Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2009 – checking in

Hey there party people! Oops. Wrong crowd. πŸ˜‰ I mean, hey there my fellow Ditch the Disposables Challenge participants! πŸ™‚

How are you all doing with the challenge now that we are nearing the halfway mark? Who’s got some great successes to share? Anyone have any amazing tips? Anyone run into any problems?

I got a little crazy the other week and signed up to participate in Crunchy Chicken’s Cloth Wipe Challenge (for #1 only). I figured if I suggest using cloth in my challenge, I should probably at least give it a try myself. I only did it about 50% of the time, but was honestly surprised how soft the cloth was. I will likely continue to use it on a part-time basis. Anybody else give cloth TP a try?

Stay tuned for more giveaways to help you with this challenge from GlassDharma straws, the DivaCup, and LunaPads! πŸ™‚

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18 thoughts on “Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2009 – checking in”

  1. What a great idea for a challenge! I am a full time clothy of an 18 month old baby and a three year old (although he’s toilet training, so not in nappies in the day so much). Once you get into a habit, it’s surprisingly easy.

  2. I’m doing pretty well, just two problems/setbacks.

    Not totally related to this challenge, but my fridge broke yesterday and started spewing hot air – the day after I went to the grocery store and stocked up on yogurt, so I had to throw it all away. I just hate waste, and it killed me to get rid of so much food.

    Back to the challenge, I wanted to give up papertowels. But my dog has decided that if I leave him alone for too long, he’s going to poop on my hardwood floors. So I’m working with him, but still using paper towels to clean up the poop because I’m a baby and I can throw them away when I’m done.

    Aren’t you glad you asked? πŸ˜‰

  3. We got the wipes warmer and cloth wipes for the baby this week (baby still in utero as of right now), and I went ahead and plugged it in and put the cloth wipes in the warmer in our bathroom so we could try them out. I kept a diaper wet bag next to the toilet. I used them a few times, and also used them to remove eye makeup! I thought it was a neat idea.

    Only problem is that we only have one electrical outlet in our bathroom and the wipes warmer monopolizes it, meaning that I have to unplug the warmer to use my hair dryer or straightening iron…And, once the baby decides to come out, we will move it into the baby’s room. But I wanted to say that I do think it works nicely!!

    Still working on getting cloth napkins…I saw some at Target but they were white. I thought, I’d rather have them in color so that they won’t show stains as much.

  4. Hi,

    I’m back on the Diva – or trying to be, so I guess that’s a success πŸ™‚

    [warning: overshare below]

    I stopped using it while pregnant (d’uh!) and breastfeeding (double d’uh! with milk!), but afterwards found my Diva (already a size 2) didn’t work for me. Everything had stretched a bit – my daughter’s labour was a 3 day homebirth baby-round-the-wrong-way-toughie – and it just leaked and didn’t work for me. So it was back on the disposables.

    Two years on, and I’m dusted off the Diva (well, sterilised and scrubbed it), and am giving it another go, and it seems to be working just as well as it did prior to my daughter’s birth. Yay!

    Maybe Diva need to make a Size 3 – for mums whose bits have had a thorough bashing by their bubs! Hehe.

    Apart from that, we’ve tossed most of the disposables in our lives, and are slowly working towards 100% disposable disposal πŸ˜‰

    I consider this challenge to be an ongoing one, until I get to 100% success. Which is what it is all about really, isn’t it!

  5. Er, not so well. I have yet to actually get/make hankies! I keep kicking myself to get on the ball, though and I think this week I’m really going to step it up. Thanks for the check-in!!

  6. Didn’t get around to signing up for the challenge as I have a new baby (sept. 8), but I wanted to chime in on the cloth. About a year ago we bought 3 big bags of recycled flannel scraps from Goodwill for $1 each. I cut them up and we’ve been using them to wipe everything from noses to bums. My youngest daughter (2.5) likes them so well she complains when we’re out and she has to wipe with paper. I much prefer the cloth too. For bleeding (post-partum here), I use custom made hemp and bamboo pads from a lady in Vancouver and a couple from knickernappies too. They’re great.
    Since we use cloth diapers too, I just throw all the cloth in together to wash with soap nuts.

