Goodbye Toilet Paper

Now this was really not where I thought I would land up when starting the sustainable year challenge, but hey I am open to going with the process and learning and trying new things. I was searching for information about grey water friendly products when I came across the urine as fetilizer idea which I have blogged about here It has been going well and so far the boys are happily moving around the garden spreading their love and I have my trusty jar in the toilet which gets emptied on the compost heap. And great excitment, tomorrow I go and collect my Shewee from the post office and I promise to let you know what I think.

The children now know the rhyme “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” and I even heard Caleb telling this to a friends husband when they came around for a braai on the weekend. *blush*

Okay so back to the dead trees that we are using to wipe with. The manufacturing of toilet paper cuts down trees and uses a lot of resources to make the white, soft luxury stuff that comes on a roll, we then wipe flush and all those trees and resources are wasted. The amount of trees needed for toilet paper is frightening. Wikipedia says: One tree produces about 100 pounds (45 kg) of toilet paper and about 83 million rolls are produced per day. Human consumes 27,000 trees daily to make toilet paper. Even if we like to fool ourselves that they are not cutting down old forest but special forest made for paper. Stop and think what they had to do to clear an area for ‘special’ paper trees. They had to clear and kill all the indigenous vegetation and animals and plant a single species of tree. This never happens in nature, nature is diverse and works in an eco system. Having an area of just one type of tree needs lots of fertilizer and pesticides to grow as it is a system out of balance. In a normal growing environments in the wild plants fertilize and pest control for each other. These huge forest also use large quantities of water.

And all this so we can wipe our bums of dead trees and flush it away! Recycled toilet paper is a good start but they can’t make recycled paper as soft and fluffy as virgin toilet paper made from new tress rather than recycled paper. Are you willing to have a slightly less soft wipe and save trees and in turn the planet. After all your butt is not that important.

I am going one step further. I have made some reusable wipes from the left over and too small cloth nappies that I have used for the kids. I made one side with towelling and one side with soft flannel. I could have bought new material but I am all about up-cycling and reusing older nappies that I can’t pass on to be used by someone else. This way less resources are used in making these as they now have a new job. I am used to washing cloth nappies and really it is not that hard. So just adding the toilet wipes to the bucket of water with lavender oil in it and then washing the whole lot in the machine is no hardship to me. I just tip the bucket into the washing machine. Is it slightly more work. Sure, but I think our plant is worth saving. Imagine if we all flushed less and used less or no toilet paper.

They actually wipe better than toilet paper and the flannel is as soft if not softer. If you want to make your own try use something you already have at home. An old towel and old t-shirt or old flannel pajamas. Just cut them into rectangles and overlock along the edges.

Would you be willing to use recycled toilet paper?
Are you willing to try the leap for reusable wipes?
(if anyone does not have an over locker and needs me to make some for you, I will use new fabric for yours I promise, please feel free to email me cameronsallyjane (at)
Please let me know if you make your own and how it turns out.

Or am I just mad?

More reading:
Ancient trees for toilet paper
trees of soft paper, what do you choose
National Geographic – trees use for toilet paper
The Daily Green – sustainable paper
Rethink Toilet paper for Earth Day
Wikipedia – Toilet Paper

Product Review: Hipp Organic

Hipp organic baby food I was asked by Kate from Brand Bakery if I would like to be involved in the launch of Hipp Organic Baby food here in South Africa. I know the brand from when I was in the UK and was delighted to be involved as Titus was just going onto solids.

So it was to great excitement that the box was delivered to our house

We got 4 boxes of banana baby porridge, 2 trays of Tender Carrot and Potatoes which was Titus’s favourite
2 trays of spaghetti bolognese
2 trays Sweet Squash and chicken
1 tray Banana and peach desert
1 tray Red Fruit and Apple Compote

From the first jar Titus loved it

Love at first spoon

Titus and Hipp Organic

Titus has a veracious appetite and has by far been my easiest child to introduce to solids. Rachel spat everything out and if you persisted she would projectile vomit it all at you. She really only started eating after a year and then went straight onto finger foods. Caleb I started with finger foods from the beginning and he enjoyed food but was never as enthusiastic as little T-man is.

The cereal in the morning was very helpful as he really enjoys sitting with everyone while they have breakfast. This and a top up of mommy-milk afterwards means that he has a good morning nap.

I have never been a mom to use jars of food as the main baby food. I usually made their food myself and they quickly moved onto what we were eating. But ready made food does take things to a whole new convenience level. It makes going out easy and we also left a tray at Yme’s mom so when we visited we knew there was always food for Titus. I am not sure I would or could afford to just use ready made food but was lovely to use and great for having when going out. If your budget permitted and time was a factor I would say this would be great for busy moms.

