As supermarket violence rages across the world with desperate toilet goers attempting to get their hands on that precious last package of toilet paper before they’re left at home with laundry baskets over-flowing with poop smeared underpants we decided to join the 4 billion civilized members of the planet who do not use toilet paper and examine alternative methods. It takes around 30,000 trees every day to fulfil the global demand for the pleasure of wiping our bum and we have an abundance of trees in our garden, so why not make our own?
Now, the first problem is that we don’t possess any machinery to process trees into toilet paper so we decided to examine which leaves would make the best, and most comfortable, toilet paper. We have mango trees, cinnamon trees, neem trees, palm trees, and a variety of others, but the one that came up trumps was the banana tree. Why you ask? Well, after some tests it appeared that the banana tree leaf, when dried, remains softish, more so than others that crisp up when dry. We cut off a bunch of leaves and left them to dry for a few days as our current supply of toilet paper slowly decreased (mainly due to the children’s misuse).
After a day or two we cut the paper into strips, cleaned off the insects and dirt and made a pile by the toilet, and waited… We were aware in this time that the dried banana leaves, although soft, are not as soft as toilet paper, and having run them under the tap are definitely not absorbent so we could foreshadow some potential problems with our new school bathroom style paper. We searched on google to see what others had done. Results were not positive. Seems like no one has tried to wipe their bottom with banana leaf, which in hindsight is fair enough. Anyway, needs must as we were down to our last roll and in “Lockdown”.
As the man of the house I volunteered to be the pioneer of this great adventure and entered the bathroom apprehensive but enthusiastic about our new quest. Now to avoid all the graphic detail I’ll break it down gently. Firstly, as predicted, the bananaper (Copyright me) was truly not absorbent. However, it did ok. After a few wipes there was enough evidence that it was doing some cleaning, but probably not enough for me to leave the toilet with ay dignity, so I cheated and used a piece of standard toilet appear to finish, which provided more evidence that the banapaper hadn’t thoroughly worked. Nevertheless, it was free, easy to make, took away some mess, and provided some excitement in a household imprisoned in their home.
After some post-experiment discussions, we remembered that in Asia many toilets have a “bum hose” to help clean up, so we made the executive decision that the bananaper needs to be accompanied by some form of water squirting device, to help finish off, so Natalie quickly rustled up a prototype using an old dish soap bottle that has now taken it’s place next to the sheets of paper. As an FYI bum hoses are actually quite hygienic compared to smearing with classic TP.