January 15, 2010

Over-rated: Money, Under-rated: A Happy Hoop

Part of the appeal of the simple life for me is enjoying the basic things that we often take for granted. Bodily functions, like toileting, have a way of impacting ones life in a most profound way. I am not alone in thinking this... saying it, maybe, but you know exactly what I mean, don't you? A sore hoop can ruin your whole day, regardless of how much money you have.

When a friend was in nursing school one nugget of information she shared was, "If you don't poo or pee you die." That makes a lot of sense. If you don't take care of basic bodily functions you are going to be one unhappy camper. Just ask the guy in post-op that hasn't had a movement in a week.

This reminded me of one of the most useful things I read last year. The practical tip was in a book about caring for the human body, something I am increasingly interested in as I begin to see evidence of mine wearing down. The book advised, in the chapter on the digestive tract, to wet your toilet paper before wiping.

Now there is piece of advice that can have an immediate impact on your quality of life.

While I was traveling, the lack of toilet paper in many places turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Soon I tapped into the wisdom of using water to clean the backside, instead of using paper to wipe everything around. Like a friend said, "If you got some poop on your face would you wipe it off with toilet paper, or would you wash it with water?"

Toilet paper under a microscope.

I wonder what the frictional difference is between water and toilet paper? It's like comparing silk and sand. Even the very best pillowy soft, triple-ply, 100% virgin forest toilet paper is made of scratchy cellulose fibre. Wetting it decreases the friction considerably, reducing the damage to your delicate parts.

I like to make sure to get 100% post-consumer TP (made from recycled paper), which has come a long way since the original brown stuff with wood chips in it.

We aren't set up for using water to wash with as in several places I have visited, but now I have fused two toileting technologies, and I swear by wet sand paper. I mean, toilet paper.

Who knows, this could help me make the switch back to water only. Trees would be left standing, my hoop would be happier, and money would be saved. I wonder what I should do with my share of the $2.5 billion dollars that Americans spend on TP every year?

Celebrate the healthy functioning of your body. Be thankful if it is squeaky clean and happily working as it should.


  1. "If you got some poop on your face would you wipe it off with toilet paper, or would you wash it with water?"

    /mind blown

  2. Ever since my friend told me this wiping has never been the same. Damp toilet paper helps, but going 100% water is the best. I'm not quite there yet.

  3. I agree with you. The issue of alternates to TP is, hands down, one of the most controversial topics in personal care and environmentalism. North Americans have such a huge hang-up about toilet paper, even though we've been using it less than 100 years.

  4. Not surprisingly, the Chinese invented toilet paper thousands of years ago for royalty. It came in giant soft sheets that needed to be cut down to size.


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