The Rag Bag

Pardon Me? 9,000 semi-trailer trucks? Just for "wipes"?  Doesn't anyone use good old fashioned "rags" anymore?  I recently read a suggestion that every kitchen and bathroom should have a rag-bag - basically the same thing as those cloth tubes we use to store the plastic consumer bags we try not to get when we go shopping.  

If you've been using cloth or recycled fibre shopping bags, and have used up your store of plastic bags - you may have one of these tubes in your Value-Village box waiting to go to a good home.  Don't give it away - just repurpose it for small squares of cloth - cut from old bed sheets, old clothes, old towels that have seen better days - any absorbent fabric that can be used to wipe up a spill.  Rinse them after use - and toss them in the wash when they need it.  Keep them separate from the cloth you use to wash dishes.  (and I'm hoping here you are using cloth - not "J-cloth")

Only 30% of these 83k tonnes of wipes were used for household cleaning - the rest are baby wipes, travel wipes, etc...  Why can't we use a washcloth to wipe our children's faces, etc when needed? Generations of parents used a washcloth to clean a dirty face or wipe a butt at diaper time.  No one died. Basic principles of good hygeine just need to be applied - wash your hands, wash your cloth after each use.

Germ Warfare

We have become ridiculously germ phobic - to the detriment of our health.  Fear of contamination has trumphed common sense.  There is a difference between sanitary and sterile.  Don't let your kids hit each other with the toilet brush - and you don't need a "flushable"toilet brush head every time you clean the toilet.  Germs are everywhere, people - and we NEED some of them to survive - because they fight other germs.  Too much "anti-bacterial soap" has made us more prone to illness.  The Goddess created bacteria.  Some healthy, some harmful - and some of the ones that are harmful to humans actually have other beneficial purposes on the planet - like breaking down the stuff we insist on putting into the landfull. (spelling error intentional).

AND all this "Disposable Stuff" gives new meaning to the phrase "Disposable Income".  Not very Frugal. Not very Pagan. Put the two together, and what do you got? 

So - there are three factors This Frugal Pagan considers:

  1. the impact of all this disposable waste on the environment.  Pagans, there is NO "away".  We can't throw anything "away" - we just put it out of sight.  These products are laden with chemicals - and they end up in the landfill, where those chemicals leach into the ecosystem and contaminate the soil, the water, and have a negative impact on the bacteria that are needed to break down the garbage.
  2. the cost of repurchasing a tool over and over again to do the same job in the same way - when a slightly different tool would be reusable over time and save me money.
  3. the impact on my health - too clean is as dangerous as too dirty. I strive to live in harmony with my environment, and want to live "with" the helpful bacteria - not create a sterile lab environment to live the experiment that is my life.

So - don't be sold on "convenience" - because convenience "costs".  These products are not "pagan-positive" when it comes to how they align with my values (how about yours?).

If the Universe wastes nothing, then we should follow its example,

The Frugal Pagan

*all photography from