Using Cloth Products To Reduce Household Waste


Welcome to the April edition of the Simply Living Blog CarnivalGoing Green cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about going green and environmentally friendly living. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.


I have not always been ‘green’.  When I first became a mama I used disposable diapers (& wipes), bottled water, and lots of paper towels.  Motherhood has certainly made me much more environmentally conscious.  When I became a mama I began to consider, really consider,  the world that my children (and their children) will be left with.   Becoming a mother made ‘going green’ a very important and natural process.

I have made many changes to reduce our families footprint.  We no longer buy bottled water, we use very little plastic, and we use cloth products instead of their disposable alternatives whenever possible.  My first green step was replacing disposable diapers with cloth, I also switched to cloth wipes.  Cloth diapering was not nearly as difficult as I imagined.   I was excited to keep making changes that would positively affect my family and our environment.

I discussed the changes that I wanted to make in our home with my mama.  On her next visit she gifted me with a wonderful batch on cloth napkins that she made for us.  Switching to cloth napkins drastically reduced our paper towel consumption and they are perfect for little hands to fold when helping with the laundry!

My awesome sewing mama also kept me stocked in cute cloth wipes.  During a diaper change one evening I decided that cloth wipes were not only for the baby.  I placed a basket full of cloth wipes on the back of each potty and a wet bag nearby.  We literally began using family cloth overnight.  We still have toilet paper for certain occasions and for guests.

I discovered  a really cute batch of froggie cloth wipes that I had never used and designated those as cloth tissues to use on noses and the occasional tear.  I was already accustomed to laundering diapers and wipes so switching to family cloth and cloth tissue was easy.

My most recent ‘green’ change in our home was totally eliminating paper towels.  We were only using maybe one roll per month but it was one roll more than we needed to be using.  I recycled all of our baby cloths (burp cloths, etc) into kitchen towels.  I keep a basket under the counter and grab them as needed.  Another super easy paperless transition.  I also  rediscovered how well newspaper cleans glass once I did not have a paper towel to use!

I know that the changes that we have made in our home will make a difference.  Our children are very aware of their  responsibility to our environment.  Instead of simply talking about going green we are attempting  to live it.   Using cloth products instead of their disposable alternatives was actually way easier than I thought and it has certainly saved a bunch of money, and a bit of space in a landfill.

Do you use cloth instead of paper?  Was it easy to make the change?




Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating eco-friendly living solutions into their everyday lives. We hope you will join us next month, as the Simply Living Blog Carnival focuses on Daily Lives!



  • Green Renovating: A Lot, A Little, Not So Much Laura at Authentic Parenting ponders about the many things that have an impact on eco-friendly renovating
  • Growing Native in My Flower Beds – Destany at They Are All of Me takes the guilt out of her flower habit by switching from high maintenance flowers to native plants which not only lessens her gardening load, but also benefits the local wild life.
  • Baby Steps – Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares how her family became more sustainable, one step at a time.
  • A Greener Holiday – Sara from Family Organic discusses the overwhelming amount of “stuff” that comes with every holiday and talks about how to simplify instead.
  • Forcibly Green–Obligatory Organic – Survivor at Surviving Mexico talks about her family’s evolution from passive to active green and sustainable living.
  • Giving It Away – Juliet Kemp of Twisting Vines writes about the role of Freecycle, the giant karmic lending library, in her simple and green living.
  • Simply Sustainable – Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses her family’s attempts to live in harmony with the earth by living simply and more sustainably.
  • How Does Your Yarden Grow – Alisha at Cinnamon&Sassafras writes about an ongoing permaculture project, converting her grass lawn into a mower-free paradise.
  • Green? – Is it about ticking the boxes? sustainablemum shares her thoughts on what being green means in her life.
  • Using Cloth Products To Reduce Household Waste – Angela from Earth Mama’s World shares how her family replaced many disposable household products with cloth to reduce their household waste.
  • Going Green in Baby Steps – Joella of Fine and Fair shares some small, easy steps to gradually reduce your environmental impact.
  • Are You Ready To Play Outside?! – Alex from AN Portraits writes about gardening, and playing in the dirt, and how it’s O.K. to get dirty, play in the dirt, play with worms, for both adults and kids.
  • Lavender and Tea Tree Oil Laundry Booster – At Natural Parents Network, Megan from The Boho Mama shares an all-natural way to freshen laundry.


15 thoughts on “Using Cloth Products To Reduce Household Waste

  1. The only paper product left in my house (aside from coffee filters and those get composted) is toilet paper. I want to make the switch but I haven’t yet made the financial investment (even though I know it will save money in the long run) in cloths. I know lots of people make their own but sewing is one thing I simply can NOT do. But now I think I’ll bite the bullet and order some. And a reusable coffee filter! Thanks for the post. It was the final nudge I needed!

  2. Wonderful! We have switched everything to cloth except our toilet paper and baby wipes. It was no problem getting my family to switch, it just made so much sense.
    I have a large (for me) stash of bandanas that we use for so many things including cloth napkins, hankies, and drying our clean hands. I’m very picky about not using them as rags. We also have nice cloth napkins that were made for us, and we use hand towels instead of paper towels. Last year at Thanksgiving, I got to thinking about the enormous food prep and clean up I was going to be doing, and so I bought a roll of paper towels to “help me out.” Except that I forgot I even had them, and realized two days later that they were missing somewhere inside the house. :p

    That is great that your mother is such a good help to you and supportive of your choice to forego paper!

  3. We also cloth diaper and use cloth wipes.. I am on the path to eliminating paper towels too! I’ve also made the commitment to no longer use ziplock baggies for lunches.. Sometimes they are needed for storing stuff in the fridge / freezer, but I do my best to wash and re-use those when I can.

  4. Juliet says:

    We mostly use rags and tea towels / napkins rather than paper towels. But I do still reach for the paper towels for super greasy/oily cleanup. Do you find that your kitchen cloths wash up ok even from oil?

    Maybe I should just experiment a bit more – we have stacks of tea towels!

    I use hankies rather than tissue but can’t convince the rest of the household yet…

  5. We don’t buy paper towels any more either. When I quit my job, it just seemed ridiculous to spend all that money on something that was meant to be thrown away–and cloth works so much better anyway. I cut up an old torn flannel nightgown and didn’t even hem it. We are still using those rags 2 1/2 years later (see: for my original story). They get laundered and stored with the dish towels.

    I also reuse my bread bags (once or twice)–and to think I used to laugh when my grandmother did this!

  6. dawn says:

    I make my own maxi pads as well. found a website with a circle pattern and altered it. i am allergic to plastic so you can imagine what a great blessing this was. I launder them by hand in the tub with soap and peroxide then with the toilet cloths. one of the best things ive ever done!

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