Waste not-want not

It occurs to me (and has for a long time now) that we as Americans are spoiled babies.  I guess I couldn't make much of a broader statement, but it's pretty much true, for the most part.  Even me...and I've experienced some pretty "poor" living in my lifetime.  I've been growing more and more fed up with it as the opportunity for this Flats and Handwashing Challenge presented itself.  I look around our house and all I see is CLUTTER.  I promise you our house is far emptier than the average house!  I make dinner and I'm disgusted at all the plastic I throw away.  We take the trash to the curb and I'm flabbergasted that we have to pull all 3 cans out TWICE A WEEK! 

So, 2 days ago, as I was folding laundry, I came across a crib sheet that I've been itching to get rid of for months.  It's stained beyond belief and just yucky.  But with 2 in a crib-sized mattress and only 3 sheets between them, I'd been hanging on.  BUT! Someone was nice enough to get Violet some new crib sheets for her birthday and then the next day we found a set of BOYish sheets clearanced to 5.00 at WalMart.  'Hoorah!' I thought, as I wadded the freshly washed, (yet still awfully stained and dingy) fitted sheet and slam-dunked it into the waste basket.  But as I went about my task of folding the rest of the clothes I started to feel guilty about that sheet.  I promise you I wrestled internally for a few minutes between "man...that's quite a bit of fabric with life still in it" and "Tara, it is TRASH!  Good riddance!"  Finally I pulled it out of its grave and set it aside, wondering if I'd finally lost my mind.

Then it dawned on me that it was probably 100% cotton, which would make it a great candidate for a diaper.  I checked the tag and found my speculation to be true, so I set it on my school table so that I would be sure to cut it up later.  The next day I cut all the elastic out of it and held it up to admire my work.  Man...that thing was butchered.  I cannot draw or cut a straight line to save my life.  Despite that, my amazing hubby (who, incidentally CAN draw and cut straight lines VERY adeptly!) was able to help me salvage something worth while out of the old, nasty sheet.

Nasty sheet, butchered to hell and ready to be ironed

My amazing hubby, working his straight-line magic to make sure our flat is perfectly square

The finished product.  (No, I'm not any good at ironing, either, but I promise it was worlds better than it started!)

But there was still quite a bit of fabric left after we cut the biggest square for a flat we could get.  So I managed to make 9 cloth wipes and 2 washable liners.  I have to say about my cloth wipes, if I were to go back to disposable diapers for some strange reason, I would totally use cloth wipes forever.  They are so much cheaper, so much cleaner, they smell a bazillion times better and they clean up really nasty messes with only 1 or 2 wipes instead of half a box.  The best bonus is when my poor boy has a rash, (rarely since we switched to cloth, but they still happen from time to time) he doesn't scream like I'm ripping his skin off when I wipe him.  Another bonus, when little man potty-trains, I can use them around the house.  To purchase cloth wipes costs about 5.00/half dozen, so this was a significant salvage for me.  A flat is about 1.25, but this is much larger than usual flat, so I made out pretty good from this old sheet, I'd say!

The end result.  Success! 

So look out, house!  I'm going to be on the hunt for things I can upcycle.  Maybe next week we'll only take out 2 trash cans each trash day.

P.S.  Total major kudos to my husband for not scoffing at my insanity, right??  He really is the greatest!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Yay, you're so smart! (And your hubby is quite resourceful too!!) And, you're so right, we are very spoiled. The Christian comdian Tim Hawkins jokes that we should make a theme park in place of Disney World called "Third World" where we can take our kids to learn what the rest of the world lives like! ("Dad, can i have a happy meal?" "Son, you'll be happy if you GET a meal today!" etc)