Okay, we’re getting a little ambitious here. But, have you ever thought about just how much toilet paper, paper towel, tissues and/or baby wipes your household goes through each and every day?
It was a little challenging to find clear and up to date information on what goes into making toilet paper each year and what kind of impact this may have on our planet and the availability of natural resources. I did stumble across this article, which found that the US used 36.5 billion rolls of tp each year, consuming approximately 15 million trees. Doing the standard “what about Canada math” we get a 10th of that. Still. Rediculous. Add to that paper towels, tissues and baby wipes and we’re looking at an incredible number of trees consumed just to clean up after ourselves. In addition there is all the water consumed and all the greenhouse gases produced from making and shipping these products and we have a sad little picture developing. Don’t believe me that this is a problem? There are many more websites and blogs and research articles out there for you to explore before making a decision.
Since I’ve been home all day while on maternity leave with my little one we’ve been going through toilet paper like there’s no tomorrow! In my push to save money while I’m not working and reduce my family’s waste production/carbon footprint, I decided I’d give some good ol’ family cloth a go. (For those of you new to family cloth, it is reusable/washable wipes for the whole family. Yep, you read that correctly.) Aaaaannnnd since we are already cloth diapering and using cloth wipes, I already have a handy wet bag hanging in my bathroom and a few loads of laundry I can add them to each week. I’m not ready to consider using cloth for cleanup of #2, but as the lady of the house I think I can make a pretty big impact to our budget and waste production by avoiding tp for #1.
If this grosses you out, consider the following tutorial one about making cloth baby wipes at home. There, now that’s not so bad, is it?
Onto the tutorial!
Step 1: Find some material. I used some old receiving blankets someone was giving away on one of my Facebook groups. You could also use old flannel pyjamas, old sheets or pillow cases, any kind of cotton fabric….
Step 2: Cut fabric into 4.5×8 inch rectangles if making family cloth, or 8×8 inch squares if making baby wipes or tissues.
Step 4: In order to save some thread and speed up the process, once I have completed one circumference of the cloth and backstitched I move my next piece right in and start sewing away. I can then trim the little bit of thread connecting the two pieces.
Step 5: I like to store my wipes in an old disposable wipes box (which I picked up for free off someone in my local Buy Nothing group). I fold them into each other length wise and then stack into the box so that one wipe pulls the next one through.