This is an area of being green and reducing waste that's been a part of my life for quite some time. I thought I'd share my experience with replacing household paper goods with cloth alternatives. Here is a basic run down of what I've tried and what I think:
>>>Cloth napkins: We have used cloth napkins at home for a long, long time.
Pros: No paper waste, reusable, easy to find or make, can be made from recycled cloth
Cons: Adds to laundry and water use, we seem to go through them quickly
>>>Cloth wipes as Kleenex
Pros: Really reduces the red nose that is exacerbated by paper tissues, thicker and softer, reusable, last a long time, easy to find or make, can be made from recycled cloth, reduced paper waste, no chemicals on the skin
Cons: Germy. My daughter leaves them all over the place at home and at school. I hate how they smell when they're full of my boogers. Uk! For me, I don't prefer to use one more than a couple times before I want a clean one.
Pros: Reduced waste. There is much information on the internet on how paper diapers pile up in the landfills. Non-toxic, unlike disposables. Reduced diaper rash. Reusable. Reduced cost over all. (They may seem expensive when you look at the unit cost, but if you calculate what you would spend over the years that your child/ren are in diapers, you spend much less with cloth! Especially if you use them for more than one child.) I made my own, which had benefits in many areas.
Cons: Bulky! Need to change them more frequently. They don't wick wetness away (some may argue this point. I always used all-cotton materials. There are synthetics which may wick) More laundry. Storing soiled diapers until wash time.
>>>Cloth wipes for use with cloth diapers
Pros: Stronger than paper wipes, don't need as many, easy to warm up for use, non-toxic, reusable (wash with diapers), easy to find or make, can be made from recycled cloth, gentler on skin
Cons: Laundry, need to be stored until wash time
>>>Feminine hygiene products
Pros: Reduced cost, reduced waste, more comfortable (IMO), non-toxic (do a little research on toxic shock syndrome-yikes!), reusable, easy to find (often called mama cloth, moon cloth)
Cons: Laundry, must store until wash time
All of this is obviously just my opinion and my experience with these things. I enjoy sewing, so much of our cloth collection has been made by me. However, all of the things I listed above are readily available online.
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