Saturday, December 22, 2012

Green? Or just cheap?

There were a few conversations on Twitter today which made me think about my hippie tendencies, and wonder about my true motivations. First, Jonna was rambling on and on the way she does now about cloth diapers and how to wash them, and I chimed in to ask some questions about detergent. (If you have any questions about detergent for cloth diapers, Jonna is the one you want to ask. But, she will tell you to use Tide.) (Don't ask ME, even though I have been telling everyone how easy cloth diapering is for six years now, but did anyone listen? NOOOOOO. Look! I even wrote a manifesto! There are links in my sidebar!) (You should probably know that I am harboring some ridiculous hipster-esque resentment about how I was using cloth before it was cool, but now all these upstarts with bigger internet presences are the experts just because they've done more research than I have and know more details than I do and also talk about it while I do not.)

Right. So Jonna was talking about the problems she had had with pocket diaper inserts, and I mentioned that   a while ago, Ann Marie's diapers were leaking all the time, and I couldn't figure out how to fix it, but I was unwilling to spend much money on the problem because I am in this for the savings. Yes. I hate using disposable diapers because I feel a little twinge of guilt every time I throw one out, but even more than that, I am cheap. All the upstarts' chatter about diapers on Twitter made me think that my problem was inherent in the microfiber inserts, so I looked into replacing all my inserts with natural fiber ones, and you know what? Those cost money. So I wanted to instead use cotton prefolds which we already own, but we don't have enough to stuff all the diapers. Thus we have been stuffing our diapers with either a cotton prefold or two microfiber inserts, and it seems to have solved the problem at a cost of zero dollars.

You know another thing I hate to buy? Wrapping paper. So I don't. First, there is the terrible waste of it, since it's not recyclable. But second, there is the part where it costs money. And I am, as has been discussed, cheap. I am a fan of easy-to-reuse gift bags, but I don't have buy those because they grow in my attic. They must, because I have not bought a gift bag in about three years, and yet there is an absolutely enormous box full of them up there. And for the gifts that don't fit in gift bags, I use plain brown wrapping paper. Recyclable, trendy, and free. At least, I think it's trendy; I've seen a few blog posts with pictures of plain-brown-wrapped Christmas gifts. And why is it free? Because whenever I get a package that used plain paper as packing material, I smooth it out and fold it up. And, man, as I typed that, I had a vision of a stingy old aunt carefully gathering up wrapping paper scraps and ironing it for next year, but I don't care. It's free! Free wrapping paper! And then I use fancy ribbon and they look just fine!

So that is my hot tip for you all. Save the paper that comes in your packages, and never have to pay for wrapping paper again. And next time, I will tell you about how I save twist ties. Or, actually, that's pretty much it. I also save twist ties. Basically, I am your stingy old aunt.

9 comments:

Lucy said...

I tend to spend more on cloth diapers than you, mainly because my mom has an account with bumgenius, so basically she buys them for me :) And I too was cloth diapering before it was cool (about 4.5 years for me).

We also refuse to buy wrapping paper and have been using brown paper for years. My problem is that for some reason nearly all of my packages came with those darn air pocket things this year, so my brown paper pile barely made it through the Christmas wrapping this year. Amazon needs to go back to the brown paper packaging or I'm in trouble for next year :)

april said...

I buy wrapping paper at Target after the holidays when it is 90% off and it rocks, but I was sad when I realized I might use up the last of my tissue paper until I remembered that we will get present with tissue paper! And I will have more to save! I'm almost getting to the point where I'll be using some "it's a boy" gift bags though. I wrapped C's cousin's present in a Buss Lighyear gift bag (he's 36. It's ironic, right?)

Jessica said...

Hey, you better watch it, I DO gather up wrapping paper scraps and iron them for next year. I have a very careful unwrapping process that saves as much paper as possible. I can remember who every paper is from, too, so I don't give it back to them (wrapping papers from my side of the family go around presents to Thomas' side and vice versa).

I, of course, save the brown paper from shipping boxes, tissue paper, and gift bags as well. I could probably wrap the entire North Pole if needed.

We can recycle unsavable wrapping paper, though. Are you sure you can't? Our garbage/recyling company has even advertised on the radio this year saying to recycle wrapping paper and gift tags.

Dr. Maureen said...

And here I thought I was being so uniquely clever in saving the packaging stuffing. The air pocket things are my nemesis, Lucy!

Salome Ellen said...

Hah! I was cloth diapering before it became un-cool. (From 1982 to about 1995 or so -- this is six kids...) I used gauze rectangles which I folded myself, (special) pins, and rubber/plastic pants. All of this -- which is no longer available -- was MUCH cheaper than today's systems, and the folding didn't take any longer than stuffing pocket diapers. I know, because I've stuffed Arwen's for her. Give me the good old days!

Oh, and the disposables available then were terrible...

Karen said...

Although I have no internet presence, I did read and SAVE your cloth diapering manifesto...before I even had kids! (Maybe before I was even married, but whatever.) (And I recently switched to Tide after battling the stinks with Rockin' Green and I love it.)

Dr. Maureen said...

Karen, this makes me very happy.

Christy said...

I had been thinking about cloth diapering for a year or two before I ever got pregnant, but wasn't sure about it. The whole thing is very overwhelming. When I was pregnant I found your manifesto and it was exactly what I needed to know I could do it. My daughter turned 4 the day you posted this and I cloth diapered her from the time she was 7 months old till she potty trained (she still wares her BG 3.0's at night). I would have started CDing from the day she was born, but she was a month early and we had issues, blah, blah, blah.
So thank you for convincing me I could do it.

Ms. Molly said...

I love this post. Gift bags galore here too!
My diapers wouldn't stop leaking and I (finally) discovered the ease and convenience of amazon mom/prime for diapers so we are doing disposables this time around. It feels free because I don't notice it coming out of my account. It does not help my inner hippie feel good though.