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ANDALEX's Photo ANDALEX SparkPoints: (18,135)
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10/20/11 10:44 P

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these are awesome ideas! i'm psyched to try some of them out!

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NIAGCHRIS246 SparkPoints: (13,961)
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9/25/11 1:06 P

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I'm sorry but "if it's yellow let it mellow" stinks! Unflushed urine stinks! Not going for that! But, really now, who hasn't used a washcloth when they suddenly discovered they are out of toilet paper? I have used old washcloths when money was low. Don't know if I'd go this route permenantly but it is an option.

WNY


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PUPPYDOG0613's Photo PUPPYDOG0613 SparkPoints: (12,307)
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6/17/11 11:19 A

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I use cloth most of the time at home. I'm not good at making things, so I just use baby washcloths. After I use them I throw them in a wet bag I have hanging on the TP holder. I wash them every few days with my son's diapers. I also use the cloths as wipes for the baby. I see no sense in using cloth diapers just to turn around and use disposable wipes. I also figured that if I wiped his hiney with cloth, why not mine too? I am considering carrying some cloth around with me, as I am hardly ever home, but I'm just not sure how I would do it. I don't want to lug my wet bag around with me all day, and the small one I have to too small, and I don't really have the extra cash to but a medium sized wet bag. Any suggestions???

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DCFIELDVIEW SparkPoints: (1,814)
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4/28/11 2:36 P

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I might try but I guarantee my SO would freak. I'm an advocate of composting toilets too. I'd love to retrofit my 100 yr old house (with an iffy septic system) with one, but SO thinks it'll hurt the potential resale value (in 15 years). I say, in 15 years, who knows, it might help the value!

LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
3/28/11 6:27 A

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I have hubby and two daughters, 13 and 14.. once we explained the benefits to our bodies and our planet, and pointed out just how we are cutting down trees, the very things that give us oxygen to breath so we can live to wipe our butts... it kind of made sense to them too and they were willing to do it.

The funny thing is now when we are out, either at someone's home or public rest room we are looking for our yellow cloths and then realizing we are stuck with using TP.

Colin from No Impact Man carried his cloths with him.. I am considering do that now also, making by hand a baggie to hold the clean ones, and a plastic washable one (shower curtains work amazing for making these btw) for the dirty ones...

Why would I do that?

I spent 4 days at my inlaws - and us females can be sensitive to what's in TP and what remains on our bodies (chemicals, lint etc) and I happen to be one of those, talk about irritated... Hubby's touchy missed them too...

There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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JAMIEV22's Photo JAMIEV22 Posts: 337
3/27/11 10:51 P

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Wow!! Great ideas. Don't know if I'm ready for the leap yet and know FOR SURE my family isn't but this gives me some things to think about!!

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IWANT2BINSHAPE SparkPoints: (0)
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3/26/11 9:46 A

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Well, all I can say is I'm impressed! emoticon

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KIMI_SILVA's Photo KIMI_SILVA SparkPoints: (41,111)
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3/15/11 11:53 A

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I have just recently made the decision to go GREEN and am looking for ways in which to do that. I live on a very tight budget ($845.00 a month w/ over half of that going to rent) so I will need to be Eco-friendly in the most inexpensive way possible.
I love the beaker idea for urine and I'm also good with the "if it's yellow let it mellow" method for saving water. As I have a closet filled with about 30 rolls of TP (I buy in bulk what's on sale) I will only use it for feces until I run out, then I will make an Eco-friendly decision as to what to do about that.
Thank you for this post, and especially this team. I'm pleased to find this information here as I have no idea how to be GREEN.

Kimberlynn from California

it's our actions that define us
What we choose
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MYSTICJOHN's Photo MYSTICJOHN Posts: 249
11/9/10 10:19 A

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Wow I'm amazed at some of the ideas of how much people thought this through for alternatives to TP. I have done something like this before if it is #2 right before a shower and just use a wash cloth for that area. Which is no big deal as I have 2 wash clothes one for that area and the other for the rest of my body, and you do have to admit that with water it cleans a lot better than lots and lots of TP.

