Meet the affordable toilet paper alternative: The Bidet.
Meet the affordable toilet paper alternative: The Bidet.
Monday April 06, 2020

Worried about where you’ll find your next roll? Hate the thought of wiping your butt with trees? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is scary. You are probably feeling anxious, and seeking comfort and security in taking care of your basic needs, such as keeping your home stocked with necessities TP.

Right now, households obviously need to be able to purchase what they need in order to live comfortably for several weeks in isolation. But with TP aisles bare and online retailers out of stock as manufacturers struggle to meet this new demand, we are facing another unprecedented issue — a global toilet paper shortage.

Let us be the first to acknowledge that now is not the time to shame anyone about their consumer choices, because honestly, there are not many TP choices to be made. But as we all scratch our heads trying to figure out how to locate those coveted rolls of TP, we wanted to suggest some practical — and some ingenious — ways you can conserve your TP supply...or even ditch it altogether.

Fold vs wad

Did you know it is more efficient to fold your toilet paper instead of wadding, bunching, or wrapping? You can save money, time, trees, and trips to the store by folding your TP into squares, as we show in this video.

Dr. Sam Novario, a theoretical and computational nuclear physicist at Michigan State University did the math for a Mel Magazine article. The result? Folding a few sheets of toilet paper into a square is more efficient and takes half the paper than wadded paper.

Save a tree with recycled TP

When store shelves are restocked, and people like you once again have the economic resources and opportunities to make purchasing choices that live your values — we recommend choosing either 100% recycled TP or TP made from alternative fibers like bamboo.

Did you know toilet paper is largely made of fresh-cut trees, which can involve chopping down globally important forests like the boreal in Canada? Toilet paper harms wildlife like caribou, causes soil erosion, and requires lots of energy, water, and chemicals to produce — which in turn pollutes our air, water, and climate. Toilet paper has a heavy impact on the planet.

In our Issue with Tissue report, we found that the biggest tissue producers like Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, and Georgia-Pacific largely rely on cutting down ancient trees to produce their toilet papers. These companies refuse to use more recycled fiber, and combined with the growing demand for toilet paper globally, it’s no wonder that our forests are in danger. The report also graded some of the biggest toilet paper brands in America on their sustainability, and found that brands like Charmin are the worst forest offenders.

Procter & Gamble, maker of America’s #1 toilet paper Charmin, refuses to stop sourcing its fiber from critical forests like the boreal in Canada. It also refuses to add any recycled or alternative fiber to its tissue products. Why does a corporate leader like Procter & Gamble refuse to do the right thing?

The global bidet craze

What we are about to say might blow your mind, but here it goes: There is an even better way to conserve toilet paper — by ditching it altogether and switching to a bidet. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this easy-to-install product that cleans your bottom with a spray of water. (P.S. It’s pronounced “buh-day”, like the words “bit day” without the t.)

This might be a novel idea to you, but in fact, for ages, most of the world has been washing their tushies with water instead of TP. If you’ve traveled to countries that use bidets, you might know them as separate bathroom devices that sit beside toilets. But these days, bidets are available as attachments for your existing toilet, or even better, as portable devices.

Look at it this way. You’re walking down the street, and a bird lets loose on your head. Do you wipe it off, or wash it off? Wash it, right? We feel the same. Most of the rest of the world agrees. Washing is better than wiping, and gentler on your skin too. (Also, think of how happy you’ll make all your local water and sewer company, which is constantly begging you to stop flushing those not-actually-flushable-wipes you see in stores.)

Bidets range in price from cheap to wildly expensive. But when you consider that the price of premium at-home toilet paper can cost $1-per-roll (we’re looking at you, Charmin), and when you take into account how much you spend on TP every year, you can break even quickly when purchasing an affordable bidet. Think of it like this: you’ll never have to worry about buying toilet paper again!

Here are some bidets that range from portable to attachable, and affordable to luxurious. Check them out:

Economical: Under $10. The most affordable bidets are portable. All you need is a plastic water bottle.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Fill a plastic water or soda bottle with faucet water.

Step 2: Insert the bidet cap.

Step 3: squirt where it counts. It leaves your bottom clean as a whistle. No fuss, no muss.

The CuloClean and MWOOT portable bidets both cost about $5 US each. Which do you think you’d prefer?

Affordable: Under $100

For under $100, you can get a simple bidet attachment for your existing porcelain throne (instead of a full lid replacement), with basic spritzing functions. At this price point, your bidet won’t have a lot of bells and whistles like oscillating spray or a heated seat — and definitely no air drying. But it connects directly to your existing water supply line and does a great job cleaning your caboose. These units use the water pressure and temperature of your home plumbing.

The Tushy Classic $79 comes equipped with controllable pressure and an adjustable nozzle that automatically retracts.

SmarterFresh Hand Held Bidet Sprayer $80                   Achiotely Handheld Bidet Toilet Sprayer $90

Luxurious: Over $100 

With a budget over $100, you can get a bidet with retractable and self-cleaning nozzles and temperature and pressure control. Bidets above $250 are typically electric-powered units that come with loads of bells and whistles. They include features like night lights, more precise temperature and pressure control, heated seats — and even air drying. Sounds nice, right


                               Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment by BOSS $150               SmartBidet SB-1000 Electric Bidet Seat $350 


Why bother with a bidet?

You’ve made it this far. Do you still need us to convince you why you should bother with a bidet? In summary:

Reason #1: Saves money in the long run. With toilet paper made from trees costing more than $1/roll, you can get yourself a nice bidet for the cost of a couple 48-packs of toilet paper.

Reason #2: Saves time and gas. No trips to the store hunting for the elusive 12-pack of TP. Who cares if it is 2-ply or 3-ply.

Reason #3: Convenient. Portable bidets can be used anywhere: home, office, public restroom, out in the woods. Imagine getting stuck in a public bathroom without toilet paper? That’s the worst! You’ll never have that problem again.

Reason #4: Hygienic! Washing your tushy with water leaves it fresh and clean. No smears.

Reason #5: Options. Bidets are easy to install, with a wide variety of price points, styles and features to choose from.

Reason #6: Environmentally responsible. Most of the toilet paper sold in stores today has devastating environmental impacts. Wiping our bottoms with toilet paper made from trees makes no environmental sense. We’re literally flushing our forests.

Our current public health and economic crisis has motivated Americans to look for alternatives. Some toilet paper, including America’s #1 TP brand Charmin, can cost more than $1 a roll. But portable bidets can cost less than $10 and bidet attachments can cost less than $100.

Countries around the world already use bidets, and in the U.S., they're starting to make economic — and environmental — sense.

We know that not everyone has access to clean water, so for some people, bidets simply can’t be part of the solution right now. But you have a choice, consider bidets as an affordable, environmentally responsible alternative to toilet paper that destroys forests and harms wildlife. Bidets: They’re better for your butt, better for your budget, and better for the planet.