How far are you willing to go to be eco-correct?

Elizabeth Logan, Staff writer

Since the beginning of Urban, nay, since the beginning of time, man has slowly but surely destroyed Mother Earth through the use of the most satanic substance: paper (or, as it is known in Canada, demon-fiber).

The ancient Egyptians, after inventing papyrus, were so concerned about its potential role in global warming that they built giant refrigerators, called pyramids, in the desert so that future generations could seek shelter from the atmosphere’s rage. Ancient China, with the invention of rice paper, felt so bad about using rice, a food, for something so non-vital that it had to hide behind a big screen named the Great Wall.

Even so, the modern world continues to use paper, failing to learn from the mistakes of the past. The next empire to crumble from paper overuse may indeed be Urban. But we have a choice. We can make a difference. Behold, the future of bathrooms: paper-free.

Unless you have been living under a rock — in which case, good for you for living in such sustainable housing — you have noticed a very important change to the unisex bathrooms in the Gumption courtyard. One bathroom still has the traditional paper towel dispenser, but the other does not. Both are equipped with an air hand-dryer. They are motion activated, germ-free and really loud. They are the eco-ternative to paper towel dispensers that are, one must realize, not the only source of paper usage in the bathrooms.

Yet, there is another culprit, another source for the scourge that is paper: toilet paper. We all want to save the world, but we have to have toilet paper … or do we?

Though these rumors are unconfirmed, my sources tell me that the same principle that rid us of the horror of paper towels will soon be employed to free us from toilet paper. Yes, you guessed it: mini-dryers for your … you know. I met with an unnamed (and technically nonexistent) member of the Urban community who told me about the school’s upcoming eco-plans. We met in the source’s Prius and chatted over some hand-churned frozen yogurt, eaten from a jar using chopsticks, listening to a band you have never heard of, obviously.

“This will revolutionize the way we use the bathroom. Instead of having to … use toilet paper … you can take this little fan and it’ll … you know … and then you’re clean,” says the source. These new dryers will be introduced in some bathrooms starting in the 2010-2011 school year, and Urban will be toilet paper-free by 2012 to coincide with the end of the world.

“It is going to be really exciting,” the source said. “Finally, I won’t feel guilty every time I use the bathroom.”

With Urban’s bathroom-related paper usage nearing 0%, the next logical question is, what next? Biodegradable gum wrappers? Biodegradable textbooks? All we need is the will to combat climate change. The sky is the smoggy limit! We can save anything!

Except the polar bears. The polar bears are super-screwed.