I'm a big fan of bamboo. Love the plant, love stuff that’s made from it, especially any kind of fabric. I have bamboo sheets, bamboo t-shirts and even bamboo underwear. The idea that a textile made from a plant that is so hard can be so soft and supple is amazing to me.
So, in these pandemically challenged times, when certain products are being hoarded and therefor hard to come by, when I saw bamboo toilet paper being offered online, I jumped at the chance to try it.
The ads were especially appealing: “Sustainable!” “Biodegradable!” “Hypoallergenic!” Even “not the variety favoured (sic) by pandas either, so you will not be affecting their food source…”
And then, the kicker: “Soft.”
That’s when they got me. Don’t get me wrong; without offering up TMI, I don’t need for my “bathroom tissue” to be especially soft, I actually prefer that it have a little “bite” to it, but my supply was dwindling, so I made the requisite clicks.
My new TP arrived within two days is a huge box that could easily have fit four packages. When I opened it and found my 8 measly rolls, I thought, That’s it?
Wrapped in plastic (bad), when I removed the first roll, I could not believe the texture; at the risk of the hyperbole that has become fashionable, I may save some for my next woodworking project.
So, I was rankled. Not so much by the product, but by the message and subsequently, by my willingness to accept at face value what was obviously (if I may coin a phrase) buttwipe hype. While it may have satisfied some of the other claims in the ad, there is no way in God’s recyclable planet that this product should be described as “soft.”
But(t) why so rankled? There are obviously MUCH bigger issues to be considered these days.
What bothered me is that in so many areas of our lives now, we have to be diligent to sort for the truth.
“The truth” can be an elusive concept. Subjective. Changeable. Malleable.
But living in a time where so many feel so free to deliberately distort information, to misrepresent, to LIE, for personal gain is disturbing to me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m no Pollyanna. I know that everyone has a threshold over which they would knowingly supply false information, even the most virtuous among us. The problem for me is how low that collective bar has been set.
Lying used to be more clandestine, more couched in subtlety. Hell, for some, it could even be appreciated as an art form. Now, gaslighting has become mainstream, what were once bald-faced lies have become bold-faced.
“Why” is not really hard to figure. When leadership sets the standard with an ever-lowering bar and information sources reinforce that behavior, it can become the norm.
Unless, individually, we decide we don’t want it to be.
How do we do that?
I am guilty of not doing my due diligence and reading the negative reviews of NooTrees Bamboo Toilet Rolls (the name should perhaps have given me pause). No, I was NOT the first person to order this product and information was there that would have deterred me from ordering it.
But I was lazy. I let myself believe what I wanted to; that this product was what it was represented to be. Yes, now confirmation bias has entered the world of personal hygiene.
Let’s all endeavor as we enter a new era of leadership in our culture to raise the bar around what we accept as truth, to be more diligent towards blindly accepting the information bombardment at face value. And to contribute as best we can to promoting the truth.
Our asses may depend in it…