Growing up my grandpa Sonday always had a handkerchief in his pocket, and he used it. I don't know how many he used in a day but I don't think there was even such a thing as disposable tissues. And if there was I am sure he would think it a waste. When he died my grandma gave me one of his clean handkerchiefs as a memory of him. I still have it in my childhood jewelry box.
I don't know when disposable tissues came out but we got in the habit of using them instead of a handkerchief. We also got used to using toilet paper and paper towels. I think of the three disposable inventions that my favorite would be toilet paper. I can go without the other two but I don't want to go back to what ever was used before that.
That being said, I do think we use too many disposable items in our home. Paper plates, tissues, paper towels.
One day I decided to cut up some of Jeff's old t-shirts that he didn't want any more. I cut them into nice squares. About 12 to 14 inches. I folded them up and put them in a nice basket on my bathroom counter. I began to use them instead of toss away tissues. Wow, these are so much softer on my nose. I began to put a small stack by my computer and by my recliner I make sure to have one there too. I use a square a few times until it seems icky to me then I toss it into the dirty clothes basket and grab a clean one. No big deal. Now when I have to use a toss away tissue it seems quite wasteful to me. I do still keep them on my vanity because I don't think Jeff is ready to switch and also because there are times I don't want to have to clean a cloth tissue. Like makeup removal, not often but occasionally worn. Also if something gross is spilt I want to toss the tissue. I don't need to go into further detail I am sure.
Anyway, as I was cutting the t-shirts up I ended up with some smaller squares and rectangles. These I doubled up and then took them to the serger machine. I serged around the edges and folded them up nicely and put them on a basket on the back of my toilet. Oh my you say, where is she going with this one. Ha ha. Just wait. I ordered a bidet sprayer from Amazon and Hannah installed it on the water line going in to my toilet. Its clean water, people. I began using the sprayer for number one and then patting dry with the serged pieces of t-shirt fabric. That way I know which goes for which end. So, now I use a ton less toilet paper. I still use it for number two of course. I keep a bucket beside by toilet and toss the fabric there after I use it. Then just toss into my wash when I do laundry. Its no different than washing a towel after all. I have rinsed off and patted dry. There is no smell and I feel so much cleaner.
For a couple of years we have been using fabric napkins so I almost forgot to mention them. I just cut squares of pretty cotton, stitched, turned and top stitched them. We have a small basket in the kitchen where we toss the dirty dish cloths, napkins and dish towels. I toss them in when I am washing towels.
A few weeks ago Hannah suggested we should try to cut down on our paper towel usage. Yeah. I am for that. After all we have several dish towels. I will continue to keep paper towels on the counter for times when disposable is better but we sure have cut down on using the paper towels.
Using less disposable items means less trash and less paper in the sewer. All good things. But most important may be the savings. After all, they all cost money. A penny saved is a penny earned.
Here is a list of paper disposable a person can almost eliminate if they choose to do so.
1. paper towels
2. paper plates
3. paper napkins
4. disposable cups and glasses
5. disposable silverware
6. toilet paper (or most of it)
8. sanitary pads
9. what else can be done away with????
What kinds of things have you quit using or never started using that help your family save money?