Monday, April 06, 2009

Wipe it Green

For those of you not on the environmental bandwagon, this month is Earth Month. On April 22, Canada will celebrate Earth Day. I've begun to read a number of blog posts related to the environment and I thought I'd join in and share some of the small but important things that our family does to lessen our impact on the earth.

On occasion I've mentioned that we use cloth diapers. It's not nearly as difficult, as time-consuming, or as gross as you might think. You get used to it and it becomes a way of life. A couple years ago I also switched our regime to use cloth wipes, figuring I was still tossing away a great deal of unnecessary waste using disposable ones. I still use disposable wipes in my diaper bag, when we're out, or when absolutely necessary (ya know the kind of poop I'm talkin' about), but most of the time I use our cloth wipes. You can buy gorgeous, soft and completely absorbent cloth wipes on Etsy, or in a lot of stores that sell cloth diapers. You know my fav is The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe here in Ottawa.

Trying to be frugal and use what I had on hand, I gathered a bunch of cheap baby washcloths I wasn't using anymore (they were too flimsy to really "cut it" in the bathtub) and figured they'd be perfect to use as wipes.

I took an old empty wipe container and poured a couple inches of warm water in the bottom . . . I then mixed in a few drops of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (Lavender Hemp Pure-Castile) and swirled it around. I then add my folded-in-half washcloths and VOILA . . . all natural baby wipes!

They obviously don't stay warm for an incredibly long period of time, but they stay damp enough to make it perfectly easy to wipe a little bum clean (or a large one, for that matter). I throw them in the diaper pail with the diapers when I am done "wiping" and wash them when I do a load of diapers.

No "waste".

(No pun intended.)

19 comments:

Phyllis said...

That's an awesome idea -- I also use baby washcloths, but wet them one at a time for each individual diaper change. (Or sometimes two at a time, if I'm expecting a big mess)
I'll have to pull out one of our old wipes containers and doing what you've done!

Rebecca said...

Great post. I've heard of this many times, and still use washcloths once and a while. My doc also recommended just using plain water and toilet paper instead of wipes. I'm finding it hard to let go of the wipes though (even though I know better!)

FYI check out the thirsty fab wipes here: http://bellylaughs.ca/catalog.php?item=572 They are so soft, I love using them on bums, faces everything!

Loukia said...

Great post, and great idea. Probably feels sooo much nicer on baby's bum, too, don't ya think? Only question I have is, if the washclothes stay in there for too long and they are damp, could it start to smell like mold? But I guess with a baby in the house, they don't stay in there more then a few hours!

Amber said...

I switched to cloth diapers with this baby, but I've been using disposable wipes. It just seemed like too much of a hassle to use cloth wipes. Seeing your system, though, has changed my mind. That sounds like something I could totally manage. Maybe I'll give it a go. :)

Amy said...

With my first son I used cheap baby washcloths too. When #2 was born, I used the same ones til he was around 5 months old.

Then. THEN. I bought some wipes from a lady on diaperswappers... cute flannel on one side and heavenly bamboo fleece on the other. They are loveliness incarnate in a bum wipe.

Elaine A. said...

I think I may try cloth diapers with this next baby, I've never done them before. Thanks for the tip on the wipes! : )

amanda said...

love this idea! way to be green friend :)

A Crafty Mom said...

Amy - I stay away from Diaperswappers b/c I would end up with a million plush wipes just like that :) I bet they're amazing though.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

I wish I would have used cloth ones...but I didn't! And the wipes, what a great idea. Those could be useful for hands and faces too...obviously not the same ones though.

Grand idea!

Megan said...

We've been on cloth diapers since Luke was about 5 months, but just started cloth wipes with Oscar and love them. I actually got a wipe warmer and put the wipes in with a bit of water and Monkey Doodlez wipe cube and then the wipes are warm and it is much nicer on the little bums, as well as the environment :-)

Laural Out Loud said...

I plan to use cloth diapers and wipes with my next one (not sure why I didn't do it with my first). I never thought of using Dr Bonner's soap! So easy. I actually can't wait to get pregnant so I can start stocking up!

Anna-b-bonkers said...

We have used clothe wipes from day one and only recently started to buy regular wipes (clean and go's) for the diaper bag.

The reason we used the cloth was because both of our kids were sensitive to the regular ones.
I never thought of using a soap with them though, I always just used warm water and then soaked them after.
The idea of keeping some wet in a container is fantastic!

Chantal said...

I would like to use cloth with my next child, of course I am not pregnant so I might be ahead of myself just a little bit.. But I have a question. I have a front loading washer. My mom always used cloth but what she would do is rinse out the diapers and put them in the washer, already filled with water and soap, to soak until the load was full. How do you manage it? Do you have front loading washer?

Nap Warden said...

Oh, you are putting me to shame. I started out with good intentions...then I ended up with disposables:P I tried...

BeachMama said...

These are great! I hadn't even thought of doing reusable wipes. It would be so easy to just throw them in the wash. I might have to try this a couple of times and see how I like it.

Tammi said...

Great minds think alike! This is what I plan to do once all the wipes we received as shower gifts are used up. We have also received about 60+ washcloths so this will be a good use for them :)

Althea said...

Hi fellow mommy,

Thanks for sharing how to be a "green mom". I'm also a mother of a 14-month old baby and I blog regularly about baby care tips and my experiences raising him.

The link address is Raising Daniel.

Thank you.

Thea

OHmommy said...

oh gosh, i need to forward this on. doing so now!

Anonymous said...

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I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further advances, the possibility of copying our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.


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