COVID-19 Awakens Search for Ancient Toilet Paper Alternatives and Primal Digging

Guest Blog Post courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities

An unprecedented statewide stay-at-home order can be a recipe for boredom, fussy kids, makeshift workstations and some aggressive creativity. I suspect that in a few months we’ll see family expansion, time machines created out of minivans and crocheted hats for cats.

No matter how you’re passing the time, household confinement is also tapping into some deep-rooted primal instincts – such as foraging for toilet paper alternatives and having the urge to dig.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered one of humanity’s biggest mysteries – the hoarding of hundreds of pounds of toilet paper. Of course, this development has created a nationwide shortage of this bare necessity and forced some of us to seek out alternatives such as plant matter, so-called ‘flushable wipes’, paper towels and old magazines for bathroom cleansing.

Unfortunately, none of these toilet paper alternatives are compatible with modern household plumbing. While we don’t encourage you to dig a hole in the yard to bury these items like our ancient ancestors – please call 811 before you do – you should always discard of wipes and other alternatives in a garbage bag instead of flushing them.

Flushing toilet paper alternatives down the toilet will come back to haunt you via a costly and smelly backup into your home – a terrible thing to face at any time, but especially during a home-bound quarantine.

Beyond just digging holes for bathroom activities, I suspect that our ancient ancestors dug lots of holes for various purposes. Heck, a guy in South America just dug a massive hole in the jungle with only a shovel and a spade to build a swimming pool made out of dirt, clay and leech slime that’s worthy of a millionaire.

This primal desire to dig has carried over to modern times as many of us have taken to digging in our yards, especially when we’ve run out of other productive things to do during a home-bound quarantine. Unlike ancient times where you just had to worry about the random scorpion, there’s now a maze of dangerous and expensive pipes and wires beneath the ground to contend with. Hitting one of these pipes and wires with just a hand shovel can not only be expensive, but also deadly.

Thankfully, the fine folks at Colorado 811 are here to help. With just one free phone call to 811 or a click, locators will come out and mark your yard so you can safely dig and pass the time in quarantine by building a new landscape feature.

So, as you take occasional breaks from expanding your family, inventing new contraptions or crocheting hats for Mr. Tinkles the cat, know that there are resources for alternatives to flushing bamboo leaves down your toilet and for safe digging (no guarantees for avoiding scorpions).