With all the craziness going on around the world right now because of the coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to offer a few helpful suggestions to those of us who are currently scrambling after mass panic caused stores everywhere to have a shortage of a lot of things – namely, toilet paper.
If you’re one of many who didn’t manage to stockpile all the necessities before they sold out, there are reusable alternatives.
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But there doesn’t have to be a major world crisis for these products to be useful and to find a place in your home!
Whether you want to save money, help the environment, or just like to be prepared for times when you might need to stay home for extended periods, here are 4 things you probably have in your house right now that you can totally replace with reusable versions!
Let’s start with the obvious – we all need toilet paper. But some of us weren’t quick enough to get it before it was gone.
The good news is it will be restocked soon (we hope). In the meantime, try using cloth wipes.
Let’s be real for a hot minute here. I know there are PLENTY of you who are already shaking your head hard and adamantly refusing to even accept this as a viable option.
But come on people, there’s a toilet paper shortage here!! I’m not making any judgements, but we all need the stuff and some of us ain’t got it. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
In all reality though, it’s really not as gross as it sounds. Honestly, I promise!
We’ve used cloth diapers for 3 years now with 2 kiddos. And along with that, we’ve used cloth wipes for them, too. Now, we haven’t used them on ourselves….yet. But I’m not above doing so.
First of all, a cloth wipe is likely to get you much cleaner than toilet paper anyway. Secondly, cloth wipes won’t clog up your toilet (because you’re not flushing them. Dear Lord, do not flush cloth wipes…). Also, you’re gonna save a ton of money over the long haul.
Plus, the next time people are fighting over the last pack of toilet paper and stores start limiting you to one package per family, you’ll be relaxing at home unbothered by all the chaos.
Check out these options:
- Thirsties Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Wipes
- OsoCozy Organic Flannel Baby Wipes
- Charlie Banana Organic Cotton Wipes
Another thing selling out faster than stores can restock is paper towels. While this may not be as urgent of a need as toilet paper, people will likely be using more of them as we all wash our hands a lot more frequently than normal.
If you’re looking for a more sustainable (and cost effective) way to clean and dry your hands and your home, try using good ol’ fashion washcloths and towels.
But if you’d like to get fancy, you can also snag up some un-paper towels (which will last as long as any other washcloth would) or bamboo towels which are reusable for several times before you just toss them!
Yep, I know. You’re all thinking how absolutely gross this seems.
But the truth is, I made the switch a few months ago and it’s so much easier and better than you would think!!
For one, you never have to worry about running out. Also, no more uncomfortable plastic or chemicals against your sensitive skin.
Cloth sanitary pads are so much more comfortable than the alternative.
And if you prefer tampons over pads, you could always try out a menstrual cup. That’s not something I’ve tried yet, but I’ve heard they are amazing! (Though perhaps with a bit of a learning curve).
All you need to make cloth pads work are the pads themselves and a small wet bag. Throw the dirty ones in the wet bag (I keep mine hanging on the bathroom closet door) and then wash them as frequently as you want. We usually wash cloth diapers and pads all together twice a week.
Many cloth pads can also be used as incontinence pads, if that’s something you (or a loved one) needs.
Here are some options to try out!
And speaking of bathroom necessities – many of us still have little ones in diapers. Yet, this is another thing that seems to be running low in some places.
A great alternative to disposable diapers is using cloth! Even if you just use cloth part time, you can save loads of money and make your disposables last longer.
Some of the benefits of cloth include a reduced risk of diaper rash (when used and cleaned properly), less waste, saving money, easier potty training, and plus they’re really stinkin cute!
There are tons of different types of cloth diapers out there. From the flats with pins like what our grandparents (or great grandparents) used to modern all-in-ones with velcro closures almost identical to disposables (making the switch seem a lot easier).
Washing isn’t really super complicated either. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and your diapers will last for a very long time! (Our’s have gone through 2 kids so far and are still mostly like new).
Here are some of my faves.
In all seriousness, though, while this coronavirus pandemic will eventually end, and all the shortages along with it, making the switch to reusable products has tons of benefits (aside from not fearing a shortage).
Although you’ll most likely pay more upfront to get the products you need, over the long haul you’ll save a fortune by switching out your disposable products for their reusable counterparts.
Choosing reusable will also reduce the amount of waste your family produces and, therefore, contribute to a healthier environment. It can be a daunting change to make, but once you do, I think you won’t regret it!