Monday, April 18, 2011

Family Cloth~

I'm back from a very long absence from my blog.
And with no real good reason for it either! Hmph!

Well, maybe it all started that first week of January when Daddy had to fly back East to help his ailing father. He is better now and on the mend, but it did jar our lives a bit as sudden lapses in health and the ensuing trips tend to do.
Maybe it was my 生理's fault, but as tends to happen with those things, I found myself in a creative streak a mile wide! Here are some things I've been up to:

(1) hand-sewed some bread bags to store our homemade bread
The results? 3 adorable little bags...that don't keep our bread from staling at all! ;_;
Still, we use them in the fridge as the second layer to the plastic bags we've always used.
So at least our bread is veeery pretty now~~

(2) rigged up an outdoor drying rack
The results! A fantastic collapsible system that cost just around $6.
Will have to blog on that later...

(3) Family Cloth
For those of you who don't know what family cloth it, it is pretty much "reusable toilet paper". But before you run away disgusted, please let me explain.

Family Cloth is the use of reusable cloth sheets in place of toilet paper that are not flushed down the toilet, but rather kept in a laundry basket of sorts to be laundered and then reused again and again. Some use it for both #1 and #2, with obvious considerations to be made when using for the latter, but just using it for #1 saves considerably on all the paper bought and consequently thrown down the toilet over the days, weeks, months, and beyond.

In a household like ours, where my husband and I work from home we are home a lot of the time, and consequently can go through a lot of toilet paper rather quickly. But with the majority of those bathroom trips being mainly for #1, that means a lot of TP is being used just to dab at what is really not that big a mess anyway. And none for the man of the house anyway, since the ol' "shake your winkle after you tinkle" is enough for him.

To cut down on TP consumption, we have switched to Family Cloth for our #1 needs.
Instead of reaching for the TP roll, Ella Rose and I simply use little cotton squares (cut from the least popular baby blanket she inherited) and dispose of them in a little receptacle where they are held for a week (or however long it takes to fill up). This is what it looks like in a convenient basket on the back of our toilet.

The over set-up looks like this (that silver bin is where we keep them after use):

Some of you might be wondering how this is supposed to be "greener" if a whole laundry load has to be devoted to washing these little cloths. But I'm happy to say I found a way around the issue of all the water and electricity that has to run a washer and dryer, by using a hand-powered portable washing machine. It's called the "Wonder Wash" and you can learn more about it here. I'd highly recommend looking into one as they can do your regular laundry too, and would work if the power/water ever got cut off (think disaster preparation).
After the wash, I simply hang them out to dry (on that laundry line I mentioned earlier!) where they are nicely warmed, whitened, and disinfected by the sun.
Add to that the fact that the laundry detergent is handmade, and the whole system is a win-win all around I do believe.

If you are interested in learning more about Family Cloth, I highly recommend the following articles, and maybe you, too, will be inspired to try it out ;)

The Family Cloth Vs. Toilet Paper
Reusable Toilet Paper on The Penniless Parent

'Til next time, take care and Happy Family Cloth-ing!