Disposables are convenient but letâ€™s face it, they arenâ€™t exactly good for our environment or our pocketbooks. Finding ways to eliminate paper goods from our daily lives would be a great step toward reducing landfill waste, and saving some of that hard earned money for more important things.
Itâ€™s been a year since my husband and I decided to say â€œNoâ€ to papergoods in our home. And to tell you the truth, weâ€™ve hardly noticed a difference, other than the extra money left over each month!
Here are a few ways that weâ€™ve replaced â€œdisposablesâ€ with more permanent items:
Cloth Napkins. Weâ€™ve found that we are able to use one cloth napkin for several meals before it is soiled enough to have to wash. Donâ€™t buy them brand new though. Instead, find them cheap at thrift stores and yard sales, or make your own.
Handkerchiefs. Itâ€™s amazing how much more absorbent and easier on your nose they are than paper tissues! You can easily make them out of old t-shirts as well.
Food Storage Containers. Replace plastic sandwich bags with sealable containers. Canning jars are excellent for this. Just dump your leftovers into a jar, screw on lid, and set it in your fridge to be eaten another day!
Cloth Diapers. Theyâ€™ve come a long way since our grandmothers used them! No more fussing with pinning the cloth together while baby wiggles away. Todayâ€™s cloth diapers are just as easy to use as disposables, but are so much more comfortable on baby. And in all honesty, washing an extra load every other day or so really isnâ€™t that big a deal.
Cloth Baby Wipes. Why continue buying manufactured baby wipes when you can make your own? Baby washcloths make excellent reusable wipes along with a homemade baby wipes solution. Or, you can make your own wipes from old t-shirts and unwanted baby receiving blankets.
The Family Cloth. Yes people, Iâ€™m talking about the entire family using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. I know what you are thinking. Sounds a bit extreme, right? In all honesty though, itâ€™s really not that bad. After doing it for a couple of days, I realized that itâ€™s really no grosser than the washcloths we clean up with in the showerâ€¦ think about it!
Dryer Balls. Stop wasting money on those expensive dryer sheets! Dryer balls will do just as good of a job without all of the harsh chemicals or extra expense.
Baby Products. For goodness sakes, stop buying disposable baby products! Iâ€™m talking about tossables like spoons, cups, bibs, placemats, medicine dispensers, etc. Just bring something washable with you along with a bag to store it in until you can wash it. No more waste!
Feminine Products. If you can sew, there are some great tutorials you can find online for how to make your own feminine cloth pads. But for those who canâ€™t stand the bulkiness, you might consider trying a Diva Cup. They are safe, effective, comfortable, and youâ€™ll never have to buy anything else for that special time of the month again!
If you are just beginning to eliminate disposables in your home, donâ€™t overwhelm yourself by trying to do all of these things at once. Just pick one or two, take it slow, and work your way through the list as you become more comfortable! I think youâ€™ll see that life without so much waste truly makes you feel like you are doing something good for your family and your world. Every little bit helps!