Editor: I am writing to raise the issue of toilet paper.
This summer, I was traveling to Karachi, Pakistan, and we took a stop at Doha Airport located in Qatar and there I found hand-held bidets in the bathrooms. I was thrown off a bit by the device, but when I used it I found that the bidet had saved a great deal of toilet paper usage in the bathroom because water is already proven to clean more efficiently than toilet paper, hence the water and soap we use after the toilet.
When I arrived back in the United States, I began doing research on bidets and toilet paper and found that bidets are the norm in Europe and some Asian countries, which explained the fact that the 10 most environmentally friendly countries in the world are all in Europe, according to Forbes.
On the other hand, toilet paper is making the climate crisis worse.
The environmental impact of toilet paper is significant. Three hundred and eighty-four trees are used to make one person’s lifetime amount of toilet paper, which is terrible because trees are one of our ways to combat climate change and not to mention the rapid rate of deforestation disrupting the wildlife residing in the forests and the reduction of rainfall in certain areas which contributes to more global warming according to WorldAtlas.
And not only are trees being wasted, but so is water. According to Scientific American, toilet paper requires approximately 473,587,500,000 gallons of water to be produced for Americans, which breaks down into 37 gallons of water for one roll of toilet paper. These numbers are alarming not only because of the environmental harm but the insufficiency of toilet paper does not justify the numbers.
I started my journey to combat climate change from my 10th-grade year when I found the Climate Change Club at my high school with a group of friends. When COVID-19 occurred, toilet paper was in high demand and becoming rapidly insufficient; however, the water from our sinks, showers, and toilets never runs out. Water has many benefits whether it is being the universal solvent to being a necessary natural resource, we can consider the possibilities of using bidets or mini showers in the bathroom.
Taking toilet paper out of your bathroom means you joining the climate fight and saving 384 trees and 37 gallons of water
Eman Ahmed, Sterling