Eco Home Living

Published on March 8th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


The Case for Using a Bidet

Back in 2007 blogger Josh Madison tracked his toilet paper usage and representative of just one person, Josh reportedly used 2.8 miles of toilet paper. That’s 49 rolls annually. What if there was a way to cut toilet paper usage and what if that method was already used in most parts of the world outside the United States? Enter the bidet and the method for Americans to reduce their use of toilet paper.

toilet paper

Toilet paper

America’s Toilet Paper Legacy

While the wiping of one’s behind goes back to the beginning of civilization, an item created specifically for the function is traced to America. Beginning in 1957, aloe-laced tissues were used to take care of the hygienic needs of bathroom users. Over the past 150 years several products have graced bathrooms across the U.S. increasing America’s use of paper products. Roll It Rite reports that Americans use up to 57 sheets of toilet paper per day. Furthermore, the article reports an average family will need to purchase a twelve-roll pack 20 times each year. Unfortunately Americans show no signs of letting up.

{cc photo courtesy of Dalboz17 on Flickr}


Bidet spray

It’s Different Around the World

Americans on holiday often return with stories of the fascinating bidet but often return the stories to the taboo folder. While green living is slowly seeping into all ways of life, it’s having a hard time stepping into the bathroom. But with so much paper waste clogging up American sewers, why is the bidet so shunned in the U.S? The mainstay in bathrooms all over the world has a hard sell in the states. From separate, and quite extravagant units to toilet seat add-ons, bidets are typical bathroom fixtures all over Europe across the globe to Japan, China , Thailand and over to South America. While it’s seen as an environmentally-sound choice, that’s not the only reason for its popularity. Many users praise the clean feeling that comes only from a bidet spray after doing their bathroom business.

{cc photo courtesy of JMazzolaa on Flickr)

bidet control panel

Bidet control panel

Health Benefits of the Bidet

For a country that spends so much on bath and body products it’s remarkable how one of the most germ-laden body parts is often the area of least concern. There’s an over-saturation of products for cleaning our hair, bodies and of course hands ensuring germ-killing soaps take out illness-causing disease. However, the market has one item made for removing fecal mater and it’s just paper. Wet wipes have become more common, but more households use only toilet paper to clean their backside leading to lots of rough wiping. It is believed that at least 75% of Americans will suffer from hemorroids at some point in their lives. The bidet not only relieves some of the discomfort by decreasing the agitation caused by wiping, but can also help with elimination by providing some lubrication and aiding in relaxation of the sphincter before defecation. Sufferers of Candida, chronic urinary tract infections and many sexually transmitted diseases benefit from the bidet as it allows cleaning without irritation and even serves to soothe tender skin tissues. Those suffering from food allergies sometimes find severe irritation after using the bathroom and cleaning with a bidet helps to lesson these aggravations. More importantly, however, the bidet simply serves as an effective way to maintain good health and hygiene for an often neglected part of the body.

{cc photo courtesy of elvisripley on Flickr}

simple bidet

Simple bidet

Bidets Aren’t Only for Expensive Hotels

If you think you’ll need an expensive bathroom remodel to enjoy a bidet, think again. Yes, some of the suites of classy hotels sophisticated stand alone units, but there are now several models on the market requiring little more than a wrench to attach to your toilet. The seat cover choices are  as simple or complex as you’re ready for. Some units even offer heated water although users report it as unnecessary luxury. the more extravagant units usually require electricity while the beginner might find a solid unit under $50. There are several companies selling online and it’s easy to find one through your favorite online merchants to  try one out and enjoying the benefits soon. While bidet users will use some toilet paper for drying, they definitely enjoy a decrease in toilet paper.  The health benefits and pricing should allow bidets to show up on many household to-do lists as simple weekend projects. This is definitely one area of health and wellness where America needs to keep up with the rest of the world.

{cc photo courtesy of Jordan on Flickr}

{source: CNN, Roll It RiteBidet International}

How do you feel about bidets? Other countries have embraced their use, why do you think they are not more common in the U.S?


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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at and

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