Go the Bidet Way to Save the Planet
“Water is nature’s daughter. She’s gentle and sweet. If you let her go, we lose the flow and end up in retreat.”
Save Your Bum, It's Easy.
From clean electric to non-electric bidet' toilet seats' and onto portable bidets, you have many models and options to choose from—all created to meet consumers' widely varied needs. So, which one is best for you? With so many easy-to-use convenience features on some models along with the much simpler non-electric bidets you can try, use long term or take it with you on your travels, the right decision can be a tough one. But based on my experience, once you try 'the bidet way,' it will become your preferred way.
To Bidet or Not to Bidet?
Why are Bidets Better Than the Old 'Smear' Method?
I was shocked to learn that one roll of toilet paper takes 37 gallons of water to produce. 37 gallons! This fact hit me hard. Each trip to the bidet uses 1/6 the water for washing vs. flushing a toilet. With what seems like constant water shortages and drought-induced rationing around this country and worldwide, does using so much toilet paper make sense? Why do we think the old water-wasting and dirty 'smear' method is better than using a bidet to wash off our 'bums'?
A single roll of toilet paper requires 37 gallons of water, 1.3 kilowatt/hours (KWh) of electricity and 1.5 pounds of wood
Do you wash your hands by wiping them off with a dry cloth, or do you use water? Do you take a shower using water or just a dry towel to smear the dirt and grime around on our bodies? Why are we not already using bidets as the standard way to clean our bums?
I don't know if you are like me, but I am indeed a 'try it before you buy it' kind of guy, especially when it comes to the time-tested method and sensitive area like keeping my bum clean.
When an opportunity came up for me to test out a bidet for myself, I jumped at the chance.
Sitting at the Chance
Or should I say, I sat at the chance. I was visiting a friend's place on the Oregon coast and heard they had installed a bidet in their new out-building spa house. The homeowners travel extensively worldwide, including Europe and Japan, and have had many opportunities to experience bidets in these various locations. They were enthusiast supporters.
I got my chance one morning to try out the bidet. Upon finishing my morning 'ritual,' I followed up the process with a round of 'paperwork.' And, bear with me, I checked the results. Zero residues left over from the process, which was quite a bit better than the typical 'smear' method.
Success Never Felt So Good
The Smear Method
The smear method never really gets to this level of clean, even after an excessive fourth, fifth, or even sixth round of added 'quality control' paperwork. I was impressed. And I had several more opportunities to check these results double afterward, and each time the same result.
My Quest to Obtain a Bidet of My Own Began
I did some thorough research to find the best and the good enough regarding the expense of bidets. I was happy to learn that there are many brands and numerous options. The US is one of the last holdouts for the widespread use of bidets, so these findings make sense.
In this process, I came across another big surprise. You don't need to go to the expense and hassle of swapping out your toilet to upgrade to the bidet way.
I'm betting that you agree with me that the idea of removing an old toilet, carrying that heavy, awkward, dirty thing across your clean floors and out the door. But, of course, then you need to dispose of it; it's just a daunting messy task.
Well, good news, modern bidets kits are pretty much just fancy self-contained toilet seats. So getting your bidet installed only involves swapping out of your old toiler seat for a new bidet toilet seat.
Do you need electricity for a bidet?
The word bidet typically brings to mind such luxuries as heated toilet seats, self-opening lids as well as a warm water splash, and warm air-drying steps to eliminate the damp aftermath from washing. However, with many choices and features to choose from, you might think that the installation will be complex, but it's actually pretty straightforward.
All of the features mentioned above come with the higher-end models and more, while perfectly acceptable 'work arounds' can be employed with the lower-end models.
Bidet with Power
Installing a 110v Outlet
The most significant complication I found to utilizing a higher-end unit, other than the cost, was the installation and cost of installing a 110V outlet in the wall right behind the toilet in an existing bathroom.
However, this situation is specific to my bathroom; most bathrooms already have an outlet that will suffice just fine.
Naturally, the ideal time to make sure a 110V outlet gets installed is during a remodel or during the construction planning process of a new home.
For most bathrooms, installing an electrical outlet is best done from above via the attic, below from the crawl space or basement, or if by chance there is an outlet on the other side of the wall, a new wire can be pulled from it into position.
Adding a new outlet can be challenging for most of us, requiring you to find and hire an electrician to complete the job. If you have any doubts, it's always best to contact a professional.
A Simple Alternative
Another alternative is to use the existing outlet in your bathroom and run wire molding to cover the bidets cord. The molding can be painted to match your walls which will help it blend in—an easy and quick solution.
What is the difference between electric and non-electric bidets?
And are non-electric bidets any good?
There are options to consider with some of the higher-end features previously mentioned. You'll need to tap into a nearby bathroom sink for hot water, as well as the possibility of just going without a powered or hot water warmed bidet.
Recognizing that the cold tap water used for bidet washing cycles tends to be room temperature, so potentially not uncomfortable, depending on your sensitivity. Plus, many review comments I read stated that the use of only 'cold' water was no inconvenience—some preferred cooler water over warmer water, particularly during the hot summer months; the word refreshing' was used often.
Adjusting to Your Comfort Level
However, if an automatic opening lid, warm air drying, a seat warmer, and the night light feature, there is no escaping the need for electrical power. If we are satisfied with none of these features with our current old smear method, I'm unsure why these features are necessary now.
But we all have our level of comfort expectations, and once some see the possibilities with a bidet toilet seat, these enhanced features might be just too enticing to pass up. I had a much easier time identifying a reasonable way to get power to our master bathroom than for the shared use bathroom down the hall.
So I've deployed a non-powered bidet in the shared bathroom, and I plan on tackling the power outlet situation in the future. Meanwhile, my bum will get the luxury treatment only when we visit our friend's place at the coast.
Are portable bidets worth it?
Portable bidets are small hand-held washing devices that can be battery operated or hand pump type sprayers. These also come from various manufacturers, many of which make the larger, more permanent devices mentioned above. You can carry these in your luggage or your purse for ease of access and ready at any time use.
Pursue the Bidet Way
You can see there are many options for you and your family to pursue the bidet way. And think of all the water, paper, trees, and personal cleanliness benefits you can obtain for making this decision. Also, as mentioned above, the amount of resources energy and water, at the toilet paper factory and the local municipal wastewater treatment plant. You will be making a solid contribution to saving the planet while improving your quality of life, both for you and your family.
The Blended Tribes mantra of 'Better Living Through Better Choices' means we don't need to make great sacrifices to be environmentally responsible. Instead, choices like bidets, electric cars, programmable thermostats enhance our lives and our comfort while at the same time contributing to saving the planet.
Join us in our quest at blendedtribes.com to save the planet one kilowatt, one therm, one gallon, or one roll of toilet paper (aka a 'Better Choice') at a time. You will be joining a group of like-minded individuals with a common goal and a common purpose.
Please consider taking action on any of the recommendations found on our site to create a more sustainable, healthy, and abundant life for yourself and those you care about.
When you visit our site, take the Green Warrior Challenge to establish where you stand on your sustainability journey. It will inspire you with actionable line items that you can take that will increase the quality of your life and contribute to our collectively saving the planet.