While I was reading the daily in one of my classes today, about the marvel of something called a tabo, which apparently explains the mysterious bowl in the bathroom of a Filipino friend of mine many years ago. Here’s said article: Daily Article (who says our $10 fee gets us nothing)
Anyways, short summary, it involves washing yourself after you um… do your business, with a bowl of water, some soap, and your hand, and is the common practice in a lot of places. One can certainly see how this could probably in the end make things cleaner, generally we use soap and water to clean ourselves… not so much with the rubbing dry paper all over ourselves.
Now, if North America did this… well, we essentially would have no more need for toilet paper. Wikipedia tells us the average American uses 20 805 sheets a year, which certainly has to add up to a lot of trees.
Of course, those Japanese and Continental Europeans have also been cooking up TP alternatives, the bidet, which I can’t recall having ever seen in real life, and the Japanese with their technologically marvelous super toilets. Of course, as we’ve seen with a lot of ‘progress’, the cost of such super toilets may be more than meets the eye, and moving to the paperless bathroom may have the rather unfortunate consequence of creating junkyards of toxic electronic toilets. The negative effects of the bowl of water approach, other than some vague (or not so vague) discomfort on my part with the idea, don’t come to mind as easily. As an added side benefit, you’d be pretty sure everyone would be washing their hands after using the washroom.
The fact that I find it a disconcerting idea is probably indicative of a lot of Western ideas about things (I’ve already been indoctrinated see…). Dirty, gross, unsightly, or anything like it; we prefer to ignore it if we can, absolutely minimize our contact with it if we can’t, and will take a lot of illogically wasteful steps to do it. It still baffles me when people will clean spills up with huge wads of paper towel when rags are sitting by the sink, specifically for that purpose, simply so they won’t have to get their hands wet and/or rinse the rag out. Don’t even get me started on Swiffers.
Anyways, this post ended up being a lot more bizarre then I intended when I started writing it.
So, to close it off, here’s a link to confirm that, yes, in fact, most marketing IS designed to destroy the world: Because everyone needs to be encouraged to buy more paper products.