Bidets are gaining in popularity in many areas of the world and for good reason. One argument made for using a bidet is that this type of fixture will help you conserve water but is this really true? How much water does a bidet use when compared to using toilet paper alone? What about those who use a bidet but then use toilet paper afterward to dry off with?
When you are trying to decide whether to get a bidet or a bidet toilet seat there are a number of things to keep in mind. These fixtures and features can come in basic models and in models that offer the latest technology with all of the bells and whistles. Some bidets may have larger nozzles and use more water than other models with smaller nozzles.
Toilet Paper Manufacturing and Bathroom Water Usage
Toilet paper requires a very large amount of natural resources to create, especially water. The trees that are used to create the toilet paper require water to grow, and the manufacturing process also needs a lot of water to produce the final product. Statistics show that it requires between 12 and 37 gallons of water to produce a single roll of toilet paper, while a bidet only requires one eighth of a gallon of water to clean and flush.
Americans on average use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper each year. This is 3.7 billion gallons of water each day used just to manufacture toilet paper for US consumers. This does not include the water used to flush toilets in this single country alone. In addition many people use more toilet paper than what is necessary and this just adds to the water used when going to the bathroom.
A typical toilet in the USA needs 5 gallons of water to flush, and on average a normal American will flush at least 5 times a day. This means using a toilet could waste at least 25 gallons of water each day just flushing while the same use of a bidet means less than a gallon of water is wasted. This is a very big difference, and a significant amount of water that can be saved by switching to a bidet.
If the average person typically uses 1 roll of toilet paper per week this is 52 rolls per year. Even if each roll only required 12 gallons of water to produce this is still 624 gallons of water used to produce the toilet paper. If each roll requires 37 gallons of water this adds up to almost 2,000 gallons of water just to make toilet paper for one person to use.
Toilet Paper Also Has Other Environmental Concerns As Well
Going green with a bidet can help the environment in more ways than just water conservation. Deforestation is becoming a big concern, and trees are harvested in order to produce toilet paper. Chemicals are used to bleach these products and these chemicals may be released into the environment where they may be harmful.
The Male Versus Female Factor
One variable when it comes to how much water you can save when switching to a bidet is whether you are male or female. Women tend to use more toilet paper than men because females need to wipe after urination while males do not. Women may also experience menstrual bleeding that needs to be cleaned and this can also use toilet paper in large amounts.
Females who use a bidet can eliminate much if not all of their toilet paper use by using water to clean with instead of TP. Since men do not need to wipe as often they may not require as much toilet paper each time. These differences account for statistics which may show different numbers since some take into account the increased use of toilet paper women have and others do not.
Is Toilet Paper Even Necessary After Using a Bidet?
After a bidet has been used toilet paper is not actually necessary, although some people still use a square or two so that they can dry off. Sometimes clean hand towels or other pieces of cloth are provided for drying so that no toilet paper at all is used, but some people may feel that this is not sanitary and be hesitant to eliminate TP completely.
How Much Water Could Be Saved With Bidets Alone?
In the USA alone there were 323, 063, 375 people on February 25, 2016 at around 10 pm according to the US Government. If there was a program for universal bidet use then the USA could save more than 3.6 billion gallons of water each and every day. These savings would come from eliminating toilet paper and using less water for flushing each time someone goes.
Universal bidet use in the USA would require 37 million gallons of water each day. In perspective toilets require 8 billion gallons of water each day in the country for flushing, and toilet paper requires another 3.7 billion gallons of water per day to produce. Switching to a universal system of bidets instead of toilets would lead to large water savings.
Bidets Versus Toilet Paper
Another way that bidets may use less water is that people who use a bidet tend to feel cleaner, and they require fewer showers and baths as a result. This also helps to conserve water and waste less of this precious resource. Since a bidet uses a small amount of clean water there are also other health and hygiene benefits as well.
If you want to stay clean and fresh all day long, and you want to do your part to protect and preserve the environment, then a bidet could be the right choice for your bathroom needs. You will conserve water, take better care of your skin, and eliminate the need to waste toilet paper just to clean yourself after you use the toilet.