Fancy yourself an environmentalist? Sure you do! You recycle your bottles, reuse your shopping bags, and turn off extra lights to save energy. Yet despite your best efforts you continue to cut down trees and spread waste daily! I am, of course, referring to your ubiquitous waste of toilet paper. The average person uses around 70 to 80 rolls of toilet paper a year ( That is a lot of trees. But have no fear, there is a solution! Read on for the most eco-friendly, biodegradable, and rear-end pleasing toilet paper alternatives.

5. Pine Cones

The highly textured surface of a pine cone is effective for scraping, although its lack of form-fitting contours has a tendency to leave unwanted stuff behind. Not to mention, there are sharp points present; work the pine cone too hard and your rump will pay the price next time you want to sit around a camp fire. Warning: scraping against the grain may cause severe lacerations!

4. Dry Sticks

They work in a pinch. That is about the only positive attribute. Take off the bark and you will have a nice smooth surface. But beware of splinters. They happen. Getting them out is a real test of your friendships with the people you are camping with.

3. Sand Stone Rocks

One of my personal favorites! Enough grit to get the surface clean but usually not enough to lacerate the behind. Also, they are plentiful if you are in the right environment and are usually rounded. Added bonus: Sand stone really helps develop your butt-toughness!…If that is a thing you wish to develop.

2. Mullein Leaves

What a great plant! The stalk can be used for hand drill. The leaves can be boiled and used to treat asthma and ear infections. The best use, however, is the velvety softness of first year leaves and their applications to rear-end cleanup. They are gentle. They are soft. They get the job done as fine as any toilet paper. A word of warning about using random plant leaves to wipe your butt: you will pay a heavy price if you happen to have an allergy to that particular plant!

1. Snow

Believe it! The absolute best eco-friendly butt wipe is snow! It wipes and cleans at the same time! A bit chilly… but everything has a cost right? It’s no matter, after a few wipes the pooper tends to go numb anyways. Prepare ahead of time by packing a good snowball, that way it won’t fall apart in your hands—super gross when it happens. Wipe once then scrape the dirty snow off on a tree and you have a clean wipe for your second or third go around. Return to your camp with the smug satisfaction that the cleanest part of your body is your arse.

David Michael Scott has been practicing wilderness skills for over 20 years and endeavors to use environmentally friendly wipes whenever possible. Find out more about David’s courses and adventures at


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