The “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach to eco-friendly living is coming for your two-ply Angel Soft.
BuzzFeed has reported on a bathroom trend that’s being touted as a cheaper, more environmentally responsible alternative to toilet paper. It’s called a “family cloth,” and it’s a cloth wipe that is used (once per bathroom visit), thrown in a hamper, run through the laundry, and then reused. Essentially, it’s the more mature toilet paper version of a cloth diaper.
One woman told BuzzFeed that her family of four has been relying on the family cloth method for almost a year — and there’s no going back.
“In my mind, buying and using disposable toilet paper was literally flushing money down the toilet!” she told the outlet. “If you’re wondering, ‘Why would you want to reuse something that you wipe your genitals with?’, I’d answer this question with my own question: ‘Do you throw away your underpants after each use?'”
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, added that her family currently only uses the cloth wipes for pees. A No. 2 situation would require a baby wipe, which is thrown away rather than risk clogging the toilet. She said she would consider a post-poop family cloth if the household were to install a bidet, though that’s of course less cost-effective.
But according a post by blogger Beth Ricci on the Red & Honey blog, some family cloth users are fine with using the wipes in any bathroom scenario.
“Some people also like to use it for just #1 and not have to deal with #2,” Ricci wrote. “Personally, I love it for both. I find it so much more comfortable and luxurious-feeling. I feel cleaner. I also use it for ‘that time of the month’ which is extra-awesome. We ladies tend to feel icky in those days because it’s tough to get totally clean with just paper. With a warm, wet cloth, I feel like I’m actually getting 100% clean. Full disclosure: Sometimes I tag team it and use a bit of paper to wipe first, then a wet cloth for a more thorough clean.”
Though Ricci’s testimonial was met by several comments praising the inventive way of reducing waste, many people on the internet at large — including Chrissy Teigen — are having a hard time with the concept. And by “having a hard time” we mean they’re repulsed.
The idea of reusable toilet paper makes me want to die https://t.co/bZ0EPMBAFz
— eve peyser (@evepeyser) March 9, 2018
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 9, 2018
I am all for saving the environment, but shared toilet paper might be going to far for me. Check this out https://t.co/PVpzVySxvf
— AdELA (@adelamusic) March 9, 2018
I cloth diapered two babies and family cloth is going way too crunchy for me. Nope nope nope.
— Heather Norrgard (@ladyheatherlee) March 9, 2018
But if I had no choice but to use family cloth I would simply never poop again, it’s that simple
— well loved stories (@ms_peaceweaver) March 9, 2018
To be honest, if saving the planet meant reusable toilet paper, I'm happy to chalk this one up as a loss so we can all get a head start on ruining Mars https://t.co/RnQo8A5Een
— HoJu (@MrSquirrel_) March 9, 2018
Some wonder if the family cloth method is truly hygienic and eco-friendly.
Every time I read something like this, I want to paper the user's entire dwelling with studies on how washing fabric does NOT remove poop, unless you use industrial machines, extreme temps, and/or basically lye. Everything else…just spreads it around.
— Shira Von Doom 2: Electric Doomaloo (@SparklySnarkery) March 9, 2018
(Honestly, if you’re using enough hot water and bleach to make family cloth genuinely sanitary — many people use it for poop too — it’s not really cheaper than buying toilet paper.)
— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) March 9, 2018
"It's eco friendly and we only use them for pee! For poop we use non-flushable, non-biodegradeable baby wipes because we completely lack self awareness"
— Pirate Duck (@realpirateduck) March 9, 2018
If you’re curious to see how it works for yourself, you can find family cloth versions available for purchase on Etsy.
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