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Saw this piece in Newsweek that made me flash instantly on  RD – no doubt due to his earlier posts on, and fairly consistent references to taking a crap, different types of turds, wiping himself and other related issues. The short article is titled ‘Wiping is washed up’ and relates to the differences brought about between washing one’s butt after taking a crap, against wiping it with toilet paper.

Apparently a “classic survey” revealed that half the ‘paper’ users “..spend their days with fecal contamination – anything from wasp coloured stains to frank massive feces in their underpants”. Uurrggghh and yuuuccckkk! In spite of this, it was also reported that Americans “continue to mock the bidet..”. However, the crux of the piece is not just a matter of commenting on personal hygiene, but more importantly, it reflects on the future of the planet.

We are told that the average American uses 57 sheets of toilet paper a day, which means that collectively, they burn through 36.5 billion rolls each year – which also means that “tossing all the TP in America would save 15 million trees, 17.3 terawatts of electricity, and more than 473 billion gallons of water annually”. We are also told that “the environmental impact of bidets is minimal in comparison”.

So! Isn’t it time that the folk that are so concerned about personal hygiene and spend billions of dollars on advertising and advertised related products, think about the traces of crap they carry around almost all the time? And what about all those ‘Green’ brothers and sisters who wipe – shouldn’t they switch to water from paper?

Both Java and I prefer the less cumbersome and more environmentally-friendly bidet-spray to the bidet itself, but that’s just a personal preference. And ‘personally’ we don’t give a crap whether folk wash or wipe themselves – unless of course we have reason to be intimate with them. The fate of the planet, however, could well hang in the balance.

August 2009
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Ephemeral Ruminations by Java Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
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