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ECOMUFFIN's Photo ECOMUFFIN Posts: 2,029
9/15/10 5:14 P

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Sarah: I don't know if this will help you, but there may be another option for your diapering needs, gDiapers.

I came across this website today when I got an e-mail from a friend that her business was one of the top 10 nominated for Green America's People's Choice award. gDiapers is one of the other businesses nominated for the award. Seems like an interesting alternative.
www.gdiapers.com/
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“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” -John Lennon


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LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
8/25/10 10:35 A

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It's not for everyone I know that.
But I am happy to see that some are willing to try, even a modified version - love the water and towel idea... that would cut back on our cloths being used and washed too... awesome!!!!!!!!

In all aspects of ecologically friendly living, it's about making small changes that are easy for one to assimilate into their lifestyles... then make another one.. leave the drastic measures for a time when you are more confident in your reasoning and abilities to undertake it.

As I said to my girls when we made the moon pads, they were willing to try it, to do their part, although be it small, to help our planet, I said if they don't work, then we will look at other options, even if that means store bought disposable pads.. they tried it, liked it, and haven't gone back to the store bought ones, unless they are going to camp.

There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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GREENJW's Photo GREENJW Posts: 32
8/24/10 2:17 P

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I'm glad I found this thread today. Kroger quit buying l00% recycled non-bleached TP bc the company quit making it. I have been in a quandry (sp?) and even bought some (shudder, shudder) regular TP this week out of desperation. I live in a town that isn't very eco. These ideas sound very good and a practical solution. I am going to make cloths and maybe the beaker thingy but I just can't bring myself to use it for #2. Still, this will really reduce the useage and I will buy recycled TP next time we take the big trip to Whole Foods 57 miles away. At least I am going in the right direction.

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RENNAGADE's Photo RENNAGADE Posts: 1,118
8/19/10 8:01 A

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sara
the diaper service does not drive out randomly to peoples homes. they have a particular area that they do for the day. as for drying, they are using machines that are big enough for a few people to fit in. and if you over stuff your at home washer, you may hurt the machine, and you are not cleaning things as well. and a side issue is when we use some of these type of services not only are they able to do the job better then you can, and far more efficiently, it also helps to stimulate the economy. like going to the small store in town and spending a bit more for the locally made product rather then going to walmart

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SARAHGMD Posts: 834
8/18/10 3:34 P

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Ren,

I can see the efficiency of large loads, but the driving to and from (especially since the closest one to us is in the next town over), and the machine drying rather than line drying seem like they'd more than balance. We usually pack our washer quite full, it's not commercial, but we wouldn't do a partial load.

Thanks,
Sarah

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RENNAGADE's Photo RENNAGADE Posts: 1,118
8/18/10 1:51 P

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that's a good option SIRIRADHA. the wife and i use the if it's yellow let it mellow toilet method, so we don't even flush unless it's #2.

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EVELYNF's Photo EVELYNF SparkPoints: (13,955)
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8/18/10 12:34 P

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that's definitely something I would consider - thanks!!



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SIRIRADHA's Photo SIRIRADHA SparkPoints: (0)
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8/18/10 11:31 A

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For those who aren't ready to eschew TP entirely, you can do what I do: keep a beaker of water by the toilet and use it to rinse off urine, then dab dry with a washcloth or small towel. Cheapest bidet in the world! Just not using TP when you urinate cuts way back on paper usage.

One of the big benefits of having a bathroom the size of an airplane restroom is that the beaker and towel are within handy reach in the cabinet under the sink...roughly where my knees reach when I sit down. LOL

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VEGANJAZ's Photo VEGANJAZ Posts: 513
8/16/10 5:49 P

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A truly eye-opening thread.. THANK YOU!!!!



