May 16, 2009

Unpaper? The quest to family cloth.

In my quest to go green, I stumbled upon a novel but somewhat unconventional idea - paperless living. The idea is basically this: How often do you see toilet paper, napkin, kleenex, and paper towel commercials that claim to have cloth like softness, thickness, or absorbency? Well wouldn't it make more sense, and save a ton of money, to use actual cloth? Considering the fact that I already cloth diaper Melody, the idea wasn't too huge of a leap for me. Dominic, on the other hand, doesn't get it. His concerns are that:

1. It's weird
2. It's gross
3. It causes more work [for me]

I know it's weird; I grew up in the mainstream, too. But I birthed my daughter at home, so I'm not very much in agreement with what the rest of the U.S. deems acceptable, anymore. I don't think it's that gross, because I cloth diaper. I trust that when I put something in the washer, whether it has bodily fluids, food, or dirt on it, that when it comes out of the washer it will be clean. So the ick/cleanliness factor doesn't bother me at all. And it's not too much more work, because I'll just wash all the "unpaper" products together every third day with the diapers. Since Dominic is grossed out by the idea of cloth toilet paper (sometimes referred to as "family cloth") I've decided to try it out for myself, Julian and Melody. So far so good. And why should we use paper? Now we use luxuriously soft products like organic bamboo velour and natural sherpa, and it feels good! Laugh all you want, but I think I'm getting the better deal :) Using cloth (flannel, terry, and cotton) for kitchen things like napkins and paper towels just makes more sense, because it's so much more versatile. And velour against an irritated nose is so much softer than paper. I love that I can choose adorable prints for the flannel and cotton knit blends. Even cooler is that if I knew how to sew I could make my own for even cheaper. But I don't know how to sew, so I buy them from WAHMs (work at home moms) who can, for generally less than a dollar each.

In case you're curious, the used cloth products get put in a "wet bag", a zippered bag that is lined with a waterproof material called PUL, with a cotton print on the outside and a handle to hang it on the door knobs. They just discreetly stay in these cute bags until laundry time, and then the bags are washable, too. All in all, I like it so far! Dominic never has to make the switch - I wouldn't force these things on him. But our household's consumption of paper products will decrease a lot if I use the cloth on myself and the kids, so we'll be saving a lot of money with or without Dominic. And I think... he'll come around :)

Here is part of my stash of super cute family/baby/nose wipes!

And here are some of my cute wet bags:

1 comment:

  1. love the thought of this, and although i do use cloth for cleaning and such.. i think i'm with D on the weird factor of using it for butts. lol ;) but lmk how it works out for you!