Sustainable Toilet Paper Alternatives

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If you live in the UK like me then you may have noticed an increasing shortage of toilet paper in all of the supermarkets. Due to people panic buying because of the coronavirus. It’s crazy and incredibly selfish. Whilst in the supermarket yesterday looking at the empty toilet paper shelves it suddenly occurred to me that people might not know that there are other more sustainable toilet roll alternatives out there.

Reusable Cloth


Granted this might not be for everyone but you can buy reusable cloth packs like these ones from *Cheeky Wipes. They work the same way as reusable nappy wipes or reusable makeup wipes just for your downstairs areas instead. Keep them separate though you don’t want to go mixing up your bum cloths with your face ones!


You can either buy a kit or just use flannels or any other scrap cloth to make your own. The picture below is of my reusable face wipes, just in case you thought I was showing you used bum wipes!

eco-friendly alternatives to wet wipes

Jug Of Water


A lot of Countries in the east don’t use toilet paper at all, mainly due to the plumbing and blockages. Instead, they use a jug of water to wash themselves off afterwards. That is so simple and cheaper than loo roll. It’s also much kinder to your bum as toilet paper can cause irritation down there, especially bleached toilet paper. 


In the Philippines they use a Tabo (produced TAH-boh) which is a small plastic bucket with a handle. 


In South Asia, they use a Lota or Bodna, which contains water and is usually made of brass, copper or plastic. It looks a bit like a teapot without a lid. 

Bidet Attachment


Bidet attachments or ‘bum guns’ are becoming increasingly popular in the West. In the East, they are already very common. You can buy them online a fit them to your toilet. I’ve been told that they’re pretty easy to fit so you shouldn’t need to get a professional to do it for you. There are lots of places where you can *buy a bidet attachment and they’re not that expensive either.


I’d like to get a bidet attachment once our home renovations are finished. When you actually start to think about it wiping your bum with dry paper is pretty gross. I mean if you got poo on your arm you wouldn’t just wipe it off with a dry bit of tissue, would you?

There are also lots of tutorial on YouTube for installing them like this one.


As well as bidet attachments you can also get complete bidets which normally sit next to your toilet. They’re commonplace in Asia. 



I’ve been told that newspaper makes a good toilet paper alternative for when you’re really caught out. Just make sure you wet it first so you don’t scratch your bum.

Sponge On A Stick 


Back in the ‘olden days’ the Ancient Romans used to use sponges attached to the end of sticks. The sponges were communal! This one isn’t for me at all but thought I’d mention it.

Eco-Friendly Toilet Rolls


Still want toilet roll? Try to opt for eco-friendly ones. A lot of supermarkets now have eco-friendly toilet rolls although they tend to be more expensive than the other ones. If you can’t find eco-friendly toilet paper in your local supermarket then check out companies like Who Gives A Crap. They sell it plastic-free too. 


Take a look at this really handy guide by Ethical Consumer on eco-friendly toilet paper

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

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6 thoughts on “Sustainable Toilet Paper Alternatives”

  1. Carol Jeanne Williams

    The stores here in the US are bare of tp, hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes as well. We’ve begun limiting purchases to keep in stock (when we do get them in).

    1. It’s the same here in the UK including sanitary products, medicines, soups, rice, pasta etc. The supermarkets are trying to limit what people can buy but they don’t appear to be enforcing it very well.

  2. It’s out of control in Australia, and it sucks if you simply want to get your normal amount. Because we’re off grid we need a certain type of recycled and two-ply, otherwise it buggars up our toilet. Can’t get it, because of the greed. I’m looking toward old t-shirts.

    1. I know what you mean. I went to the supermarket yesterday to get our normal weekly food shop and toilet roll and there was hardly anything in the store. What’s more annoying is that I follow a plant-based diet so the majority of the food I eat is beans, pulses, grains etc which are the items that everyone are now stockpiling. I’m no so worried about running out of toilet paper are there are other options but food would be a real problem.

  3. Hi Gina… I’m Lori from California and it’s the same here – people desperate for TP, and it is getting ridiculous… After I read this blog from you I went to my sewing room and found some flannel to cut up… It’s been a few weeks and I have to tell you that I love it! The fact that I’m not one of those desperate people in line for TP is great, and I enjoy not adding to my household waste… Throwing them in the laundry couldn’t be easier… Thanks for your great ideas, in this and all your other minimalist suggestions !

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