I would guess that most environmentally savvy consumers probably aren't using paper towels or paper napkins (heck, even I use cloth towels & napkins and I'm not exactly environmentally mental), but I guess the theory is that these products made from recycled materials are somehow better to use than products created from virgin materials. That may or may not be true, but I'm not going there tonight.
I'm going somewhere that's an entirely different shade of crazy. . .maybe. No, no, this is something that is totally beyond the pale. Oddly, I don't think it sounds all that bad, but I might be one of THEM. You decide.
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Before I continue, I have to say that I have really enjoyed writing this blog for a few reasons. Primarily, it's a helluva lot less expensive than therapy. I've enjoyed giving my thoughts and debating on a variety of touchy topics from the headlines. It also has been fun to do a little light research on a bunch of sorta "weird" topics and sharing my findings. I've liked hearing that readers have been able to implement small changes that I've suggested to either make their lives easier or save a little dough. I've really been excited when my blog has encouraged readers to totally change the way they look at certain aspects of life. Sometimes I have no idea if anyone is reading at all and the feedback has really been helpful to keep me going on this 365-project of mine.
Okay, all that said, let's continue.
At some point in one of the Reduce, Recycle, & Reuse (the first one) posts on my old blog, I mentioned that I don't use toilet paper and quickly added that it was a total joke. At the time, I didn't even know such thing as reusable toilet paper existed. Well, my recent blog post on crumpling v folding toilet paper got me thinking. . .uh-oh, no good can come from this, right?
Yes. There is such a thing as reusable toilet paper, called "family cloth." So far, so good. It sounds harmless enough.
I used cloth diapers on my son. I use a menstrual cup and mama cloth (reusable pads) to manage my menses. I figure this can't possibly gross me out. I raised an eyebrow at my search result and gamely marched forward with my research.
Family cloth is a similar concept to cloth baby wipes. Don't freak out, it's not as bad as it sounds. If you've diapered a baby, especially if you've ever cloth diapered, none of this should sound all that foreign to you.
Family cloths are reasonably large squares of fabric that are used to, well, wipe the genital area clean after urination or evacuation. The fabric choices are varied: cotton jersey, cotton or bamboo velour, flannel, sherpa fleece, hemp, whatever. You can use them wet or dry. Or you can go for that really fresh & clean feeling and rinse your genital area with a handheld bidet - that would be a diaper sprayer in my house! Then you just use the cloth to pat your nether region dry.
After soiling the cloth, you store it in a container (a small lidded step-pail works great) until wash day. You can rinse soiled cloth (utilizing the aforementioned diaper sprayer/handheld bidet) before storing in your pail; I always did this with diapers. Launder as you would cloth diapers. I was a double wash with an extra rinse kind of gal. Sometimes I line dried and let the sun work it's bleach-tastic magic, other times I utilized the dryer.
While some family cloth users go all-out and wipe their poo too, it appears that most family cloth users only use it for urination and still use toilet paper for dealing with dookie. Somehow, that sounds more acceptable to me too.
Don't go thinking, "I can't believe she's doing this!" I haven't. . .yet. And, if I did, I would always stock TP in my restroom because I'm not into forcing others to do exactly what I choose to do. But, let's face it, I probably won't because I'm quite certain that my husband would blow his top if I did.
On the other hand, I'm the one who would be using it for my own pee. . .I'm the one who would be dealing with storing pee-wipes until I do laundry. . .I'm the one who does laundry. . .hm, I might actually be talking myself into trying this.
So what do you think? Is this an interesting idea? Or have I finally gone over to The Dark (green) Side - perhaps another color is more appropriate, no? Have you tried family cloth? If so, please share (anonymously if you prefer) your experience!