Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. This week, my focus is on August as Toilet Paper Roll Crafts Month which is further proof that you will be hard-pressed to find something that doesn’t have at least a day for its celebration in a yearly calendar, and often enough – inexplicably – a whole month. But I am here to convince you that there are artistic merits in this one. Read on.

I hope you find these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.

The Quirky Quote
“I have always enjoyed experimenting with materials that people might otherwise throw away, which is why I started working with toilet rolls; recreating scenes from my surroundings that have inspired me.” ~ Anastassia Elias
The Quirky Facts
Pre-schoolers and crafters may dabble in toilet paper roll art, but I know of two artists who excel at it in different ways.

French paper artist Junior Fritz Jacquet, born in Haiti in 1979, discovered origami in a Parisian library when he was 15. Although he has gone on to use paper in other amazing ways, he gained fame years ago for his miniature masks made by squishing and folding a single toilet paper roll into an expressive face, then shellacking and adding pigment to them. His intent was “to create funny and jovial expressions.” Mssr. Jacquet’s toilet paper face creations are easily found on the internet here, and you can see more examples here:

Anastassia Elias is another artist living in France who creates art from toilet paper rolls, but rather than folding them from the outside, she uses scissors and a tweezer to create whimsical paper scenes on the inside, which she then lights from behind for maximum effect. She has in fact, created a whole book of the images called Rouleaux, which features 67 paper sculptures that were made between 2009 and 2012, and a total of 157 photographs and 28 sketches. It’s available here.

Like Mr. Jacquet, her artistic endeavors go far beyond toilet paper roll art, but she has used that particular medium to help a charity trying to bring better sanitation to poor communities. In 2016, she created a special series of artwork for WaterAid to mark World Toilet Day, (betcha didn’t know about that celebration either) noting that 2.3 billion people – one in three of the world’s population – do not have access to a safe, private toilet.

The Quirky Observations
As you will learn from the quiz, most toilet paper rolls are neither recycled nor composted, although it would be better for our environment if they were, and most of us do not have the talents of our featured artists, but anyone can reduce waste by using toilet paper rolls for other purposes. This article suggests 16 ideas, and here are three quick ones including two with links to instructions:
  • Whether or not you do anything to decorate the TP rolls to make them more attractive, they are handy for keeping all our device cords neat and organized.
  • Here is an idea for nurturing seedlings until ready to plant or give to others – a thoughtful green gift.
  • TP rolls make excellent pillow pouches for small gifts of jewelry, candy, nail polish or perfume samples, or little doodads.
The Shameless Request
Now that WNW is a double award-winning publication, we think even more people will be interested in it. Please share it, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, send me a note at The Questions
  • Do like the art shown here?
  • Do you prefer one artist’s work over the other?
  • Have you ever thought of making art from toilet paper rolls? Will you now?
  • What is the most unusual medium you have seen art made from?
The Featured Product
The artists noted briefly above are just two of the many in my Wiser Now Whimsical Art Part 1 – Figures and Faces slide show, which focuses on art that amuses, awes, and fascinates us. By so doing, it becomes an art appreciation course that anyone can lead, and, I hope, that everyone can enjoy. If you are a teacher, activity director, or other group leader, you will want to purchase the version with the printed leader’s guide. If you are just interested in unusual – but definitely talented – artists, the slide show alone with its many blue links is likely to provide hours of pleasure.
The Quiz
Whether or not you were a toilet paper hoarder during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, your household is likely continuing to generate a large supply of empty toilet paper rolls each year, and that is bad for the environment. Can you guess the answers to the following questions? We assume you can only guess, but this is one quiz where the answers are highly informative, so keep reading!

1. What percent of the world’s people use toilet paper?
      a.  25 – 30%      b. 40 – 50%      c. 60 – 70%      d. 80 – 90%

FYI, before you are turned off by this topic, most of those who don’t use toilet paper use bidets or other forms of water cleansing. And that’s all we’re going to say about bottom-cleaning.

