There are many household uses for which cloth alternatives can replace the throwaway paper and plastic products we’re accustomed to using. After all, a few short decades ago no one even had most of these conveniences that many people think they can’t live without. Places to replace a common product with cloth in a typical household might include paper towels, napkins, diapers, nursing pads, and even toilet paper, for the adventurous. Making these small changes is a great benefit to the environment and the budget. Think of the money that could be saved by not buying any of these products.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is an easy place to begin replacing throwaway paper products with things that are reusable. Cloth napkins are something that many households still use for company and holiday dinners-why not just bring them out everyday and perhaps buy a couple of extra sets? How many people use six paper towels just to dry their wet hands when one would be enough? This is a huge waste! Replace them altogether with scraps of fabric or rags for cleaning.
Also, replace those expensive throwaway pads for Swiffers and other similar floor cleaners with cloth. This is a great place to save money. There are a number of websites with instructions for making your own, but it’s not necessary to get fancy about it-an old rag or washcloth will work. Microfiber cloths, found in the automotive section of stores, are very absorbent and wonderful as alternatives to paper for many uses in the kitchen. The additional work that these things will add to the laundry is negligible.
Parents and Kids
Cloth diapers are another great alternative to throwaway products in your home. There are many advantages to using them, from environmental issues to health benefits to saving money on the huge cost of disposable diapers. Cloth diapers have come a long way in recent years. They are much easier to use and cuter than the prefolds, pins, and rubber pants of the past. Breastfeeding moms should look into reusable nursing pads. The store-bought plastic ones are uncomfortable and bunchy anyway. Flannel or wool nursing pads are much softer and equally effective without the environmental waste.
In the Bathroom
Tissues or Kleenex are easy to replace with handkerchiefs. A growing number of families are now using family cloth-an alternative to toilet paper. Before completely dismissing this option, consider using it only for the females in the household and keeping toilet paper around for messy jobs. Many women find that they prefer this once they begin using it as it is more comfortable. Also, women can try a product such as the Diva Cup as an alternative to tampons or pads.
As this article has shown, there are many household uses for which a reusable cloth option can replace the wasteful plastic or paper we have become accustomed to. In most cases, being friendly to the environment is not as inconvenient as one might assume-and all of these ideas will certainly help save some money after the initial investment.