4 May 2009

Family cloth: an obvious choice

I love finding ways to replace disposable household products with reusable alternatives. For instance, we use cloth shopping bags instead of plastic carrier bags, handkerchiefs instead of tissues, and I have various bags of cloth rags for different cleaning and kitchen uses. So, a year ago, when I heard about family cloth I thought this was such a good idea and didn't know why I hadn't thought of it before. First I cut up some old cotton t-shirts to use, but then I cut up an old soft cotton pillowcase and preferred that so I bought two soft cotton bedsheets from the charity shop and used those to make my supply of cloths. I do still buy the disposable version as this is needed sometimes, including for guests, but I've saved so much paper in the last year by using family cloth. As well as the environmental benefits, I love using family cloth because it saves money and means less things to shop for.

Here's a quote from an informative article about family cloth (click on the quote to read the full article):
In the general population the idea of the family cloth is met with a look of astonishment and horror. Within the environmentally concerned green community the family cloth is an obvious choice. How green are you willing to go?

21 comments:

  1. Oh, boy! I can't wait to read comments on this one--you are stretching the TP-accustomed readers with today's post. But you know what? I read about this a year or so ago on No-Impact Man's blog, and I think about it quite often at, well, *related* (shall we say) moments in my day.

    Maybe I'm more open to it because we used cloth diapers most of the time with our kids. I've done the bucket thing. I've washed laundry soiled in that way. So....you've definitely got me thinking!

    Thank you for bringing this up and getting us to think outside the box, or in this case, outside the roll!

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  2. I feel like I am CONSTANTLY buying TP. Since I'm the only girl in the house, I know it's mostly me using it all up. Hmmm...I should REALLY consider this--though DH will think I've lost my mind--again. lol :)

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  3. I inherited one my aunt's hankies...it brings me fond memories and I hope she only used it for decoration ;-)

    You are awesome.

    I love rag quilts...that's what I do with rags.

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  4. You know, I've given up Kleenexes for cloth napkins, paper towel for rags, why not TP for a family cloth?? I am going to start this! I've used washcloths for Ingrid's bum, it's the same concept :)

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  5. Great post. I think family cloth especially makes sense if you're already washing cloth diapers on a regular basis and can just through the cloths in with those.

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  6. We use old t-shirts right now, because I've got so many of them, but yeah, I think an old flannel sheet would be better. I had one and (*gasp*) threw it away a few months ago. DH absolutely refuses, but it's great for the rest of us! I'm always happy to learn that other families are doing this, too. It makes me feel less weird. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. You know this might just work at my house. My kids will balk. But I think for the wet stuff this could work. I need a plan and I will work on one.

    Take care and thanks for the info.

    Shari

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  8. When I first started reading blogs a few years back I saw this several times and I knew it wasn't something I would do. I thought I might change my mind in a few years and I can say - Nope, still haven't. It isn't for us. But I think that's just fine. It might be wonderful for other families, so I am always happy when I see these blog posts.

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  9. I might have to implement this. We are cloth diapering already and the kids are young enough that they probably won't even really notice. It is nice to recycle and save money, and a good lesson for the kids too.

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  10. I can see where this could really cut back on TP. I've learned from experience that sometimes going green is something you want to keep to yourself. People are really weird about what they think is dirty, they don't consider context and that's really what this is all about. Great idea.

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  11. I've been thinking about it more and more.
    It'd be easy for us - we have a perfect little garbage can with a lid that we could put in the bathroom, and it's not different from the washcloths I used instead of babywipes for the babes when they were still in (cloth) diapers.
    I still have the large "baby wipes" boxes, too-- one even now sits on the back of the toilet.

    Maybe I'm one step closer.

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  12. Excellent article! I know it would be a very big change for my household and I will need to take them very slowly. I remember cloth diapers and it was the same concept... why not? This adjustment will take some time but I will keep it close..It is my conviction to go green!

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  13. My family would think I had lost my mind if I suggested this! But, it is true, it's not really any different than using cloth diapers or using a wash cloth instead of baby wipes. Hmmm.

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  14. Fantastic idea, thanks so much for posting this!

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  15. Overhere this is not strange at all! My mom always used our old nickers to clean floors, when we had maillots that became too short than she cut of the leggs and made overnickers from the top (against the cold..). The leggs where used for filling up cushions or dirty cleaning jobs. Did you ever used cloth monthly 'diapers' for woman? There are many patterns available on the internet.

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  16. I'm not sure why, but I've never thought of this either. I use baby wash clothes for wipes and cloth diapers for Clara, but never thought about taking it further than that.

    We also use cloth towels in place of paper ones... Sometimes my parents bring their own paper towels when they come to visit! We are a BYOPTs (bring your own paper towels) household.

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  17. This is one of the things I've been thinking about doing. It would probably only be the girls & I, but we use the most TP in the house anyway. I switched to Mama cloth about 6 months ago & now prefer it to the disposable alternatives.

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  18. I use "mama cloth" for me, and I also use family cloth for the most part for myself.

    My 90% green husband will do anything but family cloth though.....he said he has to draw the line. I just can't get him to convert. *sigh*

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  19. Hmm, I had never even thought of this. I know my hubby would think I had lost my mind if I suggested it to him. We may or may not move to this eventually, but for right now I'm just not ready.

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  20. my husband is all about me going green and said I can do anything but this!

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  21. Thanks for the post -- I'm going to start thinking about it. I have a feeling my daughter won't like the idea, but even if I do it myself . . .

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