Wednesday, August 6, 2008

how far would you go?

How far are you willing to go, to go green?

I was recently reading Yahoo! Green and after following a few links, ended up reading this blog post about doing away with disposables, and the success that family has had stopping use of the following:

paper towels
paper napkins
disposable diapers
grocery bags
feminine products
toilet paper

Out of the 6 things listed, I admit to using the disposable version of all of them, even though we did use cloth diapers way back before disposables were around, and have recently started to use reusable grocery bags.

What about paper towels? Using cloth rags for all your kitchen wiping needs? What about that raw chicken juice on the counter? And those spills on the floor? Does having to launder all your cloth rags in hot water to kill bacteria balance out with not buying paper towels?

Cloth napkins are also doable. But again, what about the extra use of water and detergent, does it offset paper napkins?

But for the last two I would have to draw the line.

What do you think? How far would you go?

~photo - Smoky Mountains stream 2006


The Calico Cat said...

We have made the investment into cloth diapers. We use cloth napkins. We use hand towels in the kitchen, but not for cleaning up messes - so much.

personally, I'd rather use the water (with an environmentally safe soap - not to be confused with detergent. We use Charlie's Soap in the wash - it rinses clean - which is necessary when using cloth diapers. And A Trader Joes Brand dishwasher soap.) than to add to a pile of trash - especially with the diapers.

I have heard about people using cloth feminine products. (Not for me.) The reuseable TP is a new one for me & one that I don't think I would EVER consider.

Oh & if water was not part of my condo fee - I may think differently on my use of it... Ditto the energy needed to heat that water...

It all costs, we just have to figure out our own costs. Like it really chaps my hide to hear/see the wasted water in the toilets at work. I swear that there are people who flush before even using the toilet - having just walked by & not seeing anything in that toilet...

The Calico Cat said...

O.K. - I just read "the" post. & remembered that we got cloth diaper wipes too... (I did not like the idea of the alcohol in most commercial disposeable wipes & If I am doing cloth diapers wouldn't disposeable wipes be - oxymoronic to say the least?)

So I may be 1 step away from cloth TP - but it is akin to stepping on the moon...

June said...

Alas, not far enough...

paula, the quilter said...

I don't know about the last 2. But I already use cloth napkins and grocery bags. I also wipe up messes with old cut up tshirts that I then put in a pail of a weak bleach/water solution to 'keep' until wash day. Gosh that sounds so old fashioned, but it works.

Motherkitty said...

Stop using toilet paper? Give me a break! Never going to happen in this household.

I also used cloth diapers for my two kids thirty-some years ago, and had six dozen diapers to wash all the time. The kids also had lots of diaper rashes which necessitated using lots of ointment and regulating their diet.

Going back to the "good old days"? I don't know about that. I can see using reusable bags at the grocery -- heck, I have five of them hanging on a hook in my kitchen which I always forget to take with me when I go to the store. I can also see using cloth napkins. But I draw the line on giving up my paper towels and antiseptic wipes. My big issue is with all those plastic water bottles and all those plastic bags. You can never get rid of those things, can you?

Sheila in Ohio said...

Earlier today at another blog was the first I'd read of a Diva cup or similar. I'm not squeamish about the thought of it, but have to say a 2x2 cup would not have been much help to me.

I do use the pick-a-size paper towel; because it's only me I may use at most 2 sheets a day and they go in the recycling bag. Cloth napkins when guests are here. I like the thought of the 'keeping bucket' as Paula mentioned, but unfortunately it would take awhile for me to get around to having a enough of a load to justify laundry.

I did use disposable diapers long before we knew the damage they could do.

And TP... I'll keep it. Although I'd rather not know it's recycled. LOL

I did invest in a high-effiency front-loading washer earlier this year which uses less water overall, and the water used in this one is based on the weight of the load. I don't use the dishwasher, and don't have a dryer. So all in all I'm saving resources where I can. And we have a great recycling program here so everything goes in one bin; I fill a lawn/leaf bag once every couple of weeks and drop it off at the fire station.

I keep the reusable store bags (which I believe I read are made from recycled plastic) in my car to use (or by the door to remember to put them back in the car). They hold so much more anyhow. And I've started to knit and crochet my own market bags.

This subject reminds me of an admonishment one of my nursing teachers made, along the lines of 'diapers on a patient (speaking of the elderly) are for the convenience of the nurses, not the convenience of the patient.'

andsewitis Holly said...

My take is this: I wouldn't give up any paper products because trees are a renewable resource. I think we should work on ridding ourselves of plastic first. I did use cloth diapers for my kids.