Amy of Crunchy Domestic Goddess is rockin' some highly perceptive crunchy ESP lately.
Last week, I realized we were starting to run low on the Disney Princess (blech) (no, wait. not blech to The Princesses themselves. Licensed character stuff, however, offends my children's clothing aesthetic) bag o' Pull-Ups (gag).
Aliza the Joy is pretty much 100% day-trained now, but for obvious reasons I don't know how much to trust her out of the house in the Big Girl Panties. So we've been doing the Pull-Ups for errand running and church nursery and at night. AJ likes The Princesses, but she does not like the Pull-Ups as they seem to be quite itchy. And scratchy. Although I have a fully-stocked stash of cloth diapers, I don't have anything in the way of trainers as Dacey learned the potty at nearly three over the course of one weekend.
So I've been thinking about getting some cloth trainers for her. I've been shopping around and comparing prices and styles and colors and materials and I got a little overwhelmed and moved it down a notch or two on the ol' To Do.
Amy's challenge, you see, came along at just the right time to move me from the thinkin' about it stage to the let's do this stage. (The nearly empty bag of Princess pee-catchers has provided a little extra motivation as well.) And remember a few weeks ago when I was questioning what direction to take with SortaCrunchy and how I had kind of lost some blogging steam? In the comments, Robin suggested that I "Take on a new adventure: something you'd love to try, but haven't yet, and chronicle it for us." Again, perfect timing.
So here I am, embarking on the challenge to make our home more waste-free. But this challenge won't be just about cloth trainers. There are several areas where we could cut out our disposable addictions.
Amy started with this list, and here is what we have and haven't done to reduce the waste generated at Casa SortaCrunchy:
- Paper napkins to cloth napkins Done!
- Paper towels to cloth towels Want to do
- Tissues to handkerchiefs Sorta done
- Paper, plastic or Styrofoam plates to your kitchen plates Done!
- Disposable utensils to regular silverware Done!
- If you order food “to go” or have food to take home from a restaurant, bring your own container rather than accepting Styrofoam or plastic Um, not ready for this yet.
- Inexpensive plastic “Take & Toss” sippy cups to Thermos or Camelbak bottles or the Klean Kanteen We don't by Take & Toss, so done!
- Disposable water bottles to (again) reusable bottles like Thermos, Klean Kanteen or Camelbak Last year, we took the pledge and we seriously never buy bottles of water anymore, so done!
- Plastic sandwich bags or paper lunch bags to reusable containers/bags Done!
- Plastic straws to glass or stainless steel straws We don't use straws
- Swiffers (or similar products) to a broom and dustpan or mop (or use reusable cloths like cloth diapers/terry inserts in your Swiffer) Done!
- Disposable dust rags to cloth rags Done!
- Disposable diapers to cloth diapers As mentioned, need to get cloth trainers
- Disposable wipes to cloth wipes (inexpensive plain washcloths work really well) Done! (although I do keep some disposables in my bag for out of the house use)
- Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables like DivaCup, MoonCup, Glad Rags, Luna Pads, Pretty Pads, or New Moon Pads, among others. You can even make your own pads. Sorta done - more later
- Grocery store bags to reusable bags Need to do for real
- Disposable wrapping paper or gift bags to reusable cloth gift bags Might do
- Single-use batteries to rechargeable batteries Need to do
And there is one last item on Amy's list that even she, the Goddess of Crunchy, suggest might be a little crazy and is only for the truly dedicated:
Toilet paper to cloth wipes/washcloths (for #1 or #2 too if you are really, really adventurous)
As I looked over the list, I thought about what would be both a great challenge for myself but would still be reasonable and do-able. Here are my goals for the Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2009:
1) Banish the paper Pull-Ups and replace with cloth trainers
2) Ditch the paper towels and replace with cloth
3) Find a better, less disposable monthly solution for myself (again, more later)
4) Put a system in place so that I absolutely will use my reusable grocery bags (I have tons) and put an end to the voluminous plastic grocery bag collection
5) Do you really want to know what goal #5 is? I mean, really, really want to know? Come back tomorrow. When you aren't eating.
What do you think of Amy's suggestions? Have you tried any of these in your home? What was a hit and what was a miss?