I’ve been thinking about things we use and things we re-use. We re-use many things for convenience and for the environment, other large items are for financial purposes. Below I’ve created a list of sorts of things we commonly re-use and I’ve put it in order of “Not gross at all” to “Too gross for me.”
I don’t want to throw out paper or styrofoam plates everyday so I own nice plates and wash them after meals. I have silverware and chopsticks so I don’t have to dispose of these after meals. Same for serving dishes.
I have kitchen and bathroom towels so I don’t need paper towels or these new disposable bathroom towels (what a ridiculous invention!).
I use a glass cup in the bathroom so I’m not tossing out Dixie cups 3x a day. I’ve had my elec toothbrush for 5 years – better than disposable waste I think.
I made reusable cotton pads for makeup removal. I made washable butt wipes for my son’s diaper changes.
I use washable menstrual pads (Glad Rags and Imse Vimse)…and a hush goes over the crowd. No one talks about that one very much, yep, they’re more popular than you probably think. The Diva Cup is a great option if you’re more of a tampon girl, they come in 2 sizes – pre-baby and post-baby!
Now I’ve been considering using something I’ve recently discovered, something referred to as “family cloth”. Family cloth is reusable toilet paper! I think that term makes it sound grosser than it needs to be! I read an article about it after doing a google search (I’d temporarily thought I’d invented the idea) and I found a fantastic article written by Sayward Rebhal, otherwise known as Bonzai Aphrodite. I’ve sewn up my own squares, but you can buy some cute ones on Etsy. I’m considering going ahead with the family cloth, but I’ll only use it for #1 and I won’t share my cloths with anyone else – my family wouldn’t agree to it anyway.
My two guilty guilty bad-for-the-environment pleasures? Puffs Plus and 7th Generation diapers. But I’m currently seeking out hankies like my grandpa used to use. Do you have a guilty-pleasure/disposable item you don’t want to stop using?
My husband (and some other people) think I may be a little extreme and that I have a pretty high limit to what I find gross. What do you think? Where do you draw the line between being “green” and good-for-the-environment and gross/going too far?
Below is a list of things I could think of that we do or can reuse. Some things are obvious, but I’m sure there’s someone somewhere that doesn’t even reuse the obvious. It’s all perspective I guess. Where is your limit? What stops you from going further?
Houses – Do you dream of building a brand new house or is a used house okay?
Clothes – Do you wash and reuse your clothes? What about giving to and buying from thrift stores?
Pots & Pans – Wash, dry, and reuse! There will be a day they make a “convenience” set of throw-away pans!
Plates & Bowls – Paper plates, Styrofoam, or real plates?
Silverware – plastic? Compostable? Or metal?
Chopsticks – “disposable” ones or invest in a nice pair?
Seeds from Fruit & Veggies – use seeds from real fruit/veggies or buy a packet of seeds at the store?
Used paper - from scrap paper/doodling/list making
Wrapping Paper – Do you save wrapping paper to use another day? (I honestly don’t do this one)
Fabric Napkins – Would you wash fabric napkins to reuse or prefer throw away?
Towels – Wash & Reuse? Paper towels? Or air-dry? I’ve seen beautiful reusable paper towels on Etsy, they even snap together to make a roll.
Toothbrushes – Disposables (one time use) do exist!
Bathroom cups – Plastic, glass, or Dixie?
Straws (glass or plastic) – I got some great glass straws on Etsy!
Ziplock Baggies – Do you wash and reuse baggies? What about using fabric snack baggies?
Food Containers – I wash and save nice glass bottles (for food) and some plastic ones (for toys and crafts)
Composting – Do you compost? Worm or standard?
Baby Diapers – Wash ‘em or toss ‘em?
Butt Wipes – I wash ours!
Menstrual Pads – I adopted these about one year ago and I’m really happy about it! Throw aways are a lot of waste, like diapers.
“Family Cloth” (reusable toilet paper) for #1 - I’m just starting this!
“Family Cloth” for #2 – I don’t think I can go there, not yet anyway.
Adult Diapers – Yes, they make them. After having my son I needed diapers for a while, but didn’t go with reusable. There’s something about adult fecal matter that I don’t like and I don’t want it going through my washing machine!
Where did I lose you? Did I lose you?? Any other reusable item ideas? Please add to the list!! :)