Month: November 2019

Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering

We have been cloth diapering for 16 months and have gone on several trips during that time. Through trial and error, we have learned a lot. Our trips have been getting easier by following these tips. We have done multiple trips where we traveled for an extended weekend. However, we recently went on a 9-day trip where we flew to Canada. Traveling with cloth diapers was definitely a learning experience!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

Discuss it

Discuss it and be committed to what that means. My husband and I had many conversations before we went on this trip on what we were going to do for diapering. Should we do disposables because it is easier? But what about our commitment to making eco-friendly choices whenever we can? In the end, choosing to travel with cloth diapers was a commitment on both our parts. If we weren’t on the same page it would have been way harder.

Laundry

Plan where you will do laundry. We do not have enough cloth diapers to last a whole week without washing. Going with that many would have also been problematic because we wouldn’t have had enough luggage space. The hotel we stayed at had coin-operated laundry and this is where we planned to do the washing. We also knew that in Field (our ultimate destination) there was a hotel that might let us use the machines.

Learn how to hand wash. When you don’t have access to a machine, try hand washing. I have seen blog posts out there from people who only hand wash their diapers. I was not up for hand washing all the diapers on vacation. However, it was useful for a couple emergency situations. I have seen portable washing machines like this one, that would be great for trips where you are not flying. I foresee portable washing machines being really handy on camping trips.

We air dry our diapers to preserve the elastic. By snapping the diapers together on the ends we created long rows of diapers. We then hung them over hangers in our hotel room. They were dry in no time!

Traveling and Packing

Travel with as many clean diapers as possible. The more diapers you have, the longer you can go without needing to wash them. When on vacation I personally want to do as little amount of laundry as possible. My goal was to try to make it the whole week with only needing to wash them twice.

Pack them unassembled and in once place. When a cloth diaper is assembled it takes up much more space then when all the pieces are separated. By separating the covers from the inserts, I was able to fit way more into the luggage. Also, try to keep all the diapers together in one bag. This prevents anything from going missing or having that surprise moment when you have a dirty diaper and didn’t realize you were out of clean ones.

Put the diapers in the carry on. It would be a nightmare to have all my cloth diapers be lost by the airline. For that reason, I travel with all my cloth diapers in the carry on. If I lose other clothing items, those are easy to replace. All my diapers were ordered online and would be difficult to replace on vacation.

Bring more wet bags than you think you’ll need. We brought 2 large wet bags and 3 of the small ones. The reason for this is once we started on our day adventures, we didn’t want to bring huge wet bags with us. This allowed for moving the diapers around, so we always had a small bag to bring places.

Be Flexible

Be flexible. We had this grand plan for cloth diapering the whole week when we were gone. But then we both ended up feeling unwell. Being sick on vacation, we had barely enough energy to keep up with our little one, let alone to do laundry. We did purchase a very small pack of disposable diapers and used those for a day or two. Once we were feeling better, though, we went back to cloth. You never know what’s going to happen – maybe you get sick, maybe the luggage was stolen, maybe the washer broke. If you do end up using disposables, that’s OK. The point is that you tried, and for every cloth one you use you are preventing a disposable one from going in the trash. 

Do you have any trips planned? Are you thinking about trying cloth diapering? Hopefully these tips on traveling with cloth diapers can help. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Next, check out my some of my tips on clothing diapering here.

Zero Waste Travel Kit

Zero Waste Travel Kit

Have you ever been in this situation? You’re at a restaurant and didn’t finish your food, so you ask the waiter for a to-go container…and they bring you a Styrofoam monstrosity (insert big sigh here). I just know that this Styrofoam container is going to be sitting in a landfill for the next couple hundred years. I have been saying for a long time that I needed to stop contributing to this. Now I can’t change what restaurants give out, but I can change if I choose to accept it. No more…instead I am going to bring my zero waste travel kit! 

I made this kit from things I already have in my home. I keep it in my car for whenever it is needed. With using this new kit I also had to implement a process at home. I didn’t want to make a kit, use it once, and then never get it back to the car. We have all been in this situation with other things.

The new system is as follows. Once the items are washed they are placed next to our key bowl. On the next trip to the car it is taken with the keys. It’s pretty simple, but it is important to spell out the expectations. 

Below are the items that I have included in the zero waste travel kit. While I encourage you to use items that you have around your home, I will link similar items, too. 

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart 

Identifying Situations

So when building this kit, the first thing I looked at was the types of situations that I find myself in. I didn’t want to put something in my kit that I would never use. 

Most of the time I have need of the kit at restaurants when we have left over food. However, I would like to do an experiment to see if fast food places would put the food in my container instead of in their wrappers. I’ll let you know how it goes! 

