They seem like such a good idea at the time. Conveniently wet on demand, in a carry pack with a lid; disposable. But the problem is, these handy little wipes are often not biodegradable, yet people often throw them down the toilet, and if not, people often pop them into small plastic bags and throw in the bin. Often.
Ok, so in the scheme of things that we do wrong to the environment, it may not make the biggest impact on our footprint, but it is a teeny tiny thing that we can actually change, without having to put much effort in. And that seems to be the key – the less effort we have to put in to change our negative impacts on the world the more likely we are to make the commitment and change our behaviour. (Side note: some of the most difficult easy ways to reduce our environmental footprint include stop eating meat, stop having pets, stop flying on aeroplanes, and surprisingly, stop using glow sticks… I’ll admit I partake in three of these four activities, I’ll leave it up to you to form your own conclusions ;)).
Anyway, back to the things that we can easily do without changing our philosophies on life too much, and wet wipes. A disturbing picture that hit the viral current slipstream not long ago was a one tonne “fatberg” made up from mainly wet wipes blocking, clogging and blowing out sewer systems which, according to this article, around 80 per cent of sewer blockages resulting from people flushing wet wipes down the toilet. Part ignorant convenience, part irresponsible tissue manufacturers claiming wipes are flushable (and the definition of flushable does not mean “put them in the toilet and hit the button”, but that the tissue can break down/dissolve into leafy sea dragons or even just broken up tissue fragments), you cannot flush them down the toilet.
So not flushing them down the toilet is one thing, but limiting to your use of them altogether is also something I’m into. Plus, they also often have chemicals and alcohol in them, which can be harmful to the sensitive bottoms of growing Dictators. Plus, they’re just not necessary. Our children do not need to be sterilised to be clean and hygienic.
“How on earth can a parent in this world survive without wet wipes??!!!” I hear you exclaim. Lean in, things are about to get all kinds of crazy right now….
- A water bottle with water and a teaspoon of olive oil, shaken, not stirred
- A flannel/cloth
- A bucket with cold water and vinegar for soaking*
- A washing machine*
I don’t think I need to write out the method. You’re all smart people. Oh, just remember to pop a plastic bag in your bag to transport it all home… otherwise it’s all gonna get too real! 😉
*keep these items in your home, transportation can be troublesome.