This is a pretty personal topic for a lot of people…good thing I’m not one of them! But to be honest, this was one of the first steps I took in the direction of zero waste. But before I go into the topic of family cloth, I’d like to start off by saying that we are far from zero waste. We have a long way to go, but I am committed to continue working on this until I’m satisfied with the amount of waste we dump into the environment. At this point I don’t know what that will look like, but more importantly, I am always looking for new ways to continue lowering our contributions to the landfill.
So back to family cloth….this is when washable cloths are used in place of toilet paper. It’s basically reusable cloth TP. But hold on, before you exit this post completely appalled and disgusted, there is a process. The cloth is just for drying. After you do your business, you use a bidet (either handheld or installed) to wash your…. undercarriage (for lack of a better term lol). The water takes care of everything, leaving you sparkling clean! Then you grab a cloth and dry! I keep a basket of cloths next to the toilet that I cut from a large bath towel, but any terrycloth material would work. You can make them yourself, I surged the edges with my sewing machine, or you can order cloths online specifically for this job. I also keep a wet bag hanging close to the toilet for disposal. Once it is full I throw them into the washing machine with rags or other towels and then return them to the clean basket. (see below for links to all of these products)
We have two bathrooms in our house. The main bath and the ensuite. The experiment of family cloth started in the ensuite. I am in the process of converting the main bath over now but we will keep TP for guests. I can buy paper covered individual rolls at The Zero Waste Emporium in downtown Victoria, a really cool shop! Check it out if you live in Vic or you’re visiting. I digress…this all started because I would get home from Costco with my big $20 plastic wrapped TP haul and have to throw out so much one-time-use plastic because the individual rolls are wrapped in plastic and then the whole lot is wrapped in plastic and it’s just so much PLASTIC! It would fill half my kitchen garbage! Insane.
When I thought about trying this, I really didn’t know how much work it would be, how my family would respond or if we would even stick with it. That was the end of August 2018, almost exactly one year ago. My thoughts now?….I love it. I could never go back to toilet paper. To be honest, it grosses me out. I leave the bathroom totally clean now, like I had a mini shower. I’m so obsessed with my bidet that it comes with me when I visit family or go travelling. And the bonus? I have bought less than half the amount of TP this past year! I’m looking forward to almost never buying it and just having my spare plastic free rolls for guests! As for my kids, they love it, they understand the reasoning behind it and this gives it purpose for them. Big Daddy on the other hand has needed a little more encouragement, as a lot of husbands do who are married to women who like to constantly try new things around the house.
So there you have it! It may seem overwhelming but I encourage to try it in one bathroom…you might find you prefer it and at the end of the day, every piece of plastic kept from the landfill is a win! Here are a few links to some products I use and like! Thanks for reading and happy wiping!