When you think of adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, your mind likely goes to composting, reusable bags, and package-free cosmetics—but what about your toilet paper?Research estimates the average American flushes just over 57 pounds of toilet paper every single year (and a majority of that paper is made from virgin pulp sourced from Canada).What’s more, toilet paper is one of the biggest contributors to PFAs in our waterways. And if these toxic “forever chemicals” weren’t worrisome enough, many brands uses brightening agents and detergents to get that signature cloudlike look and feel. Not exactly something I want to be wiping around my nether regions.So when Who Gives A Crap offered to send over a selection of its sustainable paper products (think: plush bamboo toilet paper and absorbant paper towels), I decided it was time to get to the bottom of the debate.Could an eco-friendly toilet paper deliver the same plush feeling as regular rolls—or was my bum destined to a lifetime of thin, scratchy sheets in the name of sustainability.My first introduction to Who Gives A Crap came at a friend’s house a few years ago. A sustainability advocate with an environmental science degree, she’d been sold on the brand’s efforts to reduce toilet paper waste by opting for recycled or renewable resources.I remember clocking the vibrant packaging—which stood out even then—and noting the sheets felt pretty solid for a recycled toilet paper. But what really stood out to me was the brand’s mission.Who Gives A Crap started in 2012 when the cofounders learned that nearly 40% of the global population didn’t have access to a toilet. The trio decided to launch their own toilet paper company that offered more sustainable products and donated 50% of profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in developing countries.While I’d like to pretend that I signed up for a subscription right then and there, toilet paper was my roommate’s responsibility at the time.So when the brand recently appeared in my inbox and offered to send over a small supply, I jumped on the opportunity.My requirements for toilet paper have changed dramatically over the years. As a child, I loved the plush, pillow-like toilet paper that puts your pipes through hell and back. When I moved to New York, I got my first taste of old sewer systems and realized that I either needed to give up my plush TP or put a plumber on speed-dial.This changed the way I looked at toilet paper; I needed something soft-yet-absorbant, so I wouldn’t waste a quarter of the roll trying to wipe up.As I started to lean into eco-friendly products in my home, I also began to move towards recycled toilet paper options.My final requirement: I never wanted to flush my money (literally) by purchasing the most luxurious option I prefered the mid-tier price point—not too cheap, but not too pricey.Paper TowelsAbout: 2-ply, 170 sheetsSimilar to the toilet paper, these paper towels are made from bamboo combined with bagasse, a sugarcane byproduct that’s considered waste. Instead of burning or burying the bagasse, the brand gives it a second life in these paper towels.I was a little thrown by the size of these paper towels. They’re shorter than your typical paper towel, which allows for more efficient shipping.Despite the downsized display, I found these paper towels delivered on all of my needs. They picked up spills, removed streaks from my mirrors, and let my countertops sparkling. Even though they were double-length, I did feel they went about as fast as a regular roll of paper towels—perhaps due to the smaller size.However I didn’t feel bad about using these paper towels, like I have with ones in the past.I’ve only used Who Gives A Crap products for about a month, but I firmly believe they’re worth it.Not only do you get a sustainable material that actually feels good on your bum, but the brand’s active efforts to give back globally make this certified B corp a company that I want to support. Once my rolls run out, I even plan to sign up for my own subscriptions.If you’re asking from a cost POV, you might be surprised to hear that my answer is actually the same.While the 48-count shipment may seem like a lofty investment up front at $68, the rolls last longer than supermarket brands because they’re double-length. This means the cost-per-sheet is sometimes even lower than what you’ll find on other name brand options.And while I don’t personally handle my own septic system, I do think it’s worth noting the brand tests all products for disintegration and flush-ability (which could save you even more money in the long run).

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