Photo by Emma Rohmann, Green at Home.

Photo by Emma Rohmann, Green at Home.

Look in most moms’ bags and you’ll likely find a stash of disposable wipes. So convenient for bums and hands when you’re on the go with you family in TOw — wipe, toss — or flush.

But the end destination of many of these pre-moistened personal wipes are wreaking havoc on our city’s wastewater treatment systems. Even those marketed ‘flushable’ don’t breakdown easily and can end up clogging pipes, backing up sewage systems and damaging municipal infrastructure. And not to mention masses of dirty wipes ending up in our streams and lakes. (Check out this video on a lab test and what is being fished out of Toronto’s pipes.)

So what to do? I turned to Toronto mom Emma Rohmann for some green advice. As owner of Green at Home, she helps families create healthier and eco-friendlier homes and habits. She offers up this simple recipe for DIY cloth wipes. For more Make-Your-Own-Cleaners, check out her Sips ‘n Suds workshops. The next one is at Petite Care this Wednesday, February 17.

Recipe from David Suzuki’s Queen of Green with some tips from Emma on where to find the ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup castile soap (eg. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild, available from Healthfood stores, the naturals section of some grocery stores,
  • 1/4 cup calendula oil (available from health food stores)
  • 2 cups water

Mix and apply on cloth wipes. You can pre-soak wipes and keep in a waterproof container in your purse for travel. Since there are no preservatives, best to replace after a month – you can tweak amounts based on how much you use to avoid wasting it.

Reminder: if you do toss the disposables, baby and toddler wipes DO NOT go into the green bin – send them to the garbage.