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Getting rid of all single-use/disposables, but...

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
We've been moving toward less waste and more reusing in our house lately, but there are just some things I'm having trouble with.

I can't get rid of tissues for nose wiping! It's so silly. I know I should just go out and buy some handkerchiefs, but I can't. Someone help me get over this! And should I use real hankies, or just get some fabric scraps first? And what's the softest fabric to use on sensitive noses during cold season?

Still use dental floss -- I'm guessing no one has a reusable version out there. It drives me nuts to throw it away EVERY DAY, but really, how would you clean a reusable version? Does anyone do this? It's as much about the floss as the non-recyclable container that sits around for a few weeks and gets tossed...

Q-tips -- any alternatives?
post #2 of 38
only tissues i can help with in my house what gets used most is the fleece it is soooooo soft. oh so cute designs, easy to care for, easy to clean, super cheap and easy to make no sewing. they get folded (most times just put in with no folding) and put in a wooden or wicker basket.
post #3 of 38
I like old flannel for nose-wiping - cut up an old pair of pajama pants, then sew or serger the edges (I did not do that and now all the stray threads end up in a big tangle in the washer).

I don't have an alternative for floss, but I do buy the largest container so at least it last longer before throwing out.

I would like an alternative to plastic toothbrushes...anyone? Even if it has to be disposable, there's the health/safety issue - especially for DS who really likes to chew on his toothbrush.
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
I like old flannel for nose-wiping - cut up an old pair of pajama pants, then sew or serger the edges (I did not do that and now all the stray threads end up in a big tangle in the washer).

I don't have an alternative for floss, but I do buy the largest container so at least it last longer before throwing out.

I would like an alternative to plastic toothbrushes...anyone? Even if it has to be disposable, there's the health/safety issue - especially for DS who really likes to chew on his toothbrush.
i have seen ones made of wood (dont ask where).
we use the eletric ones with replaceable tips atleast it is less waste and i find they get chewed less so they last longer.
post #5 of 38
I love EcoDent floss. It comes in a cardboard box that can be recycled, instead of plastic, and the floss is super cheap, and several regular boxes combined.
post #6 of 38
our coop has toothbrushes where the head pops out and you put a new one in. they make kid ones, too. The brand is Eco Dent. I think there might be a coupla different companies that make these. The heads seem pretty secure, but if you have a kid who still chews a lot, I might wait a little longer. I'd get a color you really like if you go this route, though.

Yeah, the floss gets me too - why can't Tom's of Maine make a refill spool to go in the old box?!?!?:

I found some lovely new vintage hankies at the thrift store. I bet cut-up T-shirts would also work well, too - they don't fray too much, and are soft. And whose kid doesn't have a favorite T-shirt that they've outgrown but don't want to part with? Ala Henkes' "Owen".
post #7 of 38
I use hemp jersey in my business, so I always have small pieces leftover. I cut these pieces in to squares or rectangles and use them. No need to hem or anything. They don't ravel. I keep a basket full of them on the table. They can be used for cleaning, napkins, noses or whatever they are needed for. I was using them to wash dishes with until I started knitting my own washcloths.

Kathi
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
EcoDent... I'll have to look for that. And it looks like the flannel jammies I'm wearing will soon be nose wipes, since the elastic waist is shot and I can't keep 'em up!
Thanks, everyone!
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
I would like an alternative to plastic toothbrushes...anyone? Even if it has to be disposable, there's the health/safety issue - especially for DS who really likes to chew on his toothbrush.
Wood handle with boar bristles. The combo is not easy to find... I can find boar bristles with a plastic handle or plastic bristles with a wood handle easier. I don't know anything about this company, but a google for "wood handle toothbrush" turned it up.

As for hankies, I switched us over by just stopping buying tissues one day. We went to buy DH a suit for my grandfather's funeral and they had a pack of hankies there, which I thought would be a good idea for the occasion. We've been tissue free ever since.

Really any plain cotton or natural fiber. You want one that if it's colored is dyed rather than painted (front looks the same as the back), since the paint makes the fabric stiff. Muslin works nicely if you pink or serge the edges. So does a nice thick flannel.
post #10 of 38
The best for nose wiping, hands down, is bamboo velour. BETTER than actual tissues. I am a WAHM with a sewing business and I am working on sourcing a tissue box, because I've been making bamboo velour tissues.

