I’m ready, I think.

I have been thinking for a quite a while about switching from toilet paper to cloth, because our daughter uses cloths when she uses the potty. She’s switching to using the toilet more and more and I hate that it means moving to toilet paper too, but she wants to be grown up and that’s what we grown-ups do. I wanted to make the change to cloth rather than having her move away from it, but it seemed a bit “out there” even for me and I live “there”. When some one says “out there” they mean the place where the weirdy beardies like Sarah McGaughey live. Yes, I really was called a weirdy beardy, and yes, I liked it.
A while ago Kyle and I had a little communication glitch that resulted in there being absolutely no toilet paper in the house on a day of a blizzard. I decided to try using the wee ones cloths. It was way easier than I expected. I’m going to go into detail now so if you are squeamish, stop reading now!
Pees were no problem. It seemed natural to use cloth. As for poos, it was way easier. It took one warm soft wet cloth to get a very clean bum rather than wads of scratchy paper, and it was really easy to rinse and throw in a bucket after.
Kyle still thinks the water usage for cloths make it equal to toilet paper, but I don’t buy it. I didn’t use much water to rinse and when they are washed in our little portable machine and hung to dry, I’m sure the water usage is less than the water, energy, chemicals, plastics, and carbon that go into making (even recycled) toilet paper. Unfortunately there are no unbiased studies that I can find on the topic-the one study of cloth diapers which claimed the energy and water usage was equal to that of disposables was very biased. Firstly, it was funded by PAMPERS. Secondly the studied diapers that were washed industrially with bleach and dried in a dryer. Thirdly they didn’t study the water or energy used to make the disposables.
Back to me, my daughter didn’t want me to use her cloths again, and I haven’t been able to buy or make them yet. I’ve read about using old flannel sheets (cut up into small squares and sewn around the edges) and I think it’s a great idea but I haven’t done it yet. I may just order these ones and some bamboo wipes from the same seller. I can make them but there is such a line up of things I have to sew before I get to them, and I want to make the change soon. In fact, just this second I set a deadline for myself to do it by the end of February.
Obviously this isn’t for everyone. I am not at all bothered by bodily fluids.* I still find poo and fart jokes hilarious. I use reusable menstrual pads and cups. We used cloth diapers and natural infant hygiene when our little one was a baby. Scatological is one of my favorite words. I can’t believe I didn’t make this change before. I also can’t believe I could come up with a funnier title for this post!
* Just to clarify, I am bothered by unknown bodily fluids, like huge puddles of urine on my doorstep (dog, person???) or puke on the sidewalk, but my own or my family’s or friends is not a problem to me*



Filed under personal care, personal products, toilettalk

9 responses to “I’m ready, I think.

  1. Ken A

    I agree – this post definitely needs a better title! My suggestions include “Eco-Friendly Living (Through Your Bum)” or “Green Poo”.

  2. Jen

    Awesome awesome! I have a pile of clothes in my bathroom waiting for me to get up the nerve to use them. I don’t know why as adults in the Western world we have this mental block about using cloth. your story may be the little push I need.

    Quick question – do you have a soaking bin where you put everything, and how long can you wait before you have to wash them?

  3. Just found your blog, excellent. And this topic seems one well worth discussing. High fives for you!

  4. Coolio, I like it. Btw, I made some pretty nice bamboo wipes for my daughter and had this big idea that I would make and sell them locally because they are so superior to the ones on the market (so soft). I made about 100 or so but never got around to selling them because of how much time it took to make them (and the return I would get on my investment) so they are sitting in a bag hanging on my bedroom door – if you are interested?

    Another thought – I spent some time in SE Asia and they just use water and the left hand. I did it while I was there and loved it because it seems so much cleaner (some would argue that though).

    Great topic though, some food for thought. Our family is taking a zero waste zero consumer challenge in April 2011 (or longer if all goes well). I will be following your blog as it is totally awesome (thanks again Jen – she is my inspriation).

    • Marcia, where are you!?? I would love those wipes. May be we could do a swap of some sort, I promise I won’t sent you any garbage (no tape,no bubble wrap). I should have your email address, I’ll try to send you an email so you have mine too. Also I’m sorry to say I really don’t blog often anymore. I have lots of ideas but have a hard time finding the time. Thanks for the compliments though and do did through the exisiting ones-they are better and more exciting near the beginning (in my humble opinion)

      • Marcia Dick

        I’m in Kamloops BC so if you email me your address I will send you some complimentary wipes in exchange for promoting my blog: wastenaughtbc.blogspot.com

  5. Alright Marcia
    You are on!!! But I don’t think it’s a totally fair trade and if you think your wee one would like a little (home made felt) animal hat (which you can see in the birthday party post), I have a polar bear for sure and some others kicking around and I can send it in brown paper, if you would like. Kudos to you for doing this with a child. I’m not sure how much of this blog you have read, but we finished being garbage-free before we had our daughter. Now that she’s a bit older I would like to try again, but I don’t think it could be as extreme as it was the first time.

    • Marcia Dick

      Okay, deal. I have only read a few topics that seem relevant to our challenge. (if I had more time I would read more but you know how it is with a young child and life, and now that I am on this challenge, I am totally addicted to my own blog).

      But I really want to send you these cloths as I know your butt will love them and they have just been hanging in a bag on my bedroom door for the past six months. You have my email address?

  6. You should try a toilet hose! They are great and they use them in Thailand. They are clean too and don’t use anything but a little extra water. Or you could try a bidet style which is essentially the same. There are a ton of options out there. Or you could always use newspaper but then you have to worry with ink. I used my hand while I lived in India so cloth doesn’t sound so bad!

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