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One Small Change March March 1, 2010

I have been so excited to share with you all our many small changes we’ve made for March!  We have been guilty of being huge paper hogs around here…but not anymore…we are now a paper conserving family!

I started in the kitchen with cloth napkins (we would actually use paper towels ~ ick!) that I am embarrassed to say we already had.  We moved into our house about 3 1/2 years ago…a big move from the West Coast to the East…and I knew we had some packed in a box in the attic somewhere (from many years and several moves ago)…and unbeknownst to me (I thought we had maybe a dozen, ha ha) we had 36 napkins up there!!  When R. was a toddler I picked up a morning shift once a week at a very posh Italian linen store (my good friend was a manager there), so I could send her to playschool with her friends for a few hours, and let’s say I spent way more than I made, ha ha (the discount was 40% off wholesale ~ how could I not???)  I can’t believe I bought so many beautiful linens and stopped using them…and even worse, forgot about them!

Next I had to defeat the paper towel hogs, mainly D. and R., so I bought an inexpensive set of kitchen dishcloths and put them in a basket near the sink.  Mind you I bought these to clean up yucky messes, but I still kept finding paper towels wadded up everywhere, arghhh!  D. said, “Well I didn’t want to get goop all over your new cloths and I keep forgetting we have them.”  So I stacked them on top of the paper towels (so not aesthetically pleasing, I know!) so no one would forget, and reassured them that they could get them as messy as they would like.  (We are still keeping the paper towels for the really yucky stuff like when the dog gets an upset stomach, etc.)

In the the little girls room (aka the bathroom) where we have put a stack of family cloths (well for me and R. anyways…for just the clean stuff)) and a lidded trash can w/ a removable insert to dispose of them till I get them washed.  Our little family of three was going through an entire roll of tp a day (and I can’t blame that one on D.!)  I got these organic hemp/cotton terry “handy hemps” family cloths from the Etsy shop Country Life Naturals (here).  They are so soft and so cute ~ we love them!  I actually ordered just one set to try and then went and ordered another 4 sets!  I figure that within 3 months of using them they will have paid for themselves.

And finally, I am sorry to say that I have gathered all of the stuff to make several of the “Women’s Cloth” from Amanda Soule’s (SouleMama’s) Handmade Home but haven’t actually gotten around to sewing them.  I’ve gathered some organic cotton prints (from Modern Organic Fabrics here) for the underside, and some organic bamboo velour and hemp/organic cotton fleece for the linings (from Nappy Shoppe here).

We have also stopped buying tissues, we are exclusively using the flannel hankies I made up last month, and we haven’t had any red noses around here because they are so soft!

I am sorry to see this One Small Change challenge come to an end.  I am so indebted to Hip Mountain Mama (see her great blog here) for inspiring us to make these changes…we are indeed much improved by them!  I know that my family and I will continue making small changes to help the environment (and our pocket books!) wherever we can.  We have plans to plant a larger garden this spring, to start a compost pile, to build a coop and get chickens, and to remember to bring our reusable bags to the grocery store!

Happy “greening”,



2 Responses to “One Small Change March”

  1. I love all your cloth! This is such a huge change and I applaud your efforts! And, you know, One Small Change does not have to end…we may just have to extend it as a year round challenge??
    So glad you are participating!!

  2. mamaTAVE Says:

    My small change for March is also to reduce my family’s paper towel habit. We used them for dinner napkins, too! I also had a huge stash of cloth napkins that were just tucked away out of memory. They are out in a basket by the dining table, and my daughter knows setting out cloth napkins is part of her new setting the table job. Just using napkins has reduced the paper towel consumption by sooo much.
    Now, I’m working on acquiring (many) more cleaning rags to have conspicuously stashed around the house…

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