Zero waste toilet paper


Not many of us have the tendency to think about where our toilet paper comes from, or how it impacts the planet — yet the United States consumes 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, representing about 15 million trees, which all together, creates a decent footprint on our paper usage.

When I decided to go zero waste, I knew that there were bamboo alternatives to regular toilet paper, and that it was also possible to find hotel style toilet paper which was wrapped in paper instead of plastic film. I opted for single bamboo toilet rolls from my local Whole Foods originally, but once moving into my new apartment, I knew that I had to start buying rolls in bulk. Luckily I discovered Who Gives a Crap toilet paper from plastic-free blogger, Beth Terry, and it didn't take much convincing for me to order a box of recycled paper rolls to try.

About Who Gives a Crap

Who Gives a Crap is a socially and environmentally minded company that gives a crap about toilet paper and toilets, but for a good reason. To get you thinking:

  • 2.3 billion people across the world don't have access to a toilet - yet more people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet.

  • Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.

  • A World Health Organisation study in 2012 calculated that for every $1 invested in sanitation, there was an economic return of $5.50 in lower health costs, more productivity and fewer premature deaths.

The company started back in 2012 with a mission to donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets in developing countries -- to date, they've donated over $1.2 million Aussie dollars to their charity partners. If you want the full fledged background of how Who Gives a Crap started, I'd also highly suggest watching their Tedx Talk here (it's quite entertaining and well worth your time).

The unboxing

When it comes to the environment and waste, the toilet paper comes in a recycled paper or bamboo material, and is packaged in only paper, compared to the plastic film rolls are usually wrapped in. One of the great benefits of going for a recycled paper roll over a regular virgin toilet paper roll is that your carbon emissions are cut in half (as referenced in the How Bad Are Bananas book I was reading in the intro of my video), but bamboo is also a great alternative to regular paper products due to its quick growth and harvesting timeframe in comparison to regular trees. It's difficult to go wrong here! Each roll is also wrapped in fun printed paper and the toilet paper rolls are also paper based, so completely recyclable.


Upcycling ideas

I've shared a few ideas as well in my video above on how to extend the lifespan of the toilet paper rolls and paper wrapping. From origami, paper wrapping, to cord organizers -- paper is such a versatile tool and I hope you enjoy the video while you're at it! I especially love using the toilet paper rolls as cord organizers for all our instrument cables, headphones, and power cables. They line up so nicely in the basket compared to when I use rubber bands before. I’m sure there are more great ideas out there of how to repurpose the wrapping as well, especially for arts and crafts.


Thanks again to Who Gives A Crap for sponsoring this post - if you’d like to give a crap about your toilet paper, use the discount code SNAPSHOTS on your first order. Also be sure to tag me on Instagram if you try out any of these repurposing ideas or order your first set of rolls! Hope you guys love this simple switch to make a bigger impact for our bums and for the world, and stay tuned for more simple, sustainable swaps like these in the future!