Most homesteaders begin their journey with the desire to be fully self-sufficient. From food, to power, to transportation, this can be quite a process. Oftentimes, however, the simplest needs are overlooked in favor of more flashy pursuits, but the devil is in the details. Have you ever considered, for instance, how to live without store-bought toilet paper? If not, read on, as well be covering some grow-your-own alternatives in this week’s article.
Before we begin, however, I need to make something clear. The plants we’ll be covering on this list cannot be flushed down a regular septic system–they will have to be composted.
Plant leaves with a fuzzy texture are the best for this purpose. As such, the mullein plant should be a top choice for your usage. A tall biennial, the plant sprouts yellowish flowers in its second year, but is fully of fuzzy leaves spring through fall, which can be harvested for your purposes.
Next up is lamb’s ear. A common plant (verging on a week), the plant is quite literally named for its big furry leaves, and comes back every year.
Third off is thimbleberry. The single-ply of the toilet-leaf world, the plant is less soft, but has leaves bigger than a man’s hand, meaning you don’t need too many per usage.
The plants above have earned their spot on the list thanks in no small part to the fact that they are all non toxic. However. Different people can have skin sensitivities to different things, and sensitive skin is not the place to find out. Before you try any of the above, swipe a leaf across your wrist and wait a day. If there is no reaction, you are good to go!
Now you’re probably thinking there’s a slight hole in the plan above. After all, these plants don’t really grow in the wintertime, so what are you supposed to do? Hold it? Luckily, while it doesn’t stay quite as soft, you can harvest and dry the leaves for future use. Dry them flat, and while it may appear the absorbency has been affected, the intended use will have enough moisture to replace what was lost in drying.
While this may not have been the most pleasant article to read, let me assure you, having a backup plan for when your bidet stops working will yield immense peace of mind if the day comes. The time to ensure your bathroom needs are secure is not when you’ve already run out of tissue. Planting a few of these now will give you a regenerative supply of the material to use in the future, if you ever need it.
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”
Larry Ciejka says
In my childhood I lived in Northen canada. When it is 30 below zero you learn to do your business very quickly and th e Sears or Eaton Cataloge was the thing. We used newspaper when it was available.
Reg Blankenship says
In Nepal I learned to use my left hand, with a can of water for rinsing. Afterward, a good scrub with soap or an antibacterial scrub is OK. Never got sick. It was just mentally getting past that first time. LOL
Luis Gomez-Montes says
Marcia Mason says
I’ve used Grainger catalogs. But, where these plants are not around, sweetgum, tulip tree, sassafras, and sycamore leaves can work. And in the dry areas, look for and stash some smooth river rocks for wipers. It bares mention that you should try to locate your potty well downhill/downstream of your water source.
Luis Gomez-Montes says
Very good, thank you.
OK, Lars- I sense you’re not old enough to remember the….. Outhouse AND the Sears catalogs? Whilst the catalogs are mostly a thing of the past, newspapers can fill that void and I believe they use soy based inks today… Stockpiling some newspapers prevents the neighbors from knowing what you’re up to it you have to go harvest some mullein leaves…😁. Good article! Thanks!
And where are you getting newspapers 100 miles from anyone else? And yes I am older enough to have use a Sear’s catalog in the outhouse in the South Carolina mountains