My father, who grew up during the Great Depression, told me that they kept a phone book next to the toilet and "it wasn't for reading."
Here in Taiwan where I live, we do use toilet paper. However, in a number of other Asian countries I've visited, it's rare (only used by "rich people"). The standard procedure in Indonesia is a bucket of water (strategically placed next to the toilet) and a large scoop - you fill the scoop with water and pour if over your bum, and use the left hand to swish things around. Gross as it may sound, it not only works, but gets you really clean and doesn't irritate as toilet paper does.
Back to Taiwan - the common practice around here is to not flush toilet paper - it tends to clog the plumbing and the guys at the sewage treatment plant complain it makes a lot of extra work for them. So used toilet paper gets thrown in a trash can (lined with a plastic bag) and tossed. This is common in many countries (Mexico, for example).
Interesting and amusing blog on what happens to what gets flushed:Welcome To My Poop Plant: A Sewage Treatment Photo Tour
Crohn's since 1988
Post Edited (ozonehole) : 2/28/2009 7:33:01 PM (GMT-7)