Sep 192007

Yet another challenge thing. You might have wondered what that new banner in my sidebar is about. (Or you are like me, read all blogs through a feed reader if possible and never notice when somebody is changing something on the sidebar.) Never mind, here it is:

Don't forget to wipe!

Crunchy Chicken who has a fabulous blog about environment friendly living is forever challenging us. First there was the “Diva Cup Challenge” that gave me the nudge needed to purchase a mooncup (and I’m still very happy with it), and now the cloth wipe challenge. I’m going the easy way though. I’m only using it for #1. You know, I was really happy when cloth diaper times were over and I could get rid of the stinky bucket, so I’ll just reduce toilet paper by a certain amount, not completely.

Of course, being me, I started the first day of the challenge swearing because I hadn’t any cloth wipes yet. Though I had set aside two old baby blankets (“Moltontücher“, don’t know how to say that in English) for that purpose. Those blankets are more than thirty years old. My aunt used them when her son was a baby and gave them to me when I was pregnant. I have used them a lot when my son was young. (I also tried to swaddle him with them. Very funny. I only tried once…)

So on Sunday I got my new roto-cutter and cutting board out and cut the two blankets into wipes. I then swore some more because I don’t have the stinky bucket any more. Where to put the soiled wipes then? I now use an old wet wipe-container in one bathroom and a mesh bag on the paper holder for the second one. I won’t be putting cloth wipes in the students’ bathroom though.

I’m very glad that both my husband and son are with me on this. There are only two things to remember when using cloth wipes: a) don’t forget that you’re using cloth and let the wipe fall into your toilet, and b) every time you do a load of laundry put dirty wipes in.

So far I’m loving the cloth wipes. I can’t say if it were better to hem them because we’ve only been washing some of them once.

I always thought that in order to live green I would have to do everything right all the time but now I think that I’ll do it one step at a time. Do what’s possible, leave the rest, use the car less but still use it sometimes, bring my own grocery bag most of the time but not beat myself up if I forgot.

Next step for me will be to find handkerchiefs that are soft enough for my sensitive nose…

  11 Responses to “Wiping with cloth”

  1. I had noticed that on your sidebar, so thank you for elaborating.

    Not sure I’m ready for that one yet, as simple as it sounds… last time I bought TP, I bought a small package, and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind that I don’t have spare rolls sitting around. Why? Why is that such a concern? Worth pondering, maybe next time I have to sit for a while…

  2. Ooh. I don’t know about this one, although I totally support you in doing it. I will have to think on it.

  3. Wow…while we used cloth diapers, there’s a big debate going on here about which form of diapering is, in the end, the least impactful on the planet as washing all that cloth takes a lot of water and energy. I guess it depends on what resources are most limited and what sources of energy are being used, so there’s no way to apply the effect across different regions.

    It’s one of my pet peeves, for instance, that potable water runs through our toilets and showers. If I could re-plumb the house, I would probably ensure that it was all grey water and then set up a bidet.

    Good for you for making those decisions one step at a time. That’s my plan, too…reduce where I can, when I can, and always be open to change.

  4. I admire you for doing this. I wonder if i could just use TP sometimes……

  5. I’d be the one fishing out cloth wipes from the toilet EVERY time. I think I’ll have to go green in another area.

  6. it’s funny, because in some of the world (much of the world?) toilet paper is a luxury. all over SE Asia it was a luxury. hands are useful.

    and less wasteful. but it takes getting used to. just like cloth.

  7. Our kitchen and laundryroom water is filtered outside through a greywater system, wear it keeps our lawn lush and cheerful, so I feel pretty smug about that – but the idea of Diva cups squicks me right out. (I also don’t like the idea of tampons or barrier birth control methods, either, so I think it might just be MY issue.)

  8. Ugh! I’m rather environmental, but I don’t know about this one. Perhaps if we were vegetarians….

  9. OK. I think this is a great idea. But what are the stats on the cleaning of the cloths as compared to using recycled toilet paper for instance?

    And I wonder how many times I would have to reach my hand intot eh toilet to save a cloth.

    its worth a try tho…..

  10. I just read an article about a journalist in NYC who is living totally green. No electricity, no toilet paper, no detergent etc.

    I am not sure I want to give up toilet paper but I will give up having a car :-)))))

    Good luck and I am so glad that your family is supportive of the change!

  11. Well done you. I still beat myself up about the mooncup. Maybe i should invest in another one and then give it a real shot this time. I am seriously considering this one although i know straight away that hubby will not agree to try this. Will pass your blog address on to my friend catherine who will be very interested.

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