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    Disposable products
    jlcohen78 posted:
    I'm trying to cut back on the use of disposable products. For instance, instead of using a paper towel to wipe up a spill I'm using a dish rag. I've always done that but now I'm just trying to convince DH to. But now I'm ready to move on to bigger things. Like napkins. I just bought some 'real' napkins in an attempt to stop using paper napkins. I'm not quite ready to make the leap to mama cloth yet but I've thought about using wash cloths instead of toilet paper. I'm already doing a few loads of diapers each week so it wouldn't be that much more effort. Is that silly to do?! I'm not that crunchy, am I?! I mean I would still have toilet paper for guests to use.

    Oh, and my mom brought me over a book that she had with tons of recipes for home made cleaners and such. Very cool.
    KCAimee responded:
    UGH! I just posted and it didn't show up. GRRR!

    Good for you! I stopped buying paper towels about 6 or so months ago and we haven't missed them. Even DH is okay without them. I did buy "un-paper towels" to replace them but they are basically fancy dish towels. I also bought a dozen hand/face wipes but again, fancy dish cloths. We also use them for napkins but I do have nicer, true napkins for if we have guests.

    I don't think I can give up toilet paper. Maybe for #1 but I don't think I could for #2.

    What is the book your mom brought you? I'd love to read it. I have a bunch of enviro/kid friendly cleaners i bought from a Bare Naked Cleaners co-op a few weeks ago but after they are gone I want to make my own and scent them with EO's.
    MontanaMama2009 responded:
    EcoSafe"122 Biodegradable Trash Bags ON SALE!We use billions of plastic bags each year in this country and less than 3% ever get recycled. It takes a normal plastic bag over a thousand years to degrade in a landfill, but ours will do so in 12 to 24 months. Here are some great products to get you on your way to becoming a Green Consumer! These products are made in the U.S.A. and will help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills.
    These products will totally fragment and disintegrate in 12 to 24 months.

    13-Gallon EcoSafe"122 Degradable Tall Kitchen BagsEcoSafe bags are just like regular plastic bags, except that they will totally fragment and disintegrate in 12 to 24 months.
    15-ct Box Was $2.99 $2.49 180-ct Case Was $33.39 $28.29
    cheeezie25 responded:
    That is great that you are trying to be more eco-friendly with the use of less disposable products, but keep in mind that the use of more non-disposable products, the more water, soap and disinfectant-type products you will need to use to keep them clean and in circulation.

    I would think the trade-off would favor the use of cloth napkins and dish rags for certain kitchen spillage, but I would hesistate to use go that route for the TP and dish rags for certain kitchen spills (think poultry juice and eggs). I would just be too worried about recirculating food-bourne bacteria using the same dishrag multiple times, and I would be quite weary of using washcloths as TP just due to the sheer number of contaminants that reside in fecal matter. Also, as far as I am aware, TP disintegrates pretty easily, so I wouldn't think that would be much of a drain on the environment. I mean, if you think about it, even our ancestors used disposable TP (err... leaves), KWIM?
    jlcohen78 responded:
    Aimee --- I'll have to look at the book when I get home. It's from the '80's, lol!

    Good call with the trash bags, MM! We stopped buying a few years ago and use plastic grocery bags daily for trash.

    cheezie --- Great point about the environmental issues. In all honesty, I'm switching more because of cost factors. I wash all of the rags separately in a hot wash with a bit of bleach and if it's used on something like poultry juice then I don't reuse it. As for the TP, I have washclothes that are already used strictly for the kids bottoms (I use cloth wipes along with cloth diapers). I guess I just don't see any difference in if it's used on my kids bottom or my own, lol!
    KCAimee replied to jlcohen78's response:
    I did find this info on cloth paper towels.
    jlcohen78 replied to KCAimee's response:
    Great article! Thanks for posting.
    MontanaMama2009 responded:
    I totally get why you would want to use cloth toilet paper, sure. Probably because it saves on deforestation and chemicals used in the paper-making process.

    I would just have a hard time using it for No. 2. And I even use cloth diapers and don't have a problem with my cloth wipes for you're stretching my mind here, Jamie! I'll have to think twice now...

    I buy less paper towels. i wish I could jsut quit. But I like to use paper towels for dirty bathroom cleaning jobs. then i just throw them away.

    I use reusable water bottles so i'm not throwing tons of plastic away...or having to recycle a bunch of plastic water bottles.

    My next move to help save the environment: switch light bulbs to energy-saving squiggly ones. Whatever they're called.

    And this upcoming winter, I really need to focus on winterizing our Victorian home. Old windows and old doors with LOTS of leaks/gaps.

    Great post!
    MontanaMama2009 replied to KCAimee's response:
    This was taken from the site you posted, Aimee:

    For messy or sick spills it can seem like you're going through many cloths. Another major argument for paper towels is the water needed to wash cloth. However, first of all it takes quite a few cloths to make a full load of laundry. At my house we have a bunch of generic washcloths, old cut up rags and cloth diapers and some smaller fiber dishcloths (all in small sizes) that we use exclusively for cleaning. We only end up washing about one or two loads of cleaning cloths a week. It's not a big deal.

    Secondly it takes a lot of water to manufacture paper towels too. And think about the water it takes to grow the trees from which we get paper. Hardly anything on earth is free from water use. What's different about paper towels vs. cloth is the reuse and packaging toll.

    If you clean smart and correctly, using plain old common sense, you can still ditch the paper towels, cut costs and over time save some trees.
    jlcohen78 responded:
    So I've been doing some research. It's called "Family Cloth." I found a few interesting articles.

    The 3rd article sold me. NO MORE CLOGGED TOILETS! Maybe this will be the end to needing the plunger in the powder room downstairs, lol!

    It's not a huge savings but it's something.
    MontanaMama2009 replied to jlcohen78's response:

    The family cloth is completely environmentally friendly. It is also a great way to save money. Some families rely on the family cloth to help cut their paper product expenses. Others opt to use the family cloth in an effort to reduce stress on their septic tank system.

    In the general population the idea of the family cloth is met with a look of astonishment and horror. Within the environmentally concerned green community the family cloth is an obvious choice. How green are you willing to go?

    Wow. I think I'll store some for begin with, LOL.
    jlcohen78 replied to MontanaMama2009's response:
    So I brought it up to DH at dinner.

    His exact words: Are you serious? I'm going to be a strange old man because of you.

    He's willing to try it at least.

    And I have to say...I used one of the kids wipes when I got home from work this afternoon. Wow! I can get used to it. Much softer than TP!
    MontanaMama2009 replied to jlcohen78's response:
    I like your DH's comment, Jamie. :) :)
    An_224629 replied to jlcohen78's response:
    Are you listening to yourself? You're poor husband. Not having Tp is insane. If people wouldn't use so much of it, it wouldn't clog the toilet. I mean cut costs? what does it cost, like 6.00 a month?? if that.
    wxbuny replied to An_224629's response:
    here we go with the anon because we can't say something nice, please Anon_382 grow up.

    I think it's worth a try! Maybe you can use it for #1 and then have a stash on the side for #2. It would cut your usage way down and then maybe switch full. This way it wouldn't be such a drastic change. Thank you MM and Jamie for caring about our environment!!

    Oh and I just bought DD *gasp* cloth happy heinys sherpa's for overnight instead of pull-ups!

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