Gary J. Carroll is an adventurer and professional photographer. Born in Birmingham, England, he travels the world as a street/urban photographer exploring different cultures, infrastructure and day-to-day living.
When I live in one place for a period of time and live in an apartment, I use the common-placed products such as toilet paper, kitchen roll and surface wipes, but because I live a nomadic life I can find myself in cultures or situations where none of the above products I mentioned are available or necessary.
I recently spent a month in the Himalayas living in a small village where they did have toilets but did not dispose of paper in them. The alternative is to use water and then a hand sanitizer. I’m currently in Asia where it is common place to use a water pump next to the toilet for cleaning oneself.
When I do buy tissue products, whether it’s toilet paper, kitchen roll or surface wipes, I’m definitely seduced by labelled products because of their perceived quality, especially when it’s toilet paper. I have tried alternatives in the past and I don’t think the quality of the product is as good.
Before I was living a nomadic life I never gave much thought to environmental issues regarding cleaning products. That has now changed since I have been exposed to various cultures and observed first-hand how we don’t treat the planet, our home, with respect. I think we all play our part in being kind to planet earth but some cultures are more fortunate to have better infrastructure in place than others.
I’ve spent most of my adult life between the UK and Australia where all kinds of tissue is available, with many choices and quality. Everything you need is in every supermarket, £1/$2 shops and the internet where a product can be ordered today and be with you tomorrow.
The quality of tissue products is definitely very different throughout western nations. We are spoilt for choice in the UK and Australia, where the availability and quality is excellent. In the developing nations I’ve spent time in they tend to use much less tissue paper opting for water jets instead or self-clean products and water. I find the quality of tissue paper in developing parts of Asia to be poor and not as easy to come by, but then they don’t use it as much as the western world.