Should we consider adding a bidet?

Although quite popular in Africa, Asia and Europe, the bidet has been slow to gain popularity in America
Could it be that we are just creatures of habit? Does the idea of a jet of water blasting your nether regions seem a hard leap to make at first? Well, you’re probably not the only one. But the times they are a changin’, and more homes are taking advantage of the peace of mind installing a bidet can bring - no more fights in the check-out lanes for that last pack of bathroom tissue! 

The first hurdle to jump is to realize that this no longer means a second toilet-shaped throne in your bathroom to where you move your bottom after you’ve completed the first step of your mission – to successfully jettison all unwanted materials. You can purchase bidet add-ons that fit to existing toilets. And frankly, doesn’t it make more sense to sit in one place until the entire operation is complete? Do you really want to waddle your rear over to another seat with your pants around your ankles? It also doesn’t seem like a particularly hygienic move to relocate at such a time.  

The first time I recall seeing a bidet was about 30 years ago and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. And I certainly couldn’t bring myself to drop my drawers and park my butt on it for a blast of water, that’s for sure. And make no mistake, your first spin on a bidet will seem a little unusual to be quite frank about it. 

Bidets save water - no, really! 

Another thing that I didn’t quite get, was the idea that somehow shooting a water cannon at my undercarriage was going to amount to ‘saving’ water. It just didn’t compute. Because, toilet paper was, you know, made from paper, not water. But it takes an awful lot of water to make a roll of toilet paper and, like fresh water, trees are kinda cool to have around, so cutting a few less of those is probably also a smart idea.

The thing is, the bidet cleans you, so you just need a towel. The idea is that everyone in the house would benefit from having their OWN towel, but ultimately your butt is clean at this point so you are just drying yourself off. Some models of Bidet come with dryers as well and you can skip the towel step. 

The amount of trees cut to make toilet paper

And if you want the straight poop on the global ‘personal hygiene’ stats, wrap your head around this - the pulp required for toilet paper manufacturing actually amounts to 19 trees being felled every minute, or nearly 10 million trees per year worldwide, which is approximately 15% of global deforestation. Didn’t see that coming, did ya? 

Welcome to the first world. Not only are we doing our business in purified potable water, we also flush our forests away at the same time. In North America, the average person uses 57 sheets of toilet paper per day; so even if you have a water conserving low-flow or dual-flush toilet, each person is still using approximately 14 liters (4 gallons) of water for paper alone.  

Easy home diy project

Now that we have you on the edge of your toilet seat wondering ‘how do I get myself a bidet and help save the world’… check out our DIY bidet installation video below, and compare different models of bidet kits online here

Now that you know about the water efficiency of bidets, learn more about home water efficiency and conservation of natural resources in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages.

Find more about green home construction and reap the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here.