Chronicles of a Tree-Hugger’s Life: Switch to Cloth for Dining, Cleaning, and Baby Care

– by Laura Mauney

Ever heard of a handkerchief?

Before mass production of paper and plastic, people used good old fashioned cloth for all manner of purposes. When the cloth got dirty, it went into the wash, then onto the clothesline to dry in the sun.

Cloth feels better on the skin. Finer fabrics, made of cotton, bamboo, linen and microfiber, are the softest and most absorbent.

Though cloth will cost more up front, big savings will occur over time for the simple reason that repeat purchases of paper goods and other disposable items adds up to far more spending in the end.

Here are some suggestions for replacing paper and other disposables with cloth:

Clean with cotton, wool or microfiber mops, dusters, and rags.

Replace paper knapkins and kitchen hand towels with cloth.

Use cloth diapers.

Organizing childcare around cloth diapers is difficult, and as a Mom with grown kids, I hold no bragging rights in that department. However, I retrospectively recommend the time and effort.

For parents whose lifestyles are too busy to allow time for cleaning cloth diapers at home, cloth diaper delivery services are available. Check your local listings on Yelp, Bing, Yahoo or Google to find diaper services in your area. Companies that offer “organic” cotton and cleaning methods are recommended, of course.

Cloth diapers managed at home can save a family hundreds of dollars each year, and are healthier for babies.

If cloth is not to be found at local baby stores, many online stores offer cloth diapers at reasonable prices.

Procedures for solid waste disposal and washing are also readily available online. Here is a helpful video from that explains the process:

“The Scoop on Poop–Cleaning Cloth Diapers. . .Easier Than You Think!” from

Bonus baby tip: As baby grows into toddlerhood, continue saving trees by trading paper plates and juice boxes for BPA free dishware and thermos style containers.

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About Laura Mauney

Laura Mauney is a writer who thinks she is a photographer. Professionally, she specializes in online marketing, and creating, organizing and managing creative assets and user-friendly information for websites. She is also a mother. Her photo blogs include Flowers in Urbia and Trees in Urbia.

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