I shared in my post on recycling plastic Tupperware that I have been storing my cloth baby wipes in said Tupperware to get them to/from daycare. As usual, I came upon this method one morning as I was scrambling around (late) and needing a quick solution for transporting the wipes. Now that my container was destroyed in my hot car, I need to come up with a more sustainable, waste-free storage method.
Ziplock bags: No way
Researching what other parents do, I have discovered some people actually put their wipes in ziplock bags. Obviously, I won’t be going that route. That’s worse than a food storage container from a waste perspective. Now, in the past, I have used ziplock bags with reckless abandon for all kinds of stuff. So I’m not judging. But this is a horrible solution from a waste perspective–a fact which may not be overlooked.
Using what you have
You may not have to go buy anything at all. Most people probably have something sitting around their house that is perfectly suitable for a travel wipe container. This is a zero waste solution if you are not using the container for something else. This satisfies our zero waste principle of Refusing. You do not need to acquire something if you already own a thing that will work (if it could not otherwise be put to better use).
Examples of things you may have siting around your house are: any rigid plastic container you are not using for something else, makeup bag, pencil case, etc. Look around at leftover packaging for items you have bought. For instance, some flip flop brands include a little cloth bag in their packaging. You may have something like this sitting around your house. Of course, the type of container you use will depend on whether you decide to wet your to-go wipes or keep them dry. Or, maybe it will be the other way around–the type of container you have will dictate whether you wet your wipes or leave them dry.
Small wet bag
If you’re already cloth diapering, you may have an extra wet bag that is small enough for wipes that you could put to use as the travel wipe bag. It may be a good option to purchase one for this purpose if you do not already own something else because wet bags are always useful for cloth diapering. You won’t regret having an extra wet bag.
We also need to look at the usefulness of a wet bag beyond the cloth diapering days. You can always sell the bag–there is a healthy resale market for cloth diapers and accessories. Or you could continue to use it for wet wipes, even well beyond your kids’ early childhood years.
These are my two smaller wet bags that were included in the set of used diapers I bought. Currently, only the pink bag is in commission because the zipper is broken on the green bag. My personal solution to the wipe container problem is to fix the zipper and use one of the bags for wipes. I only use these bags for going out on the weekends (they aren’t big enough for an entire day’s use at daycare), so it won’t impede the bags’ current usefulness.
Waterproof lunch bag
The idea of using a waterproof lunch bag like the one depicted comes from Dana Ryan’s Cloth Diapers Unwrapped YouTube series. Here is the video, which is right on topic and has some great suggestions (except the ziplock bag at the end (nothing but love, Dana)). I am going to start watching a lot more of her videos! I think neoprene lunch bags are great for the purpose of toting cloth diapers. It looks like this one could do double-duty as a wet bag. Dry or wet wipes could go in the front