Here is another guest post from my brother Tom – which made me laugh very much indeed – it was awfully familiar. (Possibly because I grew up in the very same family) (And have had the same experiences with culture shock and housemates.)
Anyway may I present Tom’s ‘What Shit’s Worth- Literal Edition.’
“In this article I’m turning my attention to the other end of the hungry/food/me/contented spectrum.
Now before you click ‘back’ on your browser in a fit of shit-related panic, I’m not concentrating on food waste. More the waste generated by what we as Australians choose to clean ourselves with afterward.
My housemates and I are from differing cultural backgrounds: They were all raised in loving, supportive families that presumably were concentrating on staying fed, clothed and educated to worry to much about the peripherals, whereas my upbringing involved the sort of love and support that makes you love your family, but tread everywhere with a sweaty, guilt-ridden footstep, hyper-aware of the damage you cause with every footstep, every action, every foodstuff. As you might have guessed, my parent’s belief in education extended to having a thorough knowledge of the political world, and the ramifications of how you live.
So, despite the fact that my dad runs a heater from the first of march to the 30th of November, We clean with safer products, recycle everything scrupulously, turn off lights, shut doors, compost our food scraps, buy local, think about the nutritional impact of our food, the environmental impact of its wrapping, and the footprint our lives make on the world. You know, the things most people do without acting all self-righteous and smug about it.
So I have always wiped my bum with post-consumer recycled toilet paper.
Which brings me back to my housemates: they are great people, and I have few, if any, criticisms. But it was still a bit of a cultural shock to find that not everyone was raised with a view to using pre-loved poo tickets.
Recently I used some of the toilet paper a housemate had bought, A six pack of “Sorbent: Kids”.
First off, I had no idea there was a difference in child and adult toilet paper, but the main difference seemed to be that Sorbent passively teach you about your relationship to the natural world by getting you to smear crap all over pictures of adorable puppies.
The thing I couldn’t shake was a feeling of discomfort made ironically by something altogether too comfortable: It was like wiping your arse on a doona. You couldn’t help shake the fear that whoever owned it was going to come back and be justifiably furious.
But the final thing that got me thinking about what we do to eliminate waste as neatly as possible is log 98 million trees per year worldwide purely for the manufacture of toilet paper.
Given the prodigious amounts of wasted office paper generated worldwide, this seems not only absurdly wasteful, but an extremely flawed business model.
Unfortunately in most cases, making the ethical choice usually means laying out wads more cash to buy a product you can only hazard is as ethical as the manufacturer claims.
But recycled bum fodder is substantially cheaper than its doona-violating brethren, and even comparable in price to the arsehole shredding nasty cousin of the family – the budget toilet paper.
Despite the cheeky (totally on purpose!) pleasure of imagining you’ve destroyed an enemy’s valued comforter, the shocking amount of wasted resources involved means shit is most definitely not worth it.”
(I completely agree)