June 15, 2010

My Issue with Tissue

For the past month and a half since the marathon, my life has consisted of very little running and lots of doing other things.  It has been lacking so much running-related activity that I have digressed to writing about toilet paper...yes, TP, the butt-wiping tissue.

Ever since sophomore year of college, when I moved out of the dorms and had to begin buying my own toilet paper, I've been in awe of just how much toilet paper an apartment of 2-5 girls can go through in what seemed like a very short amount of time.
*i would just stop reading now*
A few months ago, I decided to start keeping track of toilet paper usage at my apartment to see what kind of conclusions I could draw, if any.  For three rounds of toilet paper that I bought (my roommate and I take turns), I kept track of the price, number of rolls, number of sheets per roll, and the date purchased and date the package of toilet paper ran out.  Seemed like good things to note.

Meet my toilet paper
To reduce variability, I bought the exact same toilet paper each time.  I picked generic Target brand TP because it's cheaper, but not so cheap that it's quality is awful and going to inflict pain upon my sensitive areas.  I picked a package of 6 rolls, because less than that means I have to waste time buying more, sooner, and I didn't choose more than 6 rolls simply because my roommate never does and we have to keep things fair, right? :)  Each package of 6 rolls had 286 sheets per roll and cost $3.79.

On average, the 6-roll pack of toilet paper lasted 27 days.  This means between my roommate and I, and a couple random visitors, we used about 1/5 of a roll of toilet paper or 64 sheets every day.  That doesn't seem THAT bad, but you have to remember we're not home most of the day during the work week, or even that often during the weekends.  So it really is a bit ridiculous, and wasteful.  If just the two of us use that much toilet paper every day, I wonder how much toilet paper is produced daily.

Conclusions lacking usefulness
- Not taking into consideration fluctuations in price or usage, and keeping the type of toilet paper constant, it costs my roommate and I about $0.14 per day or $51 per year to use the bathroom.
- No big deal, this is less expensive than I had in mind, but I guarantee it costs a household of guys way less.  Another reason why they have it easier.
- I'm going to continue using toilet paper liberally, but buy in bulk so it seems like I'm using less because I'm buying it less often.
- Even if I tried to limit my toilet paper usage, my roommate and the rest of the population would cancel out my efforts. Ahem, toilet papering houses.
- This was a waste of time, but I'm no longer curious.
- What is the point of having tiny sheets?

And then I found $20.


  1. LOL

    Well there's $20 towards a Costco membership you can really buy in bulk there!

  2. Next you can research if "bunching' your toilet paper, or "folding" it results in less or more usage. You are too funny!! Mom

  3. I save TP by planning potential usage around a shower. I go #2 right before showering as well as blowing my nose in the shower. It all goes down the same pipe anyhow except without any TP.

  4. some regions use a "poop cup" or a "potty hand." when you think about it, tissue paper is one of the most ineffective ways to remove a water-soluble product.