In celebration of Toilet Paper Appreciation Day on December 8th, we take a moment to learn about the history and important facts about toilet paper some people may not already know. Educate yourselves.

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Here in the US, we can thank Joseph Gayetty for the invention of commercial toilet paper in 1857. Before then, the sordid history of wiping included sticks, leaves, sand, corncobs, or the ever comfy, animal fur.

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Bathrooms are big business. When it’s time to do yours, or more to the point, when your business is done, most people in the US reach for toilet paper. But, it’s not necessarily the way it is across the world. Looking at how humanity addresses hygiene for this particular process is quite diverse.

Do Other Countries Use Toilet Paper?

Some countries still clean up with their hands. Greeting someone, cooking, and eating are done with the right hand because the left hand is used as the way things get cleaned after things get done. Appreciating your toilet paper yet?

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Water is used in most of the world compared to toilet paper. Bidets in many countries are quite popular. There can be an entire 2nd fixture or an attachment to your traditional toilet to get things clean. Toilet showers are in use in some other places. Different types of cups and bottles like the lota or tabo are all used in different cultures to keep hindquarters clean.

Is Paper or Water Better for Humanity?

Ecologically, the debate can be made for either paper or water for the planet. When there is already a desperate clean water shortage, should humans have heated water for their bidet? Is a water shower any better?

Conversely, is toilet paper doing humans any favors?

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Credit QS Supplies/Canva
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Either way, toilet paper is not going away anytime soon. Some people don’t believe that toilet paper can get people very clean and try for flushable wipes. Most waste disposal professionals would advise against flushing wipes even if they are labeled safe for flushing. As the Storybots say, the only things you should flush in the United States is ‘water, waste, and toilet paper’.

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