GOOD

It’s Time for Americans to Get Over It and Embrace the Bidet

How cleaner butts can get us to a cleaner planet.

At the Toto showroom in downtown Manhattan, a young, well-dressed woman enters and announces with a groan that she’s here to buy a bidet toilet seat. The salesperson proudly displays the five different models of Toto’s Washlet, the advanced electronic toilet seat with a built-in, controllable bidet (along with seat heater, deodorizer, MP3 player, and other available features). “I don’t really care which one,” the woman tells the salesperson. “I’m not going to use it. If it were up to me I wouldn’t get this thing, but it’s something my husband wants. Our deal is he gets this, and I get my say with the rest of the house. It’ll be hidden in our master bathroom. … I don’t want my guests to see this.”

I stand a few feet away, shaking my head in disbelief. Here we are in the world’s most sophisticated city, surrounded by the marvels of 21st century technological progress, and this clearly wealthy woman cannot wrap her head around a toilet seat that will wash her husband’s ass. What’s wrong with North American society? Why do people so fear the one perfect device that can guarantee their bum’s cleanliness? Despite its obvious and well-proven benefits, from personal hygiene to environmental, the integrated bidet toilet seat—which sprays a controlled stream of water from underneath the toilet seat at the push of a button—remains stubbornly off-putting to North Americans. Laugh all you want, but this has an impact on all of us.

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You Want To Print The Entire Internet? Here’s What You’ll Need

Students at the University of Leicester calculate how many pages–and trees–it would take to print the entire internet

image via (cc) flickr user luschei

The internet, to borrow a phrase from author Douglas Adams, “is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is.”

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GOOD Instructions: How to Achieve Mailbox Zero

Ever heard the adage "Eastern medicine tells you the train is coming, Western medicine tells you you've been hit by it"? It...



Ever heard the adage "Eastern medicine tells you the train is coming, Western medicine tells you you’ve been hit by it"? It applies to our relationship with waste, too: We make a mess then try to find ways of dealing with it, as opposed to preventing the mess in the first place. A great example is recycling—it's important to do, sure, but precycling is far more effective, and there is no better place to start than your own mailbox.

An estimated 4 million tons of junk mail are sent each year, and much of it never even gets opened. If a million people stopped receiving junk mail, we could save up to a million and a half trees annually. Meanwhile, pulp and paper mills are among the largest environmental pollutants in the country, to say nothing of the energy required to print, distribute, and recycle paper in the first place. With that in mind, here are our instructions for achieving Mailbox Zero.

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