Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bandanas: a Going Green Extension

I wrote a small series on "Going Green" back in the spring and thought 10 posts would be enough! But, I've just discovered a new "must" for the mom of young children who wants to reduce, reuse, and recycle: BANDANAS.

I was fretting over the high cost of cloth napkins and lamenting the lack of time I had to sew any from old fabric to a friend who was visiting a few weeks ago (her mother has made them a bunch of cloth napkins from random calico prints). We have a small stash of "family cloth napkins"--the ones I never stain treat, iron, or barely even fold. They just get dumped in the next wash cycle after each meal. I'm also running dangerously low on bibs and know that as soon as my twins begin using utensils, we'll enter into another massively dirty eating stage: after every meal, the bibs they used will have to be washed because of all the stuff that dripped on it. Finger food can be brushed off, but a bib can only take so much cottage cheese, yogurt, and sweet potato.

Enter the bandana solution: these things are amazingly well adapted to my needs!!!! At Hobby Lobby, I picked up a bunch for $0.87/each. That's cheaper than most cloth napkins. They are bigger and come in lots of kid-friendly prints. They're poly/cotton which means they won't be "bleeding" all over lighter colors in the wash. They don't wrinkle much and don't stain. They work great as bibs--simply pull two corners behind the neck and tie. These "bibs" can't be pulled off by recalcitrant kiddos; cover the entire front, neck, and shoulders of the child; and can be moistened after the meal in order to scrub little hands and faces. I made sure I got at least 3 of each of the fun prints since I have three children. I'm also thinking these will make much more interesting napkins for the kids--and, again, plenty big enough to swab down aforementioned children at the close of the meal. (I'll probably still whip out the plastic backed bibs when I serve something really "wet" like cereal with milk or soup.)

I'm going to put a few in my diaper bag and in the emergency bag I have in the car. What a lifesaver! In addition, when I got home with the new stash, my daughter had great fun "wearing" them and dressing her dolls up in them. We wore them on our heads for a little while and twirled around the room with them. They make great capes for wee ones. Oh, the possibilities....

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