Disposable products like menstrual pads, toilet paper, and Kleenex cost both the environment and your wallet! Did you know that your average American uses 50 lbs of toilet paper a year? Why not try going green with reusable toilet paper, reusable menstrual pads, and handkerchiefs?
I remember my grandfather with his handkerchief. I remember it, even though I was very young, because it struck me as peculiar and yet completely natural. He always had it, in his back pants pocket, and used it when the Wisconsin winters got the better of him. He acted like this was normal. In his mind, I am sure it was. As a child, I took his nonchalance as a signal to not comment. However, I remember wondering to myself… what does he do when it gets dirty?
What does one do with reusable products when they get dirty? This question seems to be the biggest barrier in switching from disposable products, such as tampons, toilet paper, and menstrual pads, to reusable substitutes. The idea of not having all one’s waste magically vanish into the trash or toilet is somehow completely gross and unsanitary.
I should know. When Jesse proposed reusable toilet paper over a year ago I balked. I knew it was green. I knew it made sense. I just couldn’t get over it. It took the food/toiletries budget to propel me into the reusable product sphere. Since moving to downtown Portland, things can be just a tad more expensive. $50 per week is tough, and the average of $3 per week in toilet paper and $7 a month in menstrual products was cutting into my produce budget. I ventured into reusable menstrual products first, the trendy Thinx helping me break into green reusable products.
The next step was reusable toilet paper (called family cloth apparently) and handkerchiefs through Jo-Ann fabrics clearance small cuts section. I selected soft yet durable fabric because… well, come on. You want soft durable things for both your nose and hiney! A reusable week’s supply of both cost me about $15. Then, there was nothing to it but to do it!
The results surprised me.
Reusable products are so easy! In regards to reusable menstrual pads, Thinx are great, but there are so many other products out there that are even better. My current favorite, moonpads, are made right here in Portland! (Thinx actually would not tell me what the salary of their foreign workers is, which struck me as very suspicious) I prefer moonpads over thinx too, because you don’t need to take your pants off in order to change them, and they last longer than Thinx! The only additional step is remembering to bring a bag with me in my purse for the used pads. Then when I get home, it’s into a bucket of water they go to soak, and then washing machine 24 hours later.
In regards to the reusable toilet paper, you just have to remember not to drop the wipes in the toilet. The dirty ones go into one bin, the clean in another, and when you wash them you wash on the hot setting which kills all the germs. Parents will find this easy. It is just like cloth diapers or when a kid pees their pants. The washing machine takes care of all the dirty work. If you are still feeling squeamish, try buying pre-made and cool looking family cloth on etsy. You have to admit, just like the moonpads, when something looks cute you are more likely to use it. Furthermore, when you spend money on something you know you are committed!
Finally, the handkerchiefs! I spent a little time hemming them, to make them look nice, but you can buy some super awesome ones on etsy for under $20. These, I just fold and leave in my purse or backpack, or around the house stacked and neat, and I go through 1 about every 2 days. The dirty handkerchiefs just get tossed into the washing machine with everything else.
Still need more convincing? Here are a few good sites that may help you make the switch!
This Week in Updates: Wagged Out
So I am tired, and have not had an off day in over two weeks. That doesn’t seem like a terrible thing, until you add in that in order to wag (the dog walking app I have been using to make money) I have to do 20 plus mile bike rides and upwards of 2 hours walking. Yes, I biked in Sacramento, but I did not do more than 3 days in a row and there are HILLS here. My first week involved a walk every day in Hillsdale which was not called Hillsdale because it it flat.
Did I mention I decided to head all of this stuff off with a killer leg day?
Thus, the lack of blogging for a bit. We are also still moving in, and my father is visiting come Friday night. Jesse and I have a little bit of a routine, and I have been by Sweet Pea twice for $5 second day pastry boxes. Hey, if I am burning all these calories, I might as well enjoy eating delicious things! I am looking forward to when my body considers this normal, because I do admit that I am probably eating more than I just just to propel myself through the day. This weekend should help, as I will actually have two days “off” to go to a wedding and wake up super early to then head up to Bend for mother’s day. I hope there will be time for nap time!
Thus, I have no idea what week this blog post is for, so no receipts this week. However, we will be on point next week, promise!
Note: If you want to help out, use my Wag code to get $25 in wag credits! It’s free walks for you, and $50 for me. Think of it as a wedding present.
Furthermore, Jesse and I went to Rudy’s pizza on moving day. To end the debate between Rudy’s and Virtuous Pie, they are both good, but different. We think Rudy’s is better for greasy cheat food, and Virtuous Pie is lighter and has ice cream! Note, the tomato bacon at Rudy’s is da bomb. Get the cheesy vegan bacon bread. You won’t regret it!
The Recipe: Lemon Curry Rice
When the rubber hits the road and your workouts are killing you, it's back to the basics. Carbs. Yummy carbs, and this rice is simple, great for your budget, and so crazy good! Eat it plain, with tofu, with beans, or like I did yesterday, with a glass of chocolate ripple. The rice will cost you $2, the lemon $1, and spices $1. That's $4 for 7 servings. You can't beat that!
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- pinch of hing
- 1/2 tablespoon curry powder or more to taste
- cayenne to taste
- juice of one lemon
- Put the oil in a saucepan and one mustard seed. Cover. When you hear a pop, the oil is hot enough to cook all the mustard seeds. Add the rest and cover, so that the popping mustard seeds do not fly everywhere.
- When the mustard seeds are done popping, add the hing and then the rice. Stir.
- Add the rest of the spices. Heat and taste as you go along.
- You're done. Enjoy!