How to Control Toilet Tissue Usage

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It seems unfathomable to think that there used to be time when toilet tissue, as society now knows it, was non-existent. The first use of toilet paper officially dates back to the 1391 when it was used by a the Chinese emperor. It was once a luxury for the “elite.” However, in 1857, Joseph C. Gayetty produced and packaged toilet tissue for the first time in the United States. Because the history of toilet paper is rarely thought about, it is easy to see how a person can become wasteful with it and take it for granted.

Limit the amount of toilet tissue that is stored in the bathroom. Instead of leaving a lot of “backup rolls” in the bathroom, leave only one roll. If your family member sees all of the rolls of tissue available to them, it can encourage wasteful habits. However, if only one roll is visible, they will likely use it more sparingly.

Create a toilet tissue “schedule.” Replenish the toilet tissue twice each week, e.g., every Monday and Thursday, or on whatever schedule fits your family. You may have to tinker with the most economical amount until you get it right. Your family will know they have to make one roll last two, three, four or however many days the schedule dictates.

Charge money for the toilet tissue. If your family needs additional tissue beyond the scheduled allotment, charge a fee for the tissue. If you're dealing with a child, take the fee out her allowance. If you charge 1 cent per sheet, a roll of toilet tissue that has 180 sheets will bring in $1.80. To determine the sheet count, refer to the package label.

Be disciplined. Only tear three to four sheets of toilet tissue per bathroom visit. Teach your family members this as well. You can also purchase a toilet tissue dispenser to help regulate the amount of tissue that is torn. These dispensers have a special built-in mechanism that will prevent long ribbons of tissue from being pulled out. You can still tear out more tissue, but the breaking mechanism will serve as a reminder to only tear more if it is actually needed.

Instruct your household to fold the toilet tissue sheets instead of wadding them up. By folding the sheets, you are creating more surface area to use.

Use high quality toilet tissue instead of cheap tissue. High quality tissue will generally be two- to four-ply. "Ply" refers to the number of layers each sheet has. The higher ply tissue may cost a bit more, but it will be more absorbent, which means you will use less.