In the UK the humble bidet is far from a common bathroom feature, rarely being considered as a viable alternative to toilet paper. Throughout my entire life I can only recall seeing a handful of bidets in the UK.
For those of you who haven’t been acquainted, a bidet is a toilet accessory either installed onto the toilet or a separate basin next to it. It is a water jet used to clean your underside after using the toilet. Whilst travelling South East Asia, hostels sanctimoniously labelled the hand held bidet: the “bum gun”.
Branching out from the UK and North America, many neighbouring countries are quite keen on this toilet water feature. From Argentina to Italy, France to Vietnam, bidets are widely used. So what benefits do they bring?
Bidets can save you money. Rather than throwing money down the toilet you can keep more paper in your wallet. EcoBidets, a New Zealand based company, sell hand held bidets for less than £50 and claim that a bidet can pay for itself within the first year.
According to The World Costs, we use enough toilet paper every year to fill an area twice the size of France. From an environmental perspective, bidets are “much less stressful on the environment than using paper” according to Scientific American.
Bidets may use water, however, it is a fraction of the amount needed to produce toilet paper. Toilet paper obviously requires trees to be felled for its production and this contributes to 15% of world deforestation.
Toilet paper is also wrapped in plastic packaging, and with the current media attention on the impact of plastic pollution and micro-plastics entering our oceans, we should all be looking into ways to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics, which this switch helps to address.
When it comes to hygiene, the bidet is superior to toilet paper. One way I like to think about it is – if you had poo on any other part of your body, you wouldn’t just wipe it off with a piece of paper and carry on with your day. You would probably scrub it furiously with soap and water. So why are our bottoms an exception.
Installing a hand held bidet is not a complicated process and takes around 10/20 minutes. It requires relatively basic to no DIY knowledge and some such as those sold by EcoBidets, require no plumbing skills or tools. Click HERE to check out their video demonstrating how to install a hand held bidet.
Get a bidet – spend less time on the toilet and more time wondering how you ever lived without one.