Nothing Left Behind

do the best you can as often as you can.

It’s amazing how much can change so fast. Almost literally yesterday we were all living our normal every day lives and now it’s nearly impossible to find basic essentials like toilet paper and baby wipes. People taking and leaving nothing behind for others.

I was able to bless a few families with extra wipes we had extra. The look of gratitude on their faces both touched and saddened me. It shouldn’t be something that a family should have to worry about. But then again during a crisis that’s always the case. Children in Syria shouldn’t have to worry about their houses blowing up while they eat breakfast. Children in detainment centers shouldn’t have to worry that if they get the flu not only will their mother’s not be there to soothe their fevers but they will likely die from it.

I can’t make all the changes in the world that I want to make. I can’t save every baby or give every starving person a bite of food. But we can all do our small part to make the burden on others a little lighter. I have decided to revamp my efforts to make my affordable content more readily available. I have a ton of ideas burning in my head and I can’t wait to dive into them!

But for now lets talk about what everyone is talking about anyway… Toilet paper.

When the crisis hit my family we had literally 4 rolls of toilet paper for the 5 people in our house. So that got me thinking about how my family can best manage our crap… literally. And now I am sharing what I have learned with you!

Toilet paper had problems long before it was hard to find. Truth be told it is not an effective way to clean…. well, anything. Here are some of the problems with toilet paper.

  1. Increases your risk of anal fissures and urinary tract infections.
  2. doesn’t get you clean, barely gets you dry.
  3. It moves feces and other elements around but does not remove all of it.
  4. They are horrible on the environment.
  5. It brings the most active part of your body, your hands, in close proximity with the dirtiest part of your body.
  6. Toilet paper is full of toxins including chlorine.
  7. Bits of toilet paper may… stay behind (pun intended)

If you feel lied to, join the club. Paper products in general use up to 100,000 chemicals. Paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates, and toilet paper are just a few. And even if all you have is that small handful you are exposing yourself and your family to 100,000 different chemicals.

So what do we do? If toilet paper isn’t the perfect system, what is? Fortunately there are alternatives that are better for your health!

  1. Bidet: Look into getting a Bidet. If you don’t know what that is, its a spray you can instal into your toilet that sprays… the area. It’s basically a hose for your privates. I was always hesitant to even explore this option mostly because the culture engrained into my head said it’s weird and european… and we like toilet paper. But my amazing husband found one online less than a week before we had even heard of coronavirus. But the other reason is I assumed they would be expensive. And of course there are expensive ones out there but you can find a whole host of different kinds for less than $30!
  2. Clothe Rags: This one you may think sounds less appealing than the first! But clothe diapering moms have been doing it forever! It is easy to put a small trash can, even one with a lit, near your toilet and you wipe and put the used rags in the can and then dump them in the washer with your laundry. It is completely sanitary and lacks most of the chemicals that toilet paper has. I made a solution using this recipe for baby wipes that you could use to make it an even better system. Here is the recipe I used.
  3. Both, in moderation: I advocate for both. And you don’t have to get a bidet to use water to clean yourself. You can use small bottles to squirt the area and then use a rag to dry. Best part about this is there is no need to drip dry and the rags won’t be as… dirty. Now realistically you will have to clean yourself in public and handing a kid a bottle of water and a toilet is enough to terrify me! So, like I have advocated before, do the best you can as often as you can. Have the supplies to use toilet paper less, especially when there is a shortage. But don’t begrudge yourself the happiness of life being a little simpler every now and again! Even if you only use alternative methods during the shortage you may have made a huge difference for a family who doesn’t have time to work on alternative methods, or who doesn’t know that there are healthier alternatives.

Reusable methods are better for your health, the environment, and for conserving. Check out the video I made below for more practical tips!

Working together we can make it through this hard time! Conserve, share, be kind! And if you leave something behind don’t let it be toilet paper in the bathroom… let it be toilet paper on the shelf. Let it be generosity that you leave behind.

Abbey Barnosky

Birth, Postpartum, Bereavement, and Sibling Doula, Breastfeeding Educator, Post Abortion Counselor, Photographer, and Artisan in Fort Worth Texas.


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