Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Kind of Doo-Rag

Agent Iguana shared with us this discussion of "Pee Rags" from Ask Umbra of The Grist. It is certainly a worthy cause: reducing waste.

But the TP Blog is going to admit that it takes us one big mental leap to get over the idea of using cloth nappies to clean ourselves, saving them in a bucket, then washing them and using them over again. Maybe it's not so much the gross factor of keeping bits of your own waste in a container, then putting them in the washing machine, where you presumably wash the rest of your clothes, and reusing them - though that is certainly there. Maybe it's just that it's more reminiscent of what you do with baby cloth nappies (ok, diapers, if you don't like the Britspeak). It seems a bit like "adult diapers" to us. Granted, diapers that you don't actually wear. But reusable, cloth-based, "pee-rags" no less.

But about that "ick factor," I remember on one occasion, I visited a friend's home, and we spent some time with her parents. Something was apparently wrong with their plumbing system at the time, and her father had decided that not even toilet paper could go down the toilet. So he'd set up a bucket, just like Umbra says, in which to place the used toilet paper. I found the idea pretty much heinous and refused to participate. I also decided to "hold it." Call me squeamish, but, well, when I'm not in the woods, I prefer not to leave my "issues" out in the open. It feels a little overly personal to me.

On a practical level, it seems hard to think of all the trees you are saving when you are trying to figure out a way to cover of the smell of what you're using.

However, this article does have a useful analysis of tree-salvage vs. water usage, which is helpful, at least in getting a grasp of just how much energy your toilet paper does use. Not only in trees, but in energy production, as well.

So, knowing that, I think I might try to use less toilet paper. But I am not yet a convert to the pee-rag solution. Thanks, Iggy!

{Photo courtesy of the Grist}

1 comment:

HerodotusUkelele said...

Here is a thought, Lauren, I wonder if after dealing with diapers (which cannot simply be flushed away) and even cloth diapers, the whole ick factor is somewhat reduced. I certainly am a lot more casual about bodily fluids than I was pre-fatherhood. I have to wonder: how much worse is a pee-rag than than mildewy sponge?