold up.

Even better is a bidet, but we're so used to toilet paper that even the most lavish one in Europe makes us uncomfortable. (Don't even mention water troughs in countries such as Thailand.) If you stepped in dog poo, would you run for a paper towel or the hose? It doesn't make sense that we wipe our butts, the thing we walk around with all day, with just a teeny piece of tissue.

A company called Tushy (www.tushy.me) may have created the easiest solution. It's a bidet attachment that will fit on any toilet and hooks directly to your clean water line, using only one pint of water per visit. It's easy to install and self-cleaning. To get the full blow-dry experience, you'll have to splurge on one of those lavish bidets, but paired with a dry washcloth, Tushy will do the trick. As the company says, “Treat your butt like your face.”

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