Thursday, September 11, 2014

#EcoClutterBuster Update: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... Repurpose!

We've been using cloth diapers for our kids for years now--first for Linnaeus for two & a half years, & now for Bronte for most of a year. I've bought quite a few different kinds of diapers & settled on pocket diapers as my favourites. They're a compromise between All-in-Ones which work more or less just like disposables, & other two part diapers like prefolds or flats & covers. The ones we have bought nearly all came with microfibre inserts, which are initially great, but they get stinky fast. From what I've read, the way microfibre is made, it is really difficult to get clean once it's been used a long time. So gradually, I've been replacing my synthetic inserts with hemp/cotton ones, which I prefer.

Unfortunately, that's left us with a small mountain of microfibre diaper inserts. Literally dozens of the things. I've resisted throwing them away because they're not biodegradable. The'yre not something I'd want to pass on to someone else to use in their diapers, either. So they sat, taking up space & collecting dust in the kids' closet. But recently, I had a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) for how to give these diaper insides a new life!

First I hauled out another item that had been languishing in storage due to not wanting to throw it away: my Swiffer. I bought it back when they were the new, hot thing. I had hardwood floors in my new condo (this was, like, eight years ago) & two fuzzy, shedding cats. Those little disposable cloths just went on the Swiffer so easily & picked up all kinds of dust, grime & fur, oh the fur! Then I'd throw them away. It only took one or two packages of the things to realize that not only was it an expensive habit, but seriously harmful to the environment to be chucking synthetic cloths into the landfill all the time.

#EcoClutterBuster: repurposed diaper inserts on a Swiffer!
So, do you see where I'm going with this? Swiffer plus diaper inserts... okay, I skipped a step: I cut a slit in the top layer of the inserts, most of the way down the middle, lengthwise. That's it. They just slide onto the Swiffer head & tuck into those four little holes that secure the disposable cloths. Voila! A reusable mop head. It works okay for picking up dust--not as well as the disposable ones, but I'm fine with that. Where it shines is when you get it a bit damp in the sink. It's perfect for a quick, easy mop of the floors (I curse whoever decided WHITE TILE FLOORS were a good idea in a kitchen!!) after little Miss Chuck-It-All & little Mister Spill-His-Milk get through their dinner. Then they just get chucked in the kitchen laundry bin with all the face clothes, dirty bibs & dish towels.

So, does this qualify as an #EcoClutterBuster? I took things that were cluttering up my closets & found new uses for them. They're still here, but they're being used again, at least. The only issue really, is that I have FAR MORE of these diaper inserts than I really need. Even if I used one a day & just washed them at the end of the month, I'd still have a pile of unused ones. If you too have a poor, unemployed Swiffer that you can't bear to buy disposable cloths for, please let me know, & I will give you some of these microfibre inserts. Please, take them!

Would you like some microfibre inserts for your Swiffer mop? Have you come up with another way to reuse diaper inserts? Please share in the comments below!

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