Friday, September 26, 2008

Ditching the Disposables

Crunchy Domestic Goddess issued a "ditch the disposables" challenge for September and October.

I was initially at a loss as to what to ditch.  While we haven't gone paper-towel free, we've cut down our use dramatically.  (And switched to sustainable, paper-from-paper for what we do use.)  But just thinking about the DtD challenge has me thinking differently.

Officially, we're ditching purse-pack tissues in favor of handkerchiefs.  Franklin asked me to buy some; my brother-in-law carries them faithfully.  And since Freddie's requests for a tissue are often, er, non-productive, I figured it would be an easy switch, and one that reduced our reliance on a heavily packaged product.

So far?  Easiest green thing we've ever done.

But here are a few other disposables on which we've reduced our use:
  • I was an early adopter of Lysol wipes for quick cleaning; while I've switched over to rags, I've been in the habit of keeping the wipes on hand.  I realized the other day that I've all-but-stopped using them and wouldn't miss them if they were gone.
  • Ding, dong the Clorox ToiletWand system is dead!
  • After weeks of the Diaper Debate, we've ordered three cloth diapers to test out.  Assuming they work, we'll buy more.
  • I'm keeping a handkerchief in our bathroom, reaching for it instead of a tissue almost every time.
Combined with our other ditched disposables - over the last year, we've taken to using refillable Sigg canteens and travel coffee mugs, reusable shopping bags and (mostly) refillable containers instead of plastic baggies and wrap - it feels like we're really cutting down on our garbage generation.

There's always more to do, but for the moment, it feels like we keep managing to find simple, straightforward and logical things to do to make a difference.

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