I also find myself needing some of my zero waste products when I am shopping, so those items have gone into the kit, as well. I normally bring shopping bags with me when going to the grocery store, but when I don’t have a bag, it is nice to have a back up. 

If you set out to make your own zero waste kit. I encourage you to look at the situations that you encounter when you wish you had a zero waste alternative.

Items in the Zero Waste Kit

Large Container 

Beeswax Wraps 

Water bottle /mason jar 

Produce bag 

Straw 

Silverware

Grocery Bag 

Zero Waste Travel Kit

Travel Kit

Everything for this kit is contained in a large plastic container that I already owned. While I don’t love using plastic, I would rather be putting it to good use instead of throwing it in the recycling. This container is great for taking those leftovers home in instead of using Styrofoam or cardboard takeout containers. 

I have also included beeswax wraps for any other leftovers that need to be wrapped up or for shopping. I can foresee it being useful for bulk bin purchases. 

The water bottle or mason jar is also an essential for my zero waste travel kit. Most of the time I bring a water bottle with me but sometimes I forget. I also included a mason jar as a good alternative because it could be used for both drinking or food storage. Double duty! 

I included a straw because restaurants tend to bring you one. I like to bring my own and use one of the 5 R’s and refuse the disposable plastic type. Having an extra straw is also handy for my son, since he’s only one year old and drinks better out of glasses with a straw. Also, waiters sometimes bring us a plastic sippy cup, but I would prefer a regular glass and give him one of the reusable straws to use. 

With this kit I included some silverware. These ones are just plastic ones that I picked up some where. Instead of buying new ones, try reusing some old ones. I did link some bamboo ones that are made of a more sustainable material.

The produce bag and grocery bag are for when I find myself needing them while shopping. I got this grocery bag from a conference that I went to. I made the produce bags and you can, too…check out my post on how to make a product bag here.

Have you tried making a zero waste travel it? Let me know how it went!

Beeswax Wraps

Plastic wrap is one of the easiest things to eliminate from your home on the journey to zero waste. When you really think about it, there are alternatives to everything that plastic wrap can be used for. One of the more obvious is just using containers instead. But for those items that need to be wrapped, try beeswax wraps.

There are so many beeswax wraps on the market, like these. They are a great choice, but did you know that you can make your own? I know, pretty cool! Instead of purchasing a pack of 3 for $18.00, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. Also, you can use left over fabric that you already have…truly zero waste!

***Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Materials Needed

Fabric – It’s best to use 100% cotton and a looser weave. Also, it works better with fabrics that are dyed instead of printed. I personally like gingham fabric.

Beeswax Pellets

Grape Seed Oil

Jelly Roll Pan

Oven

Pinking Shears

Parchment Paper

** I linked the supplies needed, but if you already have the supplies needed, use those instead of buying new.

Beeswax and grape seed oil

Process

First, press the fabric with an iron and cut it to size using the pinking shears. I normally use 12 inch by 12 inch squares but the beauty of this is that you can custom make any size you need.

Pre-heat the oven to 175* F.

Lay the fabric down on the jelly roll pan over a piece of parchment paper. It’s best if the fabric is completely flat. However, if the fabric is bigger then the jelly roll pan, then just fold the fabric over on itself.

Place 1-2 tablespoons (depending on the size of the fabric) of beeswax pellets on top of the fabric, spreading them evenly. Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of grape seed over the fabric.

Place the pan in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until all the beeswax is melted. Once done, take it out of the oven and check that the fabric is covered. A basting brush can be used to move the melted beeswax around. More beeswax can be added at this point if needed, and then pop it back into the oven. Once this is done, take the fabric off the jelly roll pan and gently wave it through the air until it’s dried This should only take a minute or two.

Repeat as needed.

beeswax wrap before heating
beeswax wrap after heating in oven

Care and Maintenance

Beeswax wraps can be used in place of what you use plastic wrap for. However, you shouldn’t use it for raw meat.

Beeswax wraps can be hand washed with soap and water, then laid to dry. The wraps are good for 6-12 months. When they are showing some signs of wear and tear, they can be placed in the oven again with more wax. If it gets to the point where they cannot be used anymore, they can be placed in the compost bin (I strongly recommend cutting the fabric into small pieces first.)

Notes

The beeswax is not easy to get off the jelly roll plan, so use an older pan or one designated just for this project.

I have tried the ironing method to making the wraps. Place the fabric with beeswax on a piece of parchment paper and fold the paper over the top. Next, iron until the wax is melted. This worked well to make the wraps but I did get beeswax all over my ironing board.

Beeswax wraps are a great zero waste switch. Have you tried them? Let me know your thoughts down below!

Next, check out my zero waste switch to produce bags.