Tag Archives: toilet paper

Switching to a Zero Waste Toilet Paper (Who Gives a Crap Review)

On my journey into living a more zero waste lifestyle, I discovered a pretty startling fact about toilet paper. Though I’ve said it a few times already in other posts, it really belongs at the start of this one: We cut down 27,000 trees everyday to make toilet paper.

This is such an outrageous stat, that even though I learned it last year, it still partially breaks my brain whenever I think about it.

Seriously, think about it: it takes a long time for a tree to fully grow. Sometimes it takes 40, 50 or hell, even 100 years – an entire lifetime for them to reach their peaks, and what do we do with them? Cut them down, only to use them in something we use 1 time, and then immediately discard.

Call me crazy, but if I worked 40 years (or longer) on something, and then had to watch someone tear it down just to turn it into something they immediately threw away, I’d be pretty upset.

So, what are we to do? The obvious answer would be to just stop making toilet paper. But then there’s the issue of what we use instead. Sure, bidets are a thing, but I don’t think they’re for everybody.

And what other solutions are there, if someone doesn’t want to try a bidet? They could shower after every time they use the bathroom, so that they’re clean, but that would be highly impractical, and, not to mention, a huge waste in water.

So, what else is there to do?

The other solution is to start making toilet paper out of something else.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, thankfully, it’s not! Some companies are already doing this. Like the company I’m going to be talking about today: Who Gives a Crap.

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Switching to a Zero Waste Toilet Paper (Who Gives a Crap Review) - Who Gives a Crap Box - toielt paper, product review, zero waste, sustainability, paperless, blogger, reviewer

Aptly named for a company who’s main focus is toilet paper, they have an amazing solution to our paper-y woes. Their toilet paper is made either out of bamboo, or recycled paper.

But Ater, isn’t cutting down bamboo just as bad as cutting down a tree?” That’s a great question! It wouldn’t be much of a solution if we were just depleting something else, would it? Well, thankfully, bamboo is a type of grass, so it grows back quickly – much more quickly than a tree would, which makes it a great substitute to regular paper tp.

I know what you must be thinking, how in the heck would bamboo toilet paper even work? Isn’t bamboo just for aesthetic looking wood furniture? Nope, it’s not. It can be turned into paper, and other materials, too!

It does have a different feel than paper toilet paper, but it’s nothing too jarring, I promise!

Take a look here:

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Switching to a Zero Waste Toilet Paper (Who Gives a Crap Review) - Bamboo Roll vs Charmin Extra Strong - toielt paper, product review, zero waste, sustainability, paperless, blogger, reviewer

Here is a roll of WGAC’s bamboo toilet paper (on the left), next to a roll of Charmin Extra Strong. (Charmin was the toilet paper I was using before switching)

As you can see, the bamboo roll is slightly bigger in size, and the cardboard roll it comes on is smaller, so you get more toilet paper per roll. You may also be able to tell, that the bamboo roll looks firmer/stiffer than the regular paper one.

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Switching to a Zero Waste Toilet Paper (Who Gives a Crap Review) - Bamboo Roll Texture - toielt paper, product review, zero waste, sustainability, paperless, blogger, reviewer

This is a close-up of the bamboo’s texture. It is pretty comparable to a paper towel, one side is bumpy and slightly rough, and the other is softer, but still firm. The firmness makes it great at, erm… doing what toilet paper is meant to do, and it doesn’t disintegrate as you use it, unlike some other softer products.

This is actually something I noticed that happened with their recycled paper toilet paper. It still has one rough-ish side, and one softer side, but the softer side is way softer than the bamboo – it’s actually the same softness as the Charmin roll. Which makes sense, since the recycled one is still made out of paper. For me, personally, I value structural integrity over super softness, so I’ll be sticking with their bamboo paper from now on. (Once I finish the recycled rolls, of course)

If you’re still undecided, you can always get a box of both, and see which one you like better. They only sell their toilet paper in boxes of 24 or 48 rolls, so unfortunately if you end up not liking one of them, you’ll have a lot of them to get through.

But, you could always gift some of the rolls to people you know, or use them as emergency rolls if you run out of the other kind.

Switching was also super easy. Like, ridiculously so. I just placed my order online and waited for it to show up. Then, once it got here (and I sprayed it with isopropyl alcohol to sanitize), I found a spot to put the box, and used as normal.

If you’re thinking of switching (which I highly recommend), I would warn you to order before you’re in desperate need of replacement toilet paper. Both my orders (bamboo and recycled) arrived in 14 days. So, y’know, make sure you have enough toilet paper to cover that waiting period, or longer, depending on where you’re located.

My first order, which was the 24 box of the bamboo rolls, was $55.79 CAD ($42 USD) because I had to get it from the US site. (Their Canadian site didn’t exist then) When I placed my order for the recycled paper (another 24 box), it was only $47.46 CAD, because I was able to get it from the Canadian site.

That may seem like a pretty steep price to some people, but it’s definitely worth the bit of extra cost in my eyes. Not only are you buying a premium, non-tree-killing toilet paper, but 50% of their profits go to help build toilets for people in need.

How cool is that?

You’re helping make someone else’s life more hygienic and better, just by simply buying an essential!

Also, if you only need to buy toilet paper twice a year, the price is actually less all together than it would be if you were, say, buying it every month. It’s a bigger price at once, but over-all it should actually be cheaper.

Unless you’re getting your toilet paper from Dollarama or something, in which case I beg you to stop doing that to yourself and test out these guys. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Not only is this company helping to save the planet, and help people in need, but they also individually wrap their rolls, so that they are also plastic free!

This is the wrapping on the bamboo rolls.