I remember the range of healthy snacks that you used to get in England. The little packets of rice cakes, healthy chips, fruit bars etc. Titus was too young for those and I am not sure if they are part of the range that has come to SA, but I hope so because I used to get the snacks for the kids all the time in the UK.

The nice things about this food is knowing that it was organic. Here is a bit about Hipp Organic:
HiPP was the first Baby food-company to establish organic farming back in 1956. We pride ourselves on being the leader of baby nutrition in major markets in Europe. HiPP’s philosophy is to manufacture healthy products with premium quality ingredients in compliance with nature. HiPP:- – is the largest procurer of organic ingredients in the world – sources our ingredients from more than 6000 farms in 29 countries – products go through an average of 260 quality tests and checks before it gets onto the shelf

HiPP Organic launched in the South African Market in July 2011.

Available in selected Clicks stores now

And now given that I am such a Pinterest addict and love Recycling and Reusing things, I have some new ideas to do with the left over jars

From Frugal Decor Mom Paint the tops with Black board paint and fill with herbs – I think this might be a Christmas gift

Did you use read made baby food or mostly make your own?
Were you kids very different when it came to starting solids?
If you used jars did you make anything nifty from the left over jars?

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Gift Challenge

Create your own banner at!

* Do you leave birthdays and gifts for the last minute?

* Is money tight so the thought of trying to squeeze a gift out of your minimal budget makes the whole experience horrible?

* Do you like making things? Well even if you don’t there are things you can do?

Well then this challenge is for you, join me in a gift giving year with a difference.

I have challenged myself to a year of not buying gifts. I want to make, upcycle, regift or give my time as a service for a year. I am not sure if will be possible with every time I need to give a gift but I sure am going to try. It will involve forward planning, as making gifts invoves time and thought, not just running to the shop at the last minute. I am getting lots of great ideas on Pinterest.

The making is self explanatory

Upcycling is using something to create something new and cool, join Pinterest for some great ideas ( getting the idea that I love that place?) I am all green and eco at heart so the idea of saving money and saving the planet is a double bonus to me. And like the picture I posted for this blog I am even looking at green eco ways of wrapping up my gifts

I need to explain the re-gifting. I know a lot of people feel bad about regifting or if they give me something will now be worried that I will regift it. The way I see it, if it is something that I might not use as much as someone else, I would love them to get the full benefit from the gift, and it is never wasted becasue it would have saved me going to buy or make something. I am not the best for matching presents to people and so I would hope that if I gave or made something for someone and it was not 100% their thing that they would regift it. If I made you a hat and you might wear it once or twice but you know your friend/mother/aunty etc would wear it all the time then share the love.

If you are worried that you can’t make stuff or have not found your thing yet, (again get yourself over to Pinterest to be inspired by load of easy crafts with tutorials) then what about a gift of time, offer to baby sit, do gardening, bake a cake etc. Use your skills to gift others with your time.

All of these take a lot more time and effort but they are gifts from the heart, they say I cared enough to give you my time and effort. I think that means a lot in the busy world. And before you say you don’t have time, neither do I ( I have 3 kids, one just a 4month old baby, I home school, run a business and do free lance writing) But I will make the small bits I have count.

This is going to need planning as I can’t leave them all for the last minute, which is good for me as I tend to be disorganized and I leave things to the last minute and then get panicked, stressed and rushed. I am starting with a project board on which I can see which projects I have started and who’s birthday is coming up so I can plan what I want to make for them. Ahh I can see a list which will need laminating. ( I bought a laminator and everything is getting laminated it is such fun)

I also like the idea of making the wrapping from interesting and recycled stuff I saw the idea in the picture above on Pinterest from this Etsy shop

So are you going to join me for a year of interesting presents?

My list so far ( will add to this as the year goes by – I will make a post about each one and then link them here but this is just the list until I do so I don’t forget)
– Caleb’s dinosaur track suit top which I am so chuffed with I am going to do a separate post about it
– Caleb’s rocket hat
– Aedhyn’s Benjamin Rabbit which I don’t have a picture of – Ghilly can you maybe send me one?
– A tiny pumpkin for Carle’s boys doll Pumpkin who was having a birthday party the one day when we visited
– Worm scarf for Annatjie
– Meelah’s and Indhya’s are in progress so will show those later.
– A hat for Catherine’s Paul