Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2009

Ever since this first post, I really wanted to participate in Crunchy Domestic Goddess’ Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2009. However, right now it is really difficult since I am trying to save money and I am on bed rest and can’t do any shopping, both due to the pregnancy. I really would like to win one of her giveaways to help me out in my efforts. Here is the Challenge and where I stand as we currently are:

You can make the switch from:

  • Paper napkins to cloth napkins
  • Paper towels to cloth towels or something like Skoy cloths
  • Tissues to handkerchiefs
  • Paper, plastic or Styrofoam plates to your kitchen plates
  • Disposable utensils to regular silverware We have always done this. This is what the dishwasher is for
  • If you order food “to go” or have food to take home from a restaurant, bring your own container rather than accepting Styrofoam or plastic. I am confused about this one, because what are we supposed to do, carry around containers in our cars at all times? And from working in a restaurant I also know there are laws that prevent restaurants from bringing in certain things from outside into the kitchen…
  • Inexpensive plastic “Take & Toss” sippy cups to Thermos or Camelbak bottles or the Klean Kanteen We don’t have kids yet so I think this is a given, but it actually never occurred to me to use disposable cups for the child. I have never seen anyone use these. It seems like it would be more trouble than it’s worth – you have a diaper bag with you anyway, presumably, so why would it matter if you have a disposable or a regular cup in there? They’d both take up the same amount of room, right?
  • Disposable water bottles to (again) reusable bottles like Thermos, Klean Kanteen or Camelbak I believe I wrote briefly about how we already do this and the issues with BPA I encountered recently
  • Plastic sandwich bags or paper lunch bags to reusable containers/bags I mentioned I wanted to do this but failed to blog about how I did. I got some great little cloth sandwich bags from ReusableBags.com
  • Plastic straws to glass or stainless steel straws. I would really like to do this one. But, $15 for 4 straws?! Really, Amazon?? And they aren’t even long enough to fit in my 32 oz. water bottle.
  • Swiffers (or similar products) to a broom and dustpan or mop (or use reusable cloths like cloth diapers/terry inserts in your Swiffer). Also wrote a blog post about using microfiber cloths in my Swiffer. This is still working great.
  • Disposable dust rags to cloth rags
  • Disposable diapers to cloth diapers Well, the baby has to be born first, but I am ready with my supply of BumGenius Organic All-in-Ones!
  • Disposable wipes to cloth wipes (inexpensive plain washcloths work really well) Again, baby isn’t born yet but I have a supply of cloth wipes all ready to go and I blogged about how I am planning on doing cloth wipes on our family blog.
  • Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables like DivaCup, MoonCup, Glad Rags, Luna Pads, Pretty Pads, or New Moon Pads, among others. You can even make your own pads. I would really like to do this. I was going to start this about 9 months ago, but then I got pregnant. Hopefully I can start once things settle out in that area, if you know what I mean.
  • Grocery store bags to reusable bags. We have been doing this for 2-3 years. I can tell you all kinds of stories about how it completely blows the minds of the grocery store employees, even after 2-3 years.
  • Disposable wrapping paper or gift bags to reusable cloth gift bags. I am just starting this, and it is sporadic. I have given 2 gifts (both to children) so far using reusable bags. One mom is still using the bag I gave her for a lunch bag for the child! And we also did this for my eco-friendly baby shower, it was great not to have the waste!
  • Single-use batteries to rechargeable batteries. We have been doing this for a while also. We are slowly building up our stash when the batteries go on sale and we have coupons. Otherwise they are just too expensive.

So, which of these to commit to? I would really like to try the cloth napkins, because that is actually also a step toward reducing paper towel usage – we use paper towels at meals right now. The only issue I have is that I don’t have any cloth napkins. This stupid bed rest really puts a damper on things, since I can’t go to the store and buy things, and I am not allowed “up” long enough to be able to sew from fabric I already have.

I would very much like to win today’s giveaway for Skoy cloths because I do feel bad about how many paper towels we currently use, even though they are made from 100% recycled materials, and I do supplement them with Twist sponge cloths. Everything is just so expensive, when we are also buying baby things like cloth diapers and cloth wipes.

I would also like to win the Diva Cup and permanent straw giveaways. I will be keeping my eyes open for those! Will you take the challenge?

3 thoughts on “Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2009

  1. Vanessa says:

    I would take the challenge on many of these items and have eliminated many already. I still want to try the Diva cup but am a bit nervous about it somehow leaking.

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