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Switching to a Zero Waste Toilet Paper (Who Gives a Crap Review) - WGAC Recycled TP Wrappers - toielt paper, product review, zero waste, sustainability, paperless, blogger, reviewer

These are the wrappers on the recycled paper rolls.

Not only does the wrapping make the rolls pretty to look at, but you can also re-use it for crafts, projects, or even to wrap presents!

Who Gives a Crap is hands down one of the best companies I’ve ever found, and I seriously cannot recommend them enough!

If your toilet paper situation is fine, or you still have reservations about going paperless, they do sell a few other paperless replacements, like tissues or paper towels. You could always try testing those out first, and then move on to the more ‘intimate’ product later.


Like this article? Check out more zero waste posts here!

2021 Zero Waste Goal Recap (+2022 Goals)

This article was written 21.12.05, please excuse any joke/reference that’s no longer applicable.


Happy new year!

How was everyone’s holiday break? Good? Bad? Stressfully filled with no (or very few) zero waste options?

Don’t worry if you ‘slipped up’ this past holiday season – that part of the year is literally designed to be thrown away. Think about it: plastic decorations, wrapping paper, gift bags, cards – everything that makes it ‘festive’ is basically just fancy trash!

You don’t have to beat yourself up if you used a festive napkin at a get-together or couldn’t resist buying a plastic decoration. These things happen. The important thing to remember is that the Earth doesn’t need everyone doing zero waste perfectly, it needs everyone doing it imperfectly.

As long as you’re trying to do better, you’re already ahead.

Speaking of trying to do better, at the beginning of last year, I made this post, which outlined my zero waste goals for 2021. And I thought, since I went to the trouble of making a post telling you what my goals were, it would be kind of dumb if I didn’t make a follow up post to let you know whether or not I actually reached them.

To recap, in the post I made last year, I said the main thing I wanted to try and stop using was paper towels, and then zip lock bags, if I managed to stop using paper towels.

I’d like to report that I accomplished removing these things from my life, and I can now move on…but if I did that, I’d 100% be lying!

I didn’t stop using paper towels, and I definitely still use Ziploc bags. Instead, I decided to test out a more eco-friendly toilet paper, and, I’m happy to report, I’ve been using it exclusively since trialling it last year!

I mentioned it in passing in the goals post for last year, that chopping down a 40 year old tree for something you use 1 time and then throw out is crazy – which it is – and the more research I did into toilet paper, the more I felt compelled to change that first.

Since I wanted to change things in order of the most wasteful, so that my changes would have the biggest impact, changing toilet paper actually should’ve been the first thing I changed.

As I was researching paper towels, I stumbled across a stat that blew my mind: 27,000 trees are cut down per day for toilet paper. Per day!

That’s an insane amount of trees being cut down for something people definitely don’t use more than once. Similar to when I went vegan, once I knew, I couldn’t un-know, and I definitely didn’t want to be contributing to that stat anymore, so, I started researching alternatives.

Now, there are varying degrees of alternatives to paper toilet paper – for instance, there are bidets, which are pretty widely known, but thinking about the future, since the bidet is something that has to use water, and attach to your toilet, I decided that wouldn’t be the right option for me. (I’m planning on converting a bus into a tiny house on wheels, and using a dry [composting] toilet – there will actually be an article coming out later this year explaining this in more depth)

Then I found a more… let’s call it ‘unique’ alternative called Family Cloth. This one… well, it probably is the most eco-friendly, since it involves taking what would otherwise be trash and reusing it, but, it also seems the most gross and labour-intensive.

For those of you who don’t know, Family Cloth is pieces of clothing (usually old t-shirts/sweaters/flannel) that have been cut into squares, for you to use like toilet paper. After using, you put the soiled cloth into a bucket of water (or, it might be some sort of water/vinegar cleaning solution) and then you wash the cloth using a washing machine.

While it might not be as gross as I’ve built it up in my mind to be (I’m assuming it might be like reusable period pads – there was a time when I thought I would never use them, and now I use them exclusively), Family Cloth is just something I don’t think I could do, at least for the time being.

That’s why I was over-the-moon excited when I discovered a brand called Who Gives a Crap. They sell toilet paper (and a few other products) that is more eco friendly than conventional toilet paper. They have two kinds available, a bamboo, or a recycled paper version. You’ll be getting a full review of them later this year (March), so I won’t go into too many details, but I ended up trying (and loving) their bamboo paper, so I decided to switch to them once I got my order.

And, I’m happy to report, it wasn’t actually that hard! The difference is very minimal, and I’ve actually gotten used to the texture difference, and don’t even really notice it now. As stated above, this is the only toilet paper I use now, so it was a great switch for me to make.

So, while I didn’t technically reach my zero waste goals for last year, I ended up changing a bigger, and arguably, more important aspect of my life. Which leads me to: my 2022 zero waste goals!

I think I’ll stick with last year’s goals of trying to remove paper towels and, possibly, plastic zip-lock bags. Who Gives a Crap has some Forest Friendly paper towels (they’re made out of bamboo and sugarcane), so I’ll check those out, while I also try to cut back on my over-all use of paper towels. Just because they aren’t made out of trees doesn’t mean I should feel complacent with still producing garbage!

Since I was actively thinking and observing my paper towel use last year, I realized the reason I use them the most is to cut up food or use them instead of a plate. Which is dumb, because I should just be using a cutting board, instead. Or, y’know, a plate!

I don’t even know when it happened, but at some point, grabbing a paper towel just became ‘faster’ than grabbing a cutting board or a plate. Which is actually bullshit, because it literally takes the same amount of effort to grab a paper towel as it does to grab a cutting board or plate.

Do you have any zero waste goals for this year? Let me know in the comments below!


Like this article? Check out more here!