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RENNAGADE's Photo RENNAGADE Posts: 1,118
8/16/10 8:23 A

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use of a diaper service is better for the environment then washing diapers yourself. since it is done on an industrial scale, they are cleaning more at a time, and can use hotter water, near boiling temperatures. that is also better for killing bacteria without the need for chemical bacteria killers

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ASPENHUGGER's Photo ASPENHUGGER Posts: 5,296
8/15/10 2:44 P

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I guess my question is: I buy 100% post-consumer TP. If we don't buy 100% recycled things, how will the recycled material get used? I agree that reusing & then washing is better for the environment, but I also believe (perhaps erroneously) that we have to buy recycled products so the recycling process has some purpose. Otherwise, a lot of recycling will be discontinued, since this country is notorious for only doing what is financially beneficial (rather than environmentally beneficial).

Kate, in Citrus Heights California

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LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
8/15/10 7:09 A

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Ok - you are making me smile this morning, that is great to see you are willing to give it a try...
This is the pattern we used, and for the bottom bit I used an old shower curtain... it's water proof right!

www.hillbillyhousewife.com/sa
nitarypad
s.htm


There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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STARSFORME's Photo STARSFORME Posts: 817
8/14/10 11:19 P

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I think I'm going to give a try. I've seen the trash cans Nicole mentioned. I'm going to start with some baby diapers - cut, or un-cut, depending on how big they are (I've never had a baby) - and see how that goes.

I do know that for monthly visits from Aunt Flo...nothing will work but supercalifragilisticexpialidocious absorbency tampons & pads!! Oh, how I hate her so.

I agree that a bidet would be so much easier, but they are very expensive for the best ones. I'm also somewhat nomadic, so we rent. I've never seen a toilet seat version that worked really well.

♡ “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” Buddha ♡
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LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
8/13/10 6:21 P

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I used cloth diapers for my girls, and used both a service, as well a wash at home. Washing at home was more work obviously, but, it was less costly.

Also, as for disinfecting the cloths, of course, but, we do not and never will use bleach in our home, we have an environmentally friendly and naturally based disinfectant that is approved by Health Canada for it's disinfectant claims. I also use boric acid, again a natural product to disinfect, odour control, whitening (the cloths are yellow anyway so it's not a biggy)... we use a Energy Star washing machine, that I bought in a scratch and dent so didn't even pay full nick.

I agree with Nicole on the environmental impact. Yes it could be that washing the cloths uses the same energy as making TP, but, in my minds eye, I am not using trees, or other paper resources that I'd rather have left standing so they can clean our air and provided homes for flora and fauna... same with the sanitary napkins we made from cloth, we wash those vs buying ones in the store... etc..

again, it boils down to personal choice, personal ethics and beliefs and what one is comfortable with and willing to do or not do.



There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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SARAHGMD Posts: 834
8/13/10 2:57 P

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Nicole,

I intuitively agree with you, but do you have any sources for your info? I'm expecting and we're planning on cloth diapers, but it's been brought up that it might not be as green as I think.

Of course a diaper service as Rennagade mentioned would add to the environmental impact of cloth diapers.

We have a pretty new efficient laundry set up, and can easily line dry much of the year, so I think it's the better choice for us, but it would be great to have someplace to point people to when they disagree.

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COACH_NICOLE's Photo COACH_NICOLE SparkPoints: (71,928)
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8/13/10 2:21 P

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Rennagade-
I think we can agree to disagree on this one. :-) I know reusable TP isn't for everyone and we all have different reasons for the various choices we make. I'm happy with my decision for me and you can be happy with yours.

Nicole



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RENNAGADE's Photo RENNAGADE Posts: 1,118
8/13/10 1:20 P

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evelynf they have bidet toilet seats and you can get one of the new waste processing toilets

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RENNAGADE's Photo RENNAGADE Posts: 1,118
8/13/10 1:16 P

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Nicole she is talking about adults not using toilet paper. when i had little ones we had diaper service. we did use disposable when we went out. you are wrong about the washables verses disposable as far as the environment is concerned. i have seen on a planet green TV show where they showed the environmental impact is the same washing verses disposable. so if i use some sheets of thin recycled tissue haw can that be such a bad thing compared to washing in very hot water with something added that will kill bacteria (bleach) remember we are talking about adults not babies in diapers

