Okay y’all – it’s finally here. I am finally writing about the bathroom business. I’ve put this off for a while because we were a little slow going on this front. However, for my birthday this year, my husband took the plunge (hehe) and bought a bidet attachment for a toilet. We have a Tushy, which I think we have grown to love. It definitely took me a while to adjust to it because we set it up in our master bathroom, where we don’t have the option for a warm water hook up, so it is freezing cold water blasts only. It is not my favorite experience, but you really do feel clean after. I also really liked the Tushy setup; it was quick and easy and the instruction paperwork was full of cute jokes and puns which I really appreciated.
So, to enact my revenge on my husband’s interesting gift choices, I got him washable toilet wipes for his birthday. They are the toilet paper version of un-paper towels. They have adorable patterns on them and are machine washable. They’re actually incredibly soft and a nice long shape for drying off after using a bidet, so it’s a nice pairing.
Prior to buying our house, we rented a place that required toilet paper racks because there were no holders on the walls. Although our house has wall holders, we have been holding on to those old metal toilet paper racks because I had a feeling we could find another use for them, and now we have! We have a setup where we can use the wall holder for regular toilet paper and the metal holder for our reusables. When I do a load of laundry, I start a second roll and keep those on the bottom of the rack so that all of the wipes are in the rotation; otherwise we would keep using the same few and they would not wear evenly. I also placed a basket with a washable liner in our little toilet room of our master bath, which serves as our little laundry basket.
I do have one tip if you try these wipes, which I learned from experience and want to share with you- do not put them in the dryer. I made the mistake of trying to be quick about washing them so we could get started right away and they completely shriveled up in the dryer to the point where I couldn’t wrap them around the roll at all, and I had to wet them all over again to reshape them. If you take the time to hang dry them, they keep their shape better and will probably last a lot longer too.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking- this sounds kinda gross, right? I thought so too at first. If you use the bidet properly, you really do only need these wipes to dry water off of yourself, and using toilet paper would defeat the whole sustainability purpose of having the bidet. If you do not properly use the bidet…the wipes will be a little gross, in which case I pre-hand wash them before they go through the laundry. We also still keep regular toilet paper to use if we want to in certain circumstances (i.e. for myself, during that time of the month) so it’s a no- pressure situation that is all about reduction, not complete substitution. At the end of the day, anything you do needs to be comfortable or you aren’t going to stick with it.
Okay, now that we have gotten through the #2 part of bathroom business, I am going to also use this post to touch on some feminine stuff I’ve added to my routine. If you are not interested in this part, you may stop reading now!
I have wanted to write about feminine hygiene products for a while now, but wasn’t sure how to go about it because I honestly have not tried many products to review. My take has been to find the most sustainable thing that works for me and stick to it, and that’s what I have done. The biggest thing for me was to just quit disposables and find a sustainable substitution. The amount of plastic and packaging that goes into tampons and pads is a little devastating, since these are products that are almost impossible to live without nowadays. I used to use tampons while wearing liners at the same time, (even just wearing liners every day just because) and when we first did out trash logs at the beginning of this journey, that was what I was contributing the most to our garbage. Everyone is different and everyone has different preferences, so I am just going to write about my personal ones for this post.
First off, you have to watch out for greenwashing. I have seen a lot of companies that make tampons out of plant-based plastic and say it’s a “green” alternative, but it’s not. Plant based plastic is still plastic, and is still going to end up clogging up a landfill along with all the other plastics out there. You also can’t compost cardboard applicators or cotton tampons, which I thought was a potential option in the beginning. The best thing to do is to get away from all of that completely.
I have looked into cups like the Diva Cup, but my issue with those is that they still only last for so long and end up in the trash. I am also afraid to use them; they just don’t seem like the right option for me. I know a lot of people love them, and if you are into that, it is a fantastic alternative because it is still only one small piece of garbage every few years. The same goes for period underwear. They aren’t for everyone either, and are a little too expensive for me. They also only last for so many washes, so you have to keep that in mind when purchasing them.
The solution that worked best for me was reusable pads. I bought three different size reusable pads two years ago, and they are still going strong. They are nice and thick, and although not as absorbent as the disposables, they work for my needs. The only thing I really need to worry about with them is the snaps potentially breaking eventually, which I can fix myself. They snap together nicely and I have little bags to transport them with me when I need to. To wash them, you simply run them under water until the water runs clear, then put them in the laundry. They clean up in the wash great- I haven’t had any issues with them and they are comfortable for me.
The only problem with these would be if you don’t want a pad and need an option for a vacation or something, like if you wanted to go swimming. I haven’t run into this yet; thanks to the pandemic I haven’t done much and have just been at work and at home with these the past two years. I am also on birth control for medical conditions, so I usually plan vacations around that so I can avoid packing and dealing with these things as much as possible. I had one beach day last year with my period, and I just wore a pad in my bathing suit bottoms and wore shorts over them for the day and that worked out for me. If I were in a complete jam, I could always buy a cup or a tiny box of cardboard tampons (the cheap ones wrapped in paper to avoid as much plastic as possible) to get through an emergency because again, it is about reducing, not about being perfect J
Anyway, that’s all I’m gonna say about that. I’ll talk about something less crappy next time!