  7. We are doing well going back to cloth diaper wipes. It was only a matter of actually using them. Worked well that the challenge was posted right as I made our monthly shopping list so I just didn’t buy disposable wipes. lol Hubby prefers cloth for cleaning the little ones and I had no choice but to use the cloth. Feels nice using them again as they were just sitting here unused.

    Anyone looking for cloth napkins (or most items actually) try http://www.hyenacart.com or http://www.etsy.com a lot of sellers out there. You could probably even get something custom made you’ll really enjoy using and setting on your table. πŸ™‚

  8. I decided I would switch to a diva cup instead of tampons and I love it! I was pleasantly surprised with how easy and hygienic it was to use, and so much more comfortable than tampons ever were.

    Thanks for the challenge!

  9. I didn’t officially join in on this challenge, but we’ve been doing quite a bit on this line ourselves. We’ve cut down on paper towel use, but still find it easier and more convenient for cleaning up the truly nasty pet messes(I’m getting better at grabbing a cloth towel for simple urine clean up though, yay me). And my hubby surprised me this week. After humoring me and trying to use cloth napkins for a couple of weeks, he’s now actually requesting I make some more from my scrap fabrics pile so we can stop using paper napkins all together!!!

  10. I didn’t officially join the challenge either, but have been trying to make some serious changes to ditch disposable anytime I can. I even hosted a baby shower that had nothing disposable. That was great!

  11. I’ve been using a gold filter to make morning coffee. No more coffee filters for me! I toss the grounds directly in my flower beds when I’m done.

    It’s getting cooler in the evenings and I’m starting to drink more hot tea. I use mint leaves dried from my herb garden in a metal teaball. for pots of tea, I’ve been tossing the herbs in loose and putting a strainer over my mug to catch the leaves before they fall into my cup with the tea.

  12. Just found out about your challenge. We’re doing something similar in our Indian cultural school that meets every other Sunday at a local elementary school. About 4 families volunteer to cook lunch by rotation and we have anywhere from 60 to 90 adults and children attending. Families are encouraged to bring their own non-disposable plates, spoons and cups. If anyone forgets, they can buy a set of 4 for $5. You will be surprised how many families started bringing their own plates once they found out there was a charge for what used to be free plates! I usually carry an extra plate, spoon and cup for anyone who might need one.

  13. No new plastic baggies used, no straws and no paper napkins when out. πŸ™‚

    As far as cloth wipes I will try when we have more than one bathroom. πŸ™‚

  14. One thing I did accomplish so far is make some reusable swiffer pads! I already was refilling the solution myself with vinegar, water, and essential oil. The washable pads were so easy I can’t believe I hadn’t done it earlier. We had been using the disposable ones because we had them under the sink still (for years πŸ™‚

    We already do a lot of things – cloth diapers, cloth wipes, cloth napkins, unpaper towels (except for cat puke – sorry, I just can’t do it). I would really like to finish the challenge by making enough cloth handkerchiefs to use them on a regular basis. It’s on the to-do list!

  15. It’s been going pretty great around here! I made hankies (something I never thought I’d use), clothe snack bags for thins like pretzels & crackers for the boys to take to school and I even switched to reusable feminine pads (something I really, really thought I’d never do).

    I’ve gotten many comments about using clothe wipes for #1 but I’m just not ready for that yet. I guess it gives me something to strive for during the second half of the challenge!

    My 5 yr old still has trouble staying dry at night sometimes and I’ve been torn between using the disposables we already have or just not putting anything on him at night & hoping for the best. Hoping for the best hasn’t been going to well so I plan on going online and seeing if I can find overnight cloth diapers & covers.

    I’ve been doing my own low-waste challenge on my blog and it ends tomorrow, I’m so glad I found your challenge to help get me on the path of being more conscious and less wasteful.

  16. We’ve been doing good, I always use cloth TP and cloth diapers and wipes. We don’t use paper towels or napkins. I did however buy one thing diposable *blush* a Thanksgiving themed table cloth. I am, however going to either re-use it or recycle it..we’ll see how it survives dinner!! I also got to use one more thing non-disposable…my diva cup (blech!) the ol’hag has not reared her head since Feb.06…YUCK!! Anywho, now that I’ve shared WAYYYYY TMI…
    Thanks for doing this for all of us!!

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