Well, it basically means using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. Better for the environment, better for your pocket book and better for your butt!
The thought first crossed my mind almost 5 years ago when F was born. We were using cloth diapers and cloth wipes and it was like a light went off. Duh! We could use cloth wipes too.
I never really got around to doing it (blame it on being over the moon about my first little one).
I thought about it again when E came along...but never actually tried it.
Then I came across an article online calling it the "family cloth" and I said yes! Now's the time.
I found some old fabric, old T shirts, and old cloth diapers and cut them into little squares.
Placed them in a cute basket.
The girls were thrilled. They loved it.
Papa...not so much. In fact the first few weeks were really rough for him. He was not making the transition easy. Maybe it was the huge wad of cloth that got flushed during week 2 and clogged our toilet (we only have 1 bathroom). It worked out fine!! My neighbor is a plumber and retreived the wipes E had flushed using a special toilet snake. Oops...my bad. I hadn't thought of that. Well it hasn't happened again, but I recommend keeping a pair of tongs next to the toilet in case one gets thrown in by mistake.
He's fine with it now mostly because it doesn't really affect him since we only use them for #1. Yes, don't worry friends, we still keep toilet paper in the restroom for #2 and for guests. We're not that hard core about it. :)
Back to my 3 major points (that is if you're still reading this post...not thinking I'm insane):
- It's better for the environment because where-as "virgin" toilet paper is a renewable resource (growing trees) and paper companies generally keep up huge forests to meet their demands, it's still taking trees and land away from people and animals as well as producing a huge carbon footprint with all the machines needed to cut the trees, transport the materials and create the actual toilet paper. Then there's the chemicals that go in to making it all nice and white, soft, fluffy etc... Lots of chemicals people...not just bleach. If you have the time/patience/interest I recommend reading this european study that was done on the chemicals found in toilet paper. Are there worse items out there for the environment? Yes. Do I think my families' choice to use cloth wipes will change the world or the business of making toilet paper? No. In the spirit of baby steps and doing everything we can to leave this world a little bit better for our children...I am happy with the our decision.
- It's better for your pocketbook for obvious reasons. Even though we still buy toilet paper, we've cut our usage down to probably 1/3 of what we were using before. Toilet paper would fly off the roll in our house with 3 potty trained girls (yes, I am potty trained). I felt like I was constantly buying the stuff. I think I buy toilet paper maybe once a month now. Yay!
- It's better for your bottom for some of the same environmental reasons...the chemicals. Most of us are not that sensitive, but little E would occasionally have a red bottom ever since she started using the big girl potty. Not diaper rash or anything, just irritation. That's completely gone now!
Anyhow...this post is probably just "too much information", but a few friends that were over asked about it and I want my midwife to stop using the wipe bucket as a trashcan! Ha ha! Sorry Sue...it's for my wipes!
What do you think? You going to give it a go? How about for Earth Day?!?!
Picture found here.