Sustainable living… it started with a nappy.

As I sat overlocking some family cloth wipes aka ‘wee wipes’ today (yes, I know! but please keep reading for a moment while I explain), I cast my mind back once again to how far we have come. I’m sure anyone outside of my ‘village’ (read ‘homebirth hippy’) would be unfamiliar, and perhaps somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of using cloth wipes in leiu of TP. Yet, these days, to me it’s a natural progression. We use cloth nappies (for several reasons that I’ll endevour to elaborate on in another post), so therefore it makes sense to use cloth wipes and liners. I also used cloth breastpads when I had my first child (and again with my second). Besides the environmental and chemical reasons it pains me how costly such items are. $10 per week for breastpads? Plus another $15-20 for nappies?! Really? What about when your bleed returns? Potentially $35-40 per week in the bin, literally?!!

I then started questioning why I used disposable sanitary products for myself when I wouldn’t allow those chemicals near my children or the environment – logic fail? Those in the cloth nappy world frequently talk of the mountain of garbage (that takes thousands of years to compost!) ONE child makes from birth to toilet training if using disposable nappies, yet it’s not so commonly discussed just how much waste a woman would produce in disposable pads, tampons and liners from puberty to menopause (so 40yrs on average?). So, I made the switch to cloth pads. Scarlet Eve http://www.scarleteve.com.au/store/index.php (I shall try to link, but you can copy the link in the meantime) make wonderful mentrual pads, breastpads, and also sell cups. It’s a homebased business and Jo is a wonderful woman who goes out of her way to make sure you’re happy with your fluffy mail. Even if you ask for all velour 😉 . Which is very lush (although a bugger to sew, sorry Jo!) by the way!

I started using cloth pads after my first child, however with only 2 bleeds (and a miscarriage) in between the pads I was trialling didn’t get much use. Although I found my pads incredibly lush, I did prefer something I could slide an icypole into after my HBAC. I’m due to receive a large order from Scarlet Eve in the coming days and wonder if it’s slightly odd that I may be excited about my bleed (and fertility, another post!) returning after 13.5 months….   There is also the option of a cup for those looking for something other than a pad, or like to swim, etc. I haven’t tried one yet, so will withhold my comments until then (and would love to hear from those that do use one!). I don’t take the boys to their swimming lessons, so it’s not high on my list of priorities to insert something foreign into my vagina just yet 😉  .

So we have; cloth nappies, cloth wipes (for the babes bums), cloth wetbags, cloth breastpads, cloth menstrual pads, cloth cloth cloth… Why on earth do we then proceed to throw rolls and rolls of paper down the toilet each week???

I read about the idea of ‘family cloth’ and wondered why we’d never thought about it before. How sensible!! Environmental benefits, financial benefits, and also teaching our children about reduce/reuse/recycle. With this thought in mind I went through a bag of old linen we had ready to donate and found some lovely (and barely used!) old towels. RECYCLE! I cut the towel into squares (about 20×20) and then waited for my mother to bring her overlocker down (yes, I need one!). I then overlocked the edges (okay, Mum might have taken over when I need to breastfeed Sy…. but I totally did some myself!) and placed them in a lovely basket I was gifted years ago (again, RECYCLE!) along with an old bathroom waste bin (REUSE). We shall REDUCE our enviromental footprint (through TP), and we shall REUSE/RECYCLE old items (in our throw away society).

I am SO thankful to have started this journey.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anita
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 14:46:47

    Good for you! I really would do this, but couldn’t stand the taunting by my husband; strange man that he is! 😆 He freaked out when I told him I wanted to train the cats to use the toilet (I’d even bought the system to do so!) Let alone asking him to clean up with cloth! 😉 Maybe one day… (maybe when we have an ensuite again I can make the ensuite a paper free zone, if he doesn’t like it he can use the “kids bathroom” 😛 )

    Reply

  2. leahtimms
    Nov 23, 2010 @ 10:54:07

    Why clean up kittylitter when you have the know-how to train them?? I don’t have cats though… the dogs have the door left open and Rob poop scoops sporadically. Lucky they’re small 😉

    Rob wasn’t totally on-board with the idea of family cloth until he realised that it didn’t affect him unless he wanted it to.

    So far (until I get another basket & bin organised) we only have cloth in the ensuite. We also have paper. Rob can choose what he likes, I’m not going to force my beliefs/choices on him. He also didn’t like the idea of cloth nappies, pads, wipes, etc…. we don’t use any of those in the disposable form 😉 . I also like giving Trystan (3.5) the option. We encourage him to wipe after a wee (intact), plus obviously after a poo. I’m sure he’ll work out which is more comfortable on his own, and we’ll talk more about the other benefits as he grows. I still think it’s important to make that his choice though, even at 3. Sy on the otherhand gets cloth regardless (13.5months) lol.

    Seriously Neets, if D tried cloth I’m sure he’d never look back. Our menfolk just need to think it was their idea though – annoying as that is!

    Reply

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