2.  The Chinese began manufacturing toilet paper in the 14th century, but when did toilet paper become popular in the Western world?
      a. 1840 ___      b. 1890 ___      c. 1910 ___      d. 1930 ___

3. How did it happen that toilet paper rolls exist?
  1. Japanese papermakers came up with the idea as early as about 1835. ___
  2. A U.S. paper company began manufacturing their toilet paper with them in 1890. ___
  3. They caught on with the French in about 1930 and no one ever looked back, so to speak. ___
4. How many rolls of toilet paper does the average person in the U.S. use each year?
      a. 50 ___      b. 75 ___      c. 100 ___      d. 140 ___

5. Although it’s possible to purchase tubeless toilet paper rolls, few people do. Furthermore, toilet paper rolls are fully recyclable and can even be buried with your other kitchen compost, but how many tubes are estimated to be thrown away each year in the U.S.?
      a. 490 million ___      b. 2.8 billion ___      
      c. 9 billion ___           d. 17 billion ___

6. Worldwide, how many trees are cut down each year for our toilet paper?
 a. 53 million ___       b. 246 million ___               c. 418 million ___      d. 712 million ____

7. Are there alternatives? Yes. Recycled toilet paper. What’s it made of?
      a. You don’t want to think about it. ___
      b. Mostly from other recycled paper products such as newspapers and scraps which may or may not have been recycled by consumers. It is NOT made from used toilet paper. ___

8. Why don’t more people use recycled toilet paper and roll-free toilet paper?
  1. There’s the “ick factor” caused by the misunderstanding of what it’s made from. ___
  2. People in the U.S. have become incredibly spoiled by super soft, tree-gobbling, septic tank clogging toilet paper and are unlikely to change easily. ___
  3. It can be slightly more expensive, and people still tend to shop for bargains. ___
  4. All of the above. ___

The Resources
I wrote this WNW originally because I wanted to feature the artists above, but when it came to trying to figure out an accompanying quiz, I had to check out a LOT of resources. Here are some:

Answers to the Quiz
1.a – And the U.S. is by far the largest consumer of toilet paper per capita in the world. Plus, too many U.S. consumers have gotten used to a super soft version of TP that may be tender on our tushes but is bad for the environment.

2. This is a bit of a trick question. It depends on whether you lived in an urban or rural area and whether you were rich or poor. Even in 1940, a third of U.S. houses (mostly in rural areas) did not yet have an indoor toilet, and people using outhouses did not necessarily use manufactured toilet paper. City dwellers and the well-to-do in the wider Western world, on the other hand, had learned of manufactured toilet paper as early as the mid-1800s and become frequent users by the late 1800s, even if it wasn’t as soft as today’s.

3.b – Scott Paper Company (subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark) was the first major paper company to put a light cardboard tube into their toilet paper rolls in 1890, and others soon followed suit. Now they are still the only major manufacturer that has come out with a tubeless toilet paper roll again. They first tested it in 2010, and it became more widely available a few years later (particularly at Walmart), but it’s never really caught on.

4. Another tricky question, because I found many answers from 50 to 141 among the many resources I used. Again, in the Western world, people in the U.S. are most profligate, but it depends upon how many people are in a household, how many are male, and how much time any of them spend at home vs. work or school. Also, do they use the TP to blow their nose, wipe off make-up or for other miscellaneous purposes?

5.d – that adds up to 32,280 discarded tubes per minute, or almost 14.5 million tubes a day! We seldom realize how large a number a billion is!

6.d - 98% of our toilet paper comes from virgin tree pulp (i.e., made from the pulp of trees or cotton with no recycled content). In other words, our planet’s beautiful forests are being sacrificed to cushion our keisters. We can do better.


My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire are doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
Forward Forward
Copyright (c) 2021 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address*>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Wiser Now, Inc. · 7282 55th Ave. E. #144 · Bradenton, Florida 34203 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp