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June 19, 2012

Make Your Own Toilet Paper?

Editor’s note: While looking for amazing stories to share with you, I read through a lot of blog sites. A LOT! When I came across this next story, I just had to share it with you.

Stephanie Brandt Cornais has a beautiful site called “Mama and Baby Love.” In it, she shares recipes, natural parenting tips, and ways we can all live a little more ‘green.’ When I saw an entry entitled, “No More Toilet Paper,” I had to read it. With a compelling title like that, can you blame me?

Before you read it, here is a statistic that may come as somewhat of a surprise. According to Wikipedia, approximately 27,000 trees are used to meet the world’s daily toilet paper supply. (Double that for two-ply.) If my math is correct, that adds up to 9,855,000 trees ‘wiped out’ in a single year! Something to think about…

No More Toilet Paper

I figured if I am washing cloth diapers and wipes, cloth napkins, cloth place mats, cloth dish rags (instead of paper towels), what’s a little more washing cloth wipes?

I am constantly trying to be a better person, mother, wife, and I am always trying to be more “green” and reduce my natural urge to be over consumptive and have lots of shiny new things.

It’s very easy to not do something different, well, because it’s different. I am not sure when toilet paper was invented, but its probably within the last hundred years. Kind of like air conditioning. People act like we have always had it, but hello, it wasn’t until the late sixties, early seventies that people even started to have air conditioning in their homes and cars! So people (my husband) act like using anything but toilet paper, and paper towels for that matter, is absolute insanity. He literally stormed out of the room in a huff when I said I wanted to switch to cloth wipes instead of buying toilet paper.

I don’t get it. I thought he might like the idea of soft flannel on his bum, especially since he doesn’t have to do ANY laundry, EVER. What does he care?

But the idea of change is so uncomfortable for some people that they immediately knock it down without giving it a genuine moment of reflection. So in the end we compromised. Sort of. Currently, I am the only adult in the house using the cloth wipes and only for pee. He says he is even “greener” than me, and “shakes” when he pees-sorry if that is TMI but not sure how else to say it!

So here’s how it works:

I have a little metal trashcan in the hall bath next to the toilet and a stack of wipes on the back of the toilet. I use two cloth wipes each time I pee and just throw them in the can. In our master bedroom bath, we have our cloth diaper pail in there, so when I use the bathroom there, I just throw the wipes in the pail. When I do a load of cloth diapers, I throw my cloth wipes in with diapers and wash like normal. Easy PEEsy.

Since, I am trying not to buy new things unless absolutely necessary to save money, and again, to reduce my consumptive nature, I cut up some flannel receiving blankets from when Penelope was a newborn. (I still have plenty for posterity, don’t worry.) I used one of her Bum Genius wipes as a size template and cut them up using pinking sheers so the sides didn’t fray. If you are a better sewer than I, you could do a zig zag stitch over the edge, sort of like a rolled hem.

So do you think I am nuts? Would you ever dare to use cloth wipes in your household?

Stephanie Brandt Cornais writes for her natural lifestyle and parenting blog, Mama and Baby Love.

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