I. Part one asks you to list your program of study and your investigative questions. If you haven’t done this yet, please add this information to the top of the “Research Report” page of your blog.
I.a. General Social Science But Transferring Next Term
I.b. Should Canadians Use Bidets?
II. Textual Research Report
I found that the best place to start with my research is on the popular forum, Reddit. You will not find a better collection of people outspoken enough to defend or denounce the lowly bidet. I love bidets (too outspokenly, perhaps,) however I did not know before doing my research that the image that I had in my head was not really what a bidet is. I was thinking of the “bum-gun” we have at home, the little nozzle that you spray your nether regions with because anything less than that would be barbaric.
I started with the most direct resource of all, an e-commerce site for bidets. Like Wikipedia, it may not be a credible source but it’s a good place to start. Of course everyone knows that the bidet originated from France, but I didn’t know its usage would be as early as “the late 1600s, and there are records of its use in Italy in the early 1700s.” What drew me to this site however, is that it perfectly shows the market for bidets. Models, varying from electric to standard. The price range, from modest to exorbitant. Mostly, I wanted to have a sense of what a person who wants to buy a bidet from America or Canada can buy with their money.
Our “bum-gun”, is in fact a bidet sprayer, only one kind out of many. I have not been to Japan yet, although I can say I’ve been reasonably acquainted with the infamous “washlet.” Of course it wasn’t as if I could just peruse the strange public toilet I had the pleasure of using in Terminal 21, Bangkok, nor discuss the complexities of my Japanese- Korean host in Busan about his toilet seat. I’m not going to include that bit about the deodorizer pit in my paper, but it was great to know about it nonetheless. The most interesting thing I found in the article is that TOTO exports to China. This is a country very, very, very resistant to change. You can find “squat-style” toilets everywhere, even in a fancy club at Shanghai’s The Bund. The fact that TOTO—an expensive “frivolity” as seen by many is exported to China speaks volumes. Mainly, is it really that good for the body? Or is it because they are seen as fashionable household accessories?
The fact that bidets are better for the environment, as opposed to toilet paper, is secondary to me, and to most people. The irrefutable fact sits, the Western obsession with multiple ply, virgin pulp, ultra-soft toilet paper is harmful for the environment. Worryingly this source states that, “Canada’s boreal forest (alone) stores 23 percent of the planet’s terrestrial carbon-more carbon per acre than any other ecosystem on earth, including tropical forests. However, Canada’s old growth and intact forests are logged at a rate of five acres a minute, 24 hours a day.”
The same author, Noelle Robbins, writes for another journal, still delineating the harmful effects toilet paper production, namely, deforestation. Not a square to spare outlines frankly that ”toilet paper constitutes less than 10 percent of all paper production but accounts for 15 percent of deforestation. To put it bluntly: About one out of every seven trees we cut down goes straight into the toilet” This source, like the one that precedes it outlines the environmental degradation that comes with North America’s choice to favour the toilet paper over a bidet or a washlet.
Another interesting source I found is about the TP cartels, tangle the government of Chile committed a lot of atrocities on their own people, but to find that it extends to toilet paper is a bit surprising. Latin America is no stranger to this, in nearby Socialist Venezuela supplies are, well, in short supply. If they were equipped with bidets, they wouldn’t have to queue up for 3 hours just to buy toilet paper. Although, this is a source focused on economy, and how “dirty forests” are consumed by greedy corporations who don’t take environmental damage of rainforests into account.
Aside from deforestation, another major concern is how toilet papers clog up our sewers. They are pollutants, and the fact that a very interesting paper made for this very specific thing, the Physical Disintegration Of Toilet Papers In Wastewater Systems is serendipitous. I’ve always wanted to know what happens to toilet paper when we flush. In most of Asia, there’s an ubiquitous sign saying “Please don’t flush the toilet paper” this source attempts to answer why.
Let’s say someone doesn’t care about the environment, but is squeamish about only using a small sheet of dry paper to wipe and spread the fecal matter out, well, there is always wet wipes. Some are even flushable. This paper studies the disintegration of wet wipes, by the same authors as the one outlined above.
Another win for the case of bidets, in one word, are hemorrhoids. Upon looking into this source by chance, Cotton-Based Toilet Tissue, only one thing stuck to my head. There are recyclable toilet paper? Cloth- based toilet rags meant for multiple uses? Is this a viable alternative to toilet paper?
I got curious about the possibility of what I imagined, re-usable wipes for feces, and I researched about it and found a credible looking site. A home blogger who extols the good virtue of cloth toilet papers, with all the information, short of doing an interview with the author, that I could get on the topic. This is an alternative for people who still want to wipe, instead of spray, quite useful for my research paper.
-“What Is a Bidet?” Bidet.org. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <https://www.bidet.org/pages/what-is-a-bidet>.
-Wrigley, Fran. “Everything You Think You Know about Your Washlet Toilet Is Wrong.” -RocketNews24. 04 July 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/07/04/everything-you-think-you-know-about-your-washlet-toilet-is-wrong/>.
-Robbins, Noelle. “Flushing Forests.” World Watch Magazine May 2010: Volume 23. Print.
-Robbins, Noelle. “Not A Square To Spare.” Earth Island Journal 25.3 (2010): 57-60. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
“The Toilet-Paper Tangle.” Economist 417.8967 (2015): 37. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
-Eren, Beytullah, and Fatih Karadagli. “Physical Disintegration Of Toilet Papers In Wastewater Systems: Experimental Analysis And Mathematical Modeling.” Environmental Science & Technology 46.5 (2012): 2870-2876. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
-Eren, Beytullah, and Fatih Karadagli. “Disintegration Of Flushable Wet Wipes.” Environmental Science & Technology 46.5 (2012): 2870-2876. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
-Cox, Jo, A. Hextall, and D. K. Edmonds. “Is Cotton-Based Toilet Tissue Less Irritant To The Healing Perineum Than Paper Products?.” Journal Of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 19.4 (1999): 394-395. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
-“The Dirty Little Secrets Of Toilet Paper.” Consumer Reports 80.10 (2015): 20-23. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
-Tara. “The Dangers of Recycled Toilet Paper and a Safer Alternative.” Sustainable Baby Steps. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/recycled-toilet-paper.html>.