Saturday, June 23, 2007

Baby steps

I am always trying to find little, easy ways to do more to help reduce our family's environmental footprint. More often than not, ease wins over environmentally responsible, but I think we're getting there.

A little over a year ago I made the switch to an environmentally friendly, home made all purpose surface cleaner. In a clean spray bottle: Mix one tablespoon of borax with two tablespoons of white vinegar. Then add sixteen ounces of hot water and shake to mix. Next add 1/4 cup of a liquid soap like Dr. Bronner's (I like peppermint) and voila! You're done! It's super cheap, it smells good, it's works great and it's good for the earth.

Another thing I've recently started is what some people call "family cloth" but what that means is using cloth toilet paper. You are probably thinking what I was the first time I ever heard of this, and that is "ew! gross! NO WAY!" But honestly, for me, it's not that gross. In fact, it's about a million times less gross than, say, wiping a messy stinky poop off of my baby's butt, and I do that several times a day. So, cloth toilet paper. Here's the idea. You can just cut up a few old t-shirts in to squares. Store them all near the toilet. When you go you just pat dry and throw the cloth in a pail. Much like you would do when using cloth diapers. Then you wash the cloths with the diapers. It's simple. Really, really simple. You can use them for only #1 if you're concerned about the grossness of washing cloth that has wiped a #2. Still you're saving tons of trees from the landfill and tons of money from buying the toilet paper. Even Iris is in to them! I was concerned because she loves the whole process of wiping and flushing and all of that. Anyways, she's diggin' it.


  1. Family cloth! My partner and I were just discussing starting to use family cloth. We recently switched to cloth mama pads and Mooncups, and were figuring that this would be the next step. We were going to order some flannel family cloth from a WHAM, but we sure do have a lot of old t-shirts lying around. Did you sew them at all? Are they just cotton?

  2. Nope, you don't even have to sew them, which is really the nice thing. I just used plain old t-shirts. One was 100% cotton but one had a little spandex in it, too, lol :)

  3. Wow! Ic an honestly say I have never heard of cloth TP. I have thought about the waste involved with reg. TP, and thought about how expensive Seventh Gen. TP was...

    Now that I'm thinking of this, I bet cotton is way more absorbent than paper and softer too! You got me thinking girl!

  4. What a great idea! I like it! I have invested in some sea sponges (not that I need them at the moment!), cloth diapers for my kids, cloth wipes... this is just the next logical step, isn't it? And yet it had never occured to me. We have old tshirts galore around here because D never throws ANYTHING away... sounds like tshirt chopping could be my afternoon project...

  5. We went to the second-hand store yesterday and bought some cheap flannel receiving blankets, which we've cut into 6x6 squares. Now I just have to figure out a system for storing "used" ones. Since we're only going to be using them for pee, I'm thinking a trash can with a lid and some baking soda sprinkled in. Fun experiment coming my way!

  6. I am so excited this has inspired people! Yay!

    I bought a tiny garbage can at Target last weekend. It's white plastic and has a pedal to open the lid. I set it next to the toilet with a flourescent sticker on the top that says it isn't the trash (to alert guests not to throw other stuff in there). I haven't found it to be stinky at all, though my nose may be de-sensitized from sleeping in the room with my daughter's dirty diaper pail. lol!

    Have fun! Let me know what you come up with!

  7. Mine isn't online, but it's similar to this one:

    Mine is more oval and is plastic, though I love the look of those stainless steel ones!

  8. Just thought you might like to know that we did it! You can read all about our toilet cloth adventure in the most recent post on our blog. Thanks for all the tips and tricks!

  9. I think family cloth is a great idea but I can't convince my husband. Although he was willing to switch to cloth diapers, cloth napkins, cloth paper towels, etc. he drew the lines at toilet paper.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!