Living Green: Making the Switch to Cloth

When I first got out of college, I knew that I wanted to be a more environmentally conscious person, but I felt overwhelmed to think of where I was versus where I wanted to be. My husband and I started taking baby steps, and while we still have big dreams for eco-friendly living in the future, I am proud of how far we have come.

One of the small steps along the way occurred to me about two years ago. I have always struggled with seasonal allergies. Over the course of my life, I have probably already consumed far more than my fair share of Kleenex. I’m also the kind of person who never has any on hand! I don’t know what caused the light bulb to come on for me, but a couple of years ago it suddenly occurred to me that I could become a person who used handkerchiefs. Truly, it was a revelation.

I became a hankie person immediately. I remembered that my husband had gotten some handkerchiefs in his stocking the previous Christmas which he never used. So that was my starting place. While I was on a trip visiting home, my Grandma noticed me using a handkerchief and said, “Oh! I’ve been waiting for years to find someone to give these to,” and off she went to her bedroom. She emerged with a whole pile of very old, very lovely hankies. I love them. Recently she bought me a whole new stash of bright, patterned ones. I try to have a hankie with me at all times now—which has come in handy in my first year of motherhood, let me assure you!

After I made the switch to hankies, I realized how easy it would be to make the switch in the kitchen, too. I had my mom make me a bunch of cloth napkins, which we have been using pretty exclusively ever since.

Replacing paper towels altogether takes a little more planning, but it can be done. I highly recommend stocking up on microfiber cloths. They are highly absorbent, which is not something of which every kitchen towel or cloth napkin can boast.


There is neither time nor space here to talk about cloth toilet paper, but let me give you the heads-up:  It’s out there and there are people who have made the switch. Once you have put your baby in cloth diapers, it’s not such a stretch.

Wherever you’re at on the eco-friendly journey, there is a place for you on the switching-to-cloth spectrum. It is yet another example of how living green and thrifty living can come together.

Moms Living Thrifty Disclosure


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