There is also a company that you can send your old toothbrushes to that recycles them into plastic "wood" - http://www.recycline.com/toothbrush.html
post #11 of 38
I'm very happy with the cotton hankies from Dharma Trading Company. I now can't stand using tissues- it's so annoying when I'm sick and behind on laundry AND using more hankies than usual when I can't find a clean one anywhere.

I'm not too worried about my dental floss use. I mean, the total amount of floss used daily is REALLY tiny- I can't see it being practical to buy sturdy cotton thread and wash it out after each use, although that is an option. I'm equally unconcerned about the toothbrushes- even with replacing every 3 months, that makes 12 toothbrushes a year for my family, plus a year's supply of dental floss and empty dental floss containers, that wouldn't even fill up a single plastic grocery bag of trash. Assorted other packaging (try as I do to avoid it) comes to way more than that. The tissues, however, can really add up.

There are even families who use cloth in place of toilet paper! (We're not one of them, although I wouldn't be uncomfortable using cloth at somebody else's house if they had it.)
post #12 of 38
i started using cloth kercheifs and will never go back to paper. our nose never gets red anymore or raw. the kids love them. just do it!!
post #13 of 38
I use the same cloth wipes for nose wiping that were originally purchased for baby bottoms ... I have an enormous quantity in lots of different fabrics. I'll be doing family cloth soon - since we're about to have a baby in diapers again, it's a logical time to do it. I think I'll be dividing my wipes stash into "face-worthy" and "butt-worthy" ... thinking about dying the latter purple or blue or something.
post #14 of 38
Cloth diapers are the best nose wipers on earth.

post #15 of 38
I bought 2 shirts, one pink and one blue, at the thrift store. They were a really soft, fine linen. For $2 I made 8 linen hankies out of them. Now not everyone needs linen hankies, but I loved the feel and they wash and wear great. Also I can take them out with me and they don't look as gross as something I'd use at home like old t-shirt squares.

But you can buy birdseye (diaper fabric) at the fabric store and make diapers, cloth tp, hankies, counter wipes, dishtowels, etc. from one type of fabric and it can all be bleached since it's white (or bleach alternatives). Joann fabrics always has these 40% or 50% off coupons and then the birdseye is about $3 a yard I think.
post #16 of 38
Four out of five members of this family have colds. I'd have to have a very large stash of hankerchiefs to get through one day! For normal days I have about 6 cotton hanky's which just I use. I was raised with real hanky's where as my husband wasn't so getting him to make the switch would be traumatic.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysByMySide View Post
The best for nose wiping, hands down, is bamboo velour. BETTER than actual tissues. I am a WAHM with a sewing business and I am working on sourcing a tissue box, because I've been making bamboo velour tissues.

There is also a company that you can send your old toothbrushes to that recycles them into plastic "wood" - http://www.recycline.com/toothbrush.html
Cool Website! Thanks for sharing! I bookmarked for next time I need to buy brushes!
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillymum View Post
Four out of five members of this family have colds. I'd have to have a very large stash of hankerchiefs to get through one day! For normal days I have about 6 cotton hanky's which just I use. I was raised with real hanky's where as my husband wasn't so getting him to make the switch would be traumatic.
My dh wasn't really into cloth for anything until we did cloth nappies, then a mooncup (me not him obviously!) then EC and some cloth TP....hankies were a no brainer from there really!

In the beginning I sewed him three of his own from a 100% cotton vintage pillowcase and he loved them. Now that he has been 'run in' he will wipe his nose on any old serged square of old nappy or t-shirt he can find in the hankie drawer

I serged the ones for noses and faces to distinguish them from any other cloths.
post #19 of 38
post #20 of 38
I don't like real handkercheifs. I do like flannel and cotton velor or bamboo velor. The velors don't stay silky soft, but they are absorbent. Flannel pills, so if you don't like that, you need to be careful about the quality. The flannel, CV, or BV are all so much more absorbent than disposable tissues.

For normal use, I'm not so picky, but when I'm sick and my nose is at risk for getting chafed, I'm very picky. Then, the only thing that I want to use is minky. It's not really absorbent, but it is so soft. It's so much better than real tissue on a sensitive nose.
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