Beating the Credit Crunch the Eco Way
By Christine McRitchie, Plush Pants Cloth Nappies
Isn’t it nice when you discover that you can save cash AND be green at the same time – there are lots of easy ways to do this, and in the current economic climate it’s even more vital that we spend our pennies wisely. I’m not going to rant about turning your thermostat down by one degree, or walking around the village instead of using the car, but how about something a little more personal. Did you know that you can save money by changing your deodorant? Or that by using washable nappies instead of disposables you will save yourself at least 50% on nappy costs? And ladies, there is another way that only you can save money – do read on!
It is estimated that about 85% of families still use disposable nappies, and around 92% of that market is the big brands, which on average cost around 15p a nappy (before you add on the cost of nappy sacks and wipes). So, bearing in mind that babies on average have around 4,500 nappy changes from birth until they toilet train, parents choosing disposables should be expecting to spend at least £675 on their nappies, plus at least another £300 on the nappy sacks and wipes, so you’re looking at spending the best part of £1,000 on nappies that will be going in the bin. Not many parents have that kind of money to throw away, especially at the moment, so thank goodness you don’t have to! In contrast you can use washable nappies with an outlay of around £150-£300 (that’s over the whole 2.5 year time they use nappies, you don’t spend it all in one go) – and you can use them again on the next baby, so you’ll save even more! If you also switch to reusable nappy wipes (which are far more effective anyway) and a washable nappy bag instead of nappy sacks, you’ll cut out more waste, save more money – and the feel good factor is free!
Save money by switching to a crystal deodorant, costing around £5.00, these amazing things will last for over a year. They are free from perfume, alcohol, preservatives, emulsifiers, aluminium chlorohydrate (linked to Alzheimers & breast cancer), parabens (linked to breast cancer), won’t stain your clothes and are hypoallergenic. So how does it work? The best one in my experience is Tawas Crystal, which is purified Potassium Alum (nothing to do with aluminium). The crystal is simply rubbed over wet skin (or wet the crystal to apply to dry skin), and it will leave a microscopic layer of crystal on the skin which effectively neutralises bacteria and thereby prevents odour forming. It’s effective for up to 24 hours, or until you next shower. The cell structure of these crystals is too large to pass through the skin, so it just remains on the skin surface.
Soapnuts – some of you may have heard of soapnuts, or perhaps Eco-balls. Personally my washing in our lovely water comes out better with soapnuts, perhaps because they have a slight softening effect! They are a natural product, grown on trees in India, you put a few half shells into a little cloth bag (or an old knotted sock will do), bung in the machine with your washing, and you get lovely clean fresh washing for around 3p a load. You will need to pre-treat stains, but I find that soapnuts are good on general laundry, particularly good on colours as they don’t cause fading (no bleaching agents), and the nuts can be used several times before you’ll need to change them. When they are exhausted, just toss on the compost and put some new ones in.
Just for the Girls!
If you’re female and aged between 14 and 45, you can also save money by changing the products you use every month. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of you had no idea there even was an alternative out there – prepare to be informed! Many women have already discovered the Mooncup, a UK made menstrual cup which for a cost of £17, will last for 10 years. Or if you prefer a pad, consider moving to washable pads instead. They are easy to care for, easy to use, and rather more comfortable too. Here’s what other women are saying: “I just started using my Mooncup and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It works beautifully and is so simple. I wish I had discovered it years ago – I would have saved money and a lot of discomfort!” Kath, Aberdeenshire; “Excellent! Very comfortable to wear…Very discreet without compromising on absorbency – the most absorbent I’ve had, and the wings…keep them more secure” Jenny, Cheadle Hulme (about Wemoon Menstrual Pads).
If you’d like to know more about any of these products, call Christine on 01865 408040, or you can come to a Plush Pants nappuccino – first Friday of every month, 10.30 – 12.30 at 40 Westfield Road (not in August).
Dates and details are on our website at http://www.plushpants.co.uk
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