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COACH_NICOLE's Photo COACH_NICOLE SparkPoints: (71,928)
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8/13/10 11:21 A

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When it comes to washing reusable items or the environmental degradation of producing new disposable items and throwing them away, every analysis I've ever seen shows that reusing and washing--even with electrical costs, water usage, water heating, and more--comes out on top. Cloth diapering saves cash (even factoring in these utilities) and uses far fewer resources, on top of not sending more things to the landfill. My hot water heater is running all day whether or not I use the water for a mini load to rise these cloths. And the water usage is far smaller than the water and resources used to cut trees, process them, ship them, manufacture them into tp, ship them again, store them in a warehouse--the list goes on and on.

Another common question is whether, for example, an electric car is really beneficial when you still have to create and use electricity (which is bad for the environment) in order to run it, but even stats on those figure show that it's no only cheaper than paying for gasoline but that the environmental impact is smaller than using gasoline. However, I guess it's safe to say that anyone could skew these kinds of studies and models to benefit their own interests. Still, I believe that any single use product--even if it's recyclable--is worse for your wallet and the planet than any reusable alternative.

Nicole



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EVELYNF's Photo EVELYNF SparkPoints: (13,955)
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8/13/10 10:49 A

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I was curious about it when I read one of your other posts Lady T but not sure if would work in our household as I don't do laundry every week and probably won't be on top of the cloth cleaning... I did talk to my husband about it and he didn't seem too keen, but would let me experiment if I wanted to.

Nicole I do use a diva cup and absolutely LOVE it!! I highly recommend it.

As for a bidet type toilet, I would love that. I think those would be great but if we were to get some kind of fancy eco type toilet it would be a composting toilet.



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RENNAGADE's Photo RENNAGADE Posts: 1,118
8/13/10 8:41 A

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i would think that washing cloth is just as bad if not worse then using toilet paper for the environment. people don't count all the environmental aspects of everyday things. you have the electric use, hot water, bleach or peroxide (these must be disinfected) the cloth itself. what would be environmentally friendly would be the japanese ass cleaning and drying toilet seats. they only cost $900.

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LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
8/13/10 8:19 A

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Hey there,

Well that's just it, people say 'ewwww gross" but are ok with cloth diapers... yet there is much more mess in a cloth diaper than on home made TC's ...

Our huge bucket gets filled half way with water, and yes, they just sink down to the bottom.. guess it depends what sort of cloth you are using, but in our experience it all sinks...

If you are using babywipes, are you getting ones that are biodegradeable? I know a company that makes wipes that are made from bamboo but they are for handsanitizing though.. anyway, haven't been in the baby aisle for 12 years now!!!

There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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COACH_NICOLE's Photo COACH_NICOLE SparkPoints: (71,928)
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8/13/10 8:12 A

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I also made my own washable toilet paper. I bought two packs of super cheap IKEA wash cloths/towels and then cut each into quarters for smaller tp-sized squares. I keep them stacked under the bathroom counter.

Next to the toilet, I have another IKEA purchase: a stainless steel trashcan with a lid and a pedal to open it. Inside it came with a plastic bucket with a pail--perfect for this particular use. I pour half a cup of baking soda and a few drops of my Biokleen detergent into the pail until it's about 2/3 of the way full. After each wipe is used, it goes into the water, lid closed. They do sort of just sink on their own (to answer a question someone asked below) as they soak up the water and become heavier.

I wash that load once per week, but then again, I am the only one using them and I work all day, so it's not super full. I pour most of the water into my basement utility sink, pour the rags into a hot water 4-minute rinse cycle with a little detergent, and keep the bucket in the utility sink under the washer discharge hose to clean it while the laundry is being washed. Once they're rinsed, I do another full load of laundry on top of them to get them doubly clean and then repeat the process.

