We have been doing this for about 3 years but I have never mentioned it because it is like the last bastion of eco-friendly-ness and how far we will go to cut down on waste to try and achieve zero-waste as much as possible, but it also saves us money.
We don’t use as much toilet paper as a normal household because we use reusable cloth wipes for number one and toilet paper only for number two.
Little Bun is so used to this from when he was tiny, that he gets a little confused sometimes when we go out and he has to use toilet paper and drop it in the toilet, as he is used to a reusable system.
HOW IT WORKS
We keep a large red pail beside the toilet, with these OsoCozy 100% cotton cloth wipes that we had originally used on Little Bun when he was a Baby Bun, to wipe his bum (we didn’t use disposable wipes then either). We figured it was good enough for him, so it was great for us.
Our particular diaper pail is no longer sold but it functions a lot like this Diaper Champ one, in that you just put in the cloth and flip the handle from one side to the other and it pops it to the bottom and keeps odours out as there is no open area for the smell (very little) to come out:
Does it stink?
No. The diaper pail we use is not one that is open air, you can see that it closes, and this effectively blocks the smell (if any).
Any smell, is very minimal, frankly. I haven’t ever opened the pail and gagged.
Maybe it is because we cloth diapered so I am very inured to all of this, but if you consider that children wet themselves ALL THE TIME and even have poo explosions as babies, this is not as gross.
Seems really disgusting…
It does at first, but now I am seeing it isn’t a big of a deal.
With my poo explosion example above, you may just throw what they were wearing into the garbage and be done with it because there is no saving that garment, but if a child (even today) wets him or herself, you aren’t going to throw their clothes in the garbage right?
So.. same principle. Just, with cloth wipes and only for peeing.
We also aren’t really wiping to where the cloth is fully saturated and dripping, if you get my drift. You’re really only wiping a very small amount off.
Is there an alternative?
The best, seems to be this hose contraption which is like a modern hand held bidet sprayer, that can wash your bum while you’re sitting on the toilet itself.
I still think you need to wipe dry somehow, so this doesn’t seem like that far off from what I am already doing, except I could probably eliminate toilet paper forever with this bidet sprayer as I could use it with number two. I am considering it strongly now.
A reader recommended this particular brand – The Brondell Slimline.
How do you do laundry?
I don’t even touch the dirty cloths. I take the whole pail, flip open the top and then lift and dump it all in the wash.
I toss in a bag of soap nuts which are natural soap berries and set it on the cycle with lots of extra hot water. EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING comes out.
We used to do this with cloth diapers with Little Bun, and if this method can handle bits of poo, it can handle this without a sweat.
Honestly, the thing that really gets things clean is water, and lots of it. Especially hot water.
How often do you do laundry?
Once a week sometimes once every 2 weeks. I do it when I see the cloth supply dwindling like above.
How much have you saved?
We go through one roll of toilet paper every 4 weeks, or 12 rolls a year, which is about a pack.
We have saved at least 50% if not more on our toilet paper usage.
Obviously, people in general tend to pee more than they poo, so that’s where the real usage of toilet paper comes in, especially for women.
How does everyone else feel about this?
Little Bun hasn’t known anything else, so he’s fine.
My partner and I both grew up in poor (his family was poor, my family was originally from a poor country), and whenever I visited my grandparents out in the country, they had nothing as luxurious as a sit-down toilet.
His grandparents used leaves as toilet paper and my grandparents used a bucket of water squatting over a hole that you’d have to splash carefully on yourself.
Honestly, this is five-star toilet service right here.
It all depends on what you’ve known/grown up with. This is why I say traveling really broadens your mind and gives you the best education possible. You learn to make do, and your boundaries of what you deem ‘acceptable’ or not, are non-existent for many around the world.