Thursday, August 13, 2009

You can re-use that?!?

cloth napkin

dish towels


mama cloth

We all know that I am a cloth diaper evangelist. Well, I have been thinking, since I love cloth diapers, are there other disposable items I'm using that could easily be replaced with a better, re-usable alternative? Hmm. A short list of the obvious:
In my experience, the cloth versions of these all work better, are more attractive, and are healthier than the disposable alternative. And that is BESIDES the fact that they are all obviously better for the environment! (See here for or here for some explanations of why.) Yet, companies keep on coming out with more and more throw-away products. There definitely are disposable things that I like to use, and probably will continue to do so, such as... Well, I actually can't think of any good examples right now. But I'm not going to stop buying groceries at a grocery store, for now, so let's say, the packages some of my food comes in would be one thing I dispose of after use. However, when I can find an easy, environmentally sound alternative I am trying to switch - I am already using the cloth versions of the items on the list above. In addition, I am really excited about using vinegar and baking soda instead of nasty chemicals for cleaning lots of stuff around the house, including my hair (this will be a future post topic). I recently used old diapers and a vinegar/water solution to clean the windows and it worked great! Besides thinking about re-usable items, I am also thinking about things that I don't want to touch sweet pea's sensitive skin.

Does anyone have any great ideas for other disposable items we could replace with re-usable?

Oh, and yes there are people out there using cloth instead of toilet paper. I’m not there yet, but wouldn’t totally rule it out. Have any of you tried this?


  1. I've been using handkerchiefs instead of tissues. I asked for some for my birthday, but old clothing scraps would probably work well too.

    I've been using the cloth pads for about three years now. I like them, but I think the quality of these varies quite a bit by brand. My favorite so far is PIMPs (party in my pants). What do you like? Or do you make yours??

    I'm with ya on the family cloth. Maybe someday, not quite there yet...

  2. Great ideas. We've never used paper towels for some reason. But I definitely think we'll switch from tissues to handkerchiefs. Soulemama posted about making a handkerchief dispenser. It was inspiring.

    I've been able to downsize on the disposable packaging from the grocery store by bringing cloth bags and jars and shopping the bulk section. I also bring a canvas bag for all the produce, instead of putting each kind into separate plastic bags. When making purchasing decisions, I try to take packaging into account along with price, organic vs. non-organic, etc. I posted about it awhile back here:

  3. Yes, great ideas! I have some threadbare cotton pjs that would make nice, soft hankies.

    We also try to bring re-usable bags to the store, but often forget. Great post, Abby!

    Ann, I use Lunapads and have been happy with them. Next time I buy some I'm thinking I'll go with a WAHM purchase, after reading some reviews.

  4. Hello there!! I posted an answer to your question on my blog...

    By the way, I also use mama pags (thinking on changing to Diva Cup), and I have use cloth as toilet paper... Dont do it regulary, but I dont see the big deal out of it... I mean, you only need to see some of my daughter's poopy diapers to know that NOTHING can be worse than that.. LOL...

    Anyway, something that I do all the time, is actually wash myself for #1 (no paper, no cloth) just water and soap.

  5. Thanks Momto3LittleFlowers!
    I will plan on a post about packing my husband's lunch for this Friday.
    The Diva Cup also seems like a great option - I may buy one when my cycles come back.

  6. Cant wait to see your pics.. I mention it to my hubby and he is all jelaous from your hubby!! LOL

  7. Just wanted to let you know that The Purple Lunchbox is up!! Dont forget to stop by! :)