I came up with this idea b/c a friend of mine does it herself. At first I definitely thought: OMG NO WAY I would never do that. But honestly, I don't think it's gross or unsanitary at all. If you would (or did) cloth diaper a child, then this is no different IMO. Way better for the environment and your pocketbook, too. My BF unfortunately is not on board with using this method, but as a female, I use most of the TP anyway. I'm sure he'll be convinced sooner or later.

Is anyone else using cloth menstrual pads or other reusable feminine products? Again, it's another thing I thought "ew gross" about and now I can't imagine reverting back EVER. I actually started with that (before the no tp method) and feel like it made me less squeamish about my body and my bodily functions. Even if reusable tp isn't for you, I think that's a great area to branch into for environmental responsibility. I bought homemade cloth pads from etsy.com and also use the diva cup.

Nicole



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STARSFORME's Photo STARSFORME Posts: 817
8/13/10 2:23 A

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Wow! More power to you! That's great.

I don't know if I could do it. I like the idea, as I currently use baby wipes because I hate toilet paper, and it's expensive - but, I don't know. I could try reusable baby diapers first and see how that goes. What do people who use reusable baby diapers do with them until wash day?

I have a question on your method: how do you get the cloths to go down into the water? You obviously can't use your hands to sink them. Is there a stick in there or something? Cause it seems like otherwise, they'd just float on top.

♡ “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” Buddha ♡
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LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
8/12/10 10:07 P

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LMAO - my DH was fine with it, in fact, he prefers it.. it`s softer and does a better job.. like think about it, if you got poop on your face would you use a kleenex to wipe it off? lol... that was my DH's comment!

There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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EVLOBOS310's Photo EVLOBOS310 Posts: 1,695
8/12/10 8:27 P

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Very interesting post...I made my SO read it and he gave me the 'not a chance in he**' look. I'll convince him to try it eventually emoticon

To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha


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LADY_TAHENA's Photo LADY_TAHENA Posts: 884
8/12/10 6:39 P

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Back in the spring of last year I took the Colin Bevan No Impact challenge and realized much of what he was doing, I was already doing. Including not buying toilet paper or other disposable paper products.

We decided that cloth was better.. and here is why.

1 - for women no paper lint, bleaches, chemicals etc that irritate many of us.
2 - reduced costs (teens seem to use tons of TP for some reason - esp Girls!)
3- we need trees to breath oxygen, I felt kind of ignorant knowing they were being cut down for me to wipe my *** when other alternatives were there.

So.. what did we do...

Found some nice cloth (it was actally double layered and quilted! ) and cut them into TP sized squares. Put them in a basket, ontop of an 18L pail with a lid that we put water and an ecofriendly disinfectant called Sol-U-Guard and some PreSpot (again eco friendly)... once a week it gets put through the wash, on a small load, quick cycle and tada.. clean again...

Now we have started to use Borax (boric acid) in the water instead, and it keeps it "fresher" smelling and we still have no stains and no issues.

It's been a good year, and the clothes are still going strong. Lost the odd one down the loo due to a forgetful night time visit on autopilot and flushed... we also do the "yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down" routine here to, even though we have a low water flush toilet, it' makes no difference to me..

I can't see us diverting from this process. I figured the energy used to wash my cloths for a family of four once a week probably is about the same or slightly less than what it takes to make TP for the family per week.. BUT .. we are not killing trees that make our Oxygen to breath and clean our air to wipe our bums anymore.

We even went so far as to make our own washable sanitary pads..

All the materials for both the TC's and pads were freecycled items.. even the pail!

I'd love to hear what other people are using instead of TP and how you manage it..

We are considering ditching the cloths altogether and having our own wash cloths instead, that we wash after use in the sink and reuse *unless really soiled!* which is what Colin did apparently.. but we are not quite there yet..

Like all things, it's done in baby steps and stages..

There is only ONE thing that any one of us is ultimately in control of....that's YOURSELF! ~LTS~


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Soda Stream 6/30/2013 8:14:39 PM
how do you dispose of lead paint scrapings? 8/7/2014 3:30:30 AM
Neat things from NYC green festival 6/17/2013 10:19:20 PM

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