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  • Writer's pictureajit sharma

The Environmental Impact of Toilet Paper and the Water Alternative


In the modern world, toilet paper has become an essential part of our daily hygiene routine in America and Europe. However, the environmental impact of toilet paper production and disposal is a growing concern. By examining the practices in the Indian subcontinent, where water is traditionally used instead of toilet paper, we can explore the potential positive impacts of adopting this alternative approach.

The Environmental Toll of Toilet Paper:

Toilet paper production relies on the consumption of trees, with an estimated 27,000 trees cut down daily for this purpose globally. Deforestation leads to the loss of biodiversity, contributes to climate change, and disrupts ecosystems. Additionally, the manufacturing process involves chemicals and significant water usage, leading to pollution and resource depletion.

A Time-Honored Alternative:

Water Usage in Indian Subcontinent: Across the Indian subcontinent, a longstanding practice involves using water for personal hygiene instead of relying solely on toilet paper. This practice has been followed for centuries, and its benefits extend beyond cultural and historical significance.

Advantages of Water Usage:

  1. Conservation of Trees: By adopting the water-based approach, we can significantly reduce the number of trees cut down for toilet paper production. This would mitigate deforestation, preserve natural habitats, and combat climate change.

  2. Minimized Chemical Usage: Water usage requires minimal or no chemical products, reducing the release of harmful substances into the environment. This promotes ecological balance and protects water sources from pollution.

  3. Water as a Renewable Resource: Unlike the production of toilet paper, water is a renewable resource that can be used effectively and sustainably. With proper water management practices, the impact on water resources can be minimized.

  4. Potential for Improved Hygiene: Many argue that water usage provides a more thorough and effective cleaning process compared to toilet paper alone. This could lead to improved personal hygiene practices and associated health benefits.

Encouraging Change:

To transition towards a water-based approach, individuals and communities can consider adopting bidets, handheld sprayers, or other hygienic methods that use water. While this change may require adjustments to existing infrastructure and personal habits, the potential positive impact on the environment is worth considering.


As concerns for the environment grow, exploring alternative practices such as water usage for personal hygiene becomes crucial. Reflecting on the longstanding tradition in the Indian subcontinent, we can recognize the potential positive impact on reducing deforestation, minimizing chemical usage, and preserving water resources. By embracing sustainable alternatives to toilet paper, we can take significant steps towards a greener future and a healthier planet.

Note: The blog content is provided for informational purposes only. It is important to research and evaluate the specific needs, cultural practices, and environmental context of individual regions before implementing any changes to personal hygiene practices.

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