Having a baby changes EVERYTHING! It changes your home, your heart, your mind and your soul. For a lot of parents, having children awakens a new sense of priorities. Issues like “going green” suddenly take center stage as parents come to realize that someone had better do something about this planet of ours; if our children are going to have a shot at living a long, healthy life on it!
I always knew that cloth diapering and cloth wipes were going to be a priority for me. Researching and purchasing my daughter's diapers was absolutely thrilling. I felt so ecologically responsible. It also felt wonderful knowing that my daughter's skin was going to remain chemical free in yet another way. (For those of you who might be unaware, disposable diapers are chalk full of chemicals.) Cloth wipes were a natural extension of this. Why stop at cloth diapers?
Yessssssss….WHY STOP AT CLOTH DIAPERS?
So I didn't.
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After the birth of my daughter I began to slowly build my empire of cloth. My end goal is to be as paper and plastic product and disposable product free as possible. Certainly, there will be exceptions but I want to make a green lifestyle part of what “we do” as a family and not a lifestyle that we pretend to embrace so we can feel like we are doing our “job.” I outlined all the steps I needed to take in order for this to happen and decided that making a transition to cloth products was the easiest and most cost effective steps to begin with.
Here is how I reduced my household waste with cloth products
- When I was a leaky, milky mess of a new breastfeeding mom I used cloth breast pads instead of the disposable option.
- Instead of using plastic bags to store dirty cloth diapers while out and about, I used wet bags.
- Instead of paper towels, I use dish towels and cloth wipes 99% of the time. Cleaning up the cat's hairballs requires the use of a paper towel. (Sorry – it just does!)
- Instead of using paper napkins I use cloth napkins.
- Instead of using paper tissues, I use these cute little cloth squares that are super soft on your nose.
- Instead of plastic sandwich/snack bags I use washable cloth bags.
- Instead of using plastic produce and bulk item bags at the grocery store I bring my own reusable mesh bags.
- Instead of having my groceries packed up in “paper or plastic” I bring my own reusable canvas and cotton totes.
- Instead of the commercial cotton balls I use cloth cotton balls/makeup remover pads that you just throw in the wash. Pretty cool right?
- Instead of using toilet paper or baby wipes on myself, I now use cloth wipes. Hey – don't knock it ‘til you've tried it. Your bum will thank you. Trust me.
- I now use reusable cloth trash can liners. These will not be used in our main kitchen garbage can. I personally do not think that this would be sanitary. However, our little trash cans around the house do not need to be lined with those plastic liners. Nothing exciting goes into them so a cloth liner makes perfect sense. Plus if it does get dirty, I can wash it.
- I traded my feminine hygiene products for Mamacloth. I adore cloth pads so very much!
For those of you concerned with the cost of cloth please note that you can reuse all kinds of cloth found in your own home! Holey socks, underwear, and shirts can be cut up and used. Old towels are another great option. All of the receiving blankets I
stole asked to take from the hospital have been cut up and repurposed. Same with the ones I received as baby shower gifts that Tiny no longer uses. You just have to look around in your home. You will realize that there is a lot of cloth waiting and willing to take the place of paper and plastic disposable products!