This going green journey has been and continues to be a step by step process. Some days I feel like I still have so far to go. But when I sit back and look, I realize we have taken several steps in saving the environment and saving a little green in our wallet as well. These are just a few ways we're saving money by not using disposables:
Dish clothes and microfiber clothes--For the most part, I use microfiber and other clothes in my kitchen and cleaning. They last a long time and are easily washed with the rest of our laundry.
Paper towels--I can't remember the last time I bought paper towels. We keep lots of hand towels hanging in our kitchen and bathroom and make sure to rotate and wash them frequently. I love the feeling of cloth and don't get the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I throw away a paper towel. For cleaning, I use my microfiber clothes.
Paper plates--Paper plates are easily converted to the dishes many of us already have in our cupboards. The one exception for us is birthday parties. Otherwise, we use our nice dishes day in and day out.
Napkins--For the most part, we don't use paper napkins either unless we have a few left over from birthdays. We are slowly building a cloth napkin stash. If you don't currently have the money to invest in nice napkins, consider cutting your own from material as you build your inventory.
Diapers--We have since switched to cloth diapering with our third child and realize that it saves us a ton of money. The initial investment can be steep so check out your local craigslist site and sites like babysteals.com and babyhalfoff.com
Nursing pads--Initially these didn't work for me, but as my supply leveled out, I was able to use them. They're soft and still reasonably thin. And saved us a ton of money.
Changing mats--The changing mat that came with our diaper bag worked great in public places. It was easily cleaned and always with me when I needed it.
Things I'd like to switch over, but haven't:
Baby wipes--Homemade baby wipes can be really inexpensive. I've heard of several moms who've used the thin baby washcloths and throw them in when washing diapers. Plus it's free of many unknown chemicals.
Sanitary napkins--I hear great things about Mama cloth and as I'm trying to use less and less tampons, I'd like to invest in some. With pads being a reoccurring cost every month, I can see how this would easily save us some money and less our exposure to harmful chemicals.
So those are just a couple of ideas to encourage us all.
How are you saving some green by using cloth?