Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on June 3, 2008
The French invented them. The Italians love them. The Spaniards, Portuguese and Greeks can’t live without them. There are more of them in Venezuela than they are beauty queens, while the Japanese are just pleased to combine their dual obsessions of hygiene and hi-tech. Yet here in the U.S. (like bikini bottoms for men and topless sunbathing for women), the bidet is viewed with a fervent puritanical suspicion.
Hopefully, the environmentally conscious among us will lead the movement (no pun intended) towards embracing the brilliant green technology that is the bidet. Here’s a few sobering facts about toilet paper, courtesy of Treehugger: “We use 36.5 billions rolls of toilet paper in the U.S. each year, this represents at least 15 million trees pulped. This also involves 473,587,500,000 gallons of water to produce the paper and 253,000 tons of chlorine for bleaching purposes. The manufacturing process requires about 17.3 terawatts of electricity annually.” Not to mention packaging and transportation. Ouch.
Not only does switching to a bidet eliminate the need for toilet paper, it’s more hygienic and less irritating on the skin for people who suffering from hemorrhoids and the like. Trend-setters Google have them installed in their stalls at their HQ in Mountain View, California, so it’s hopefully only a matter of time before the rest of us follow suit. With bidets ranging from a “basic” $50 model to a “ supreme” remote controlled, deodorizing, hydraulic seated version worth several hundred dollars, there’s one to suit every rear end.
Just don’t do a Crocodile Dundee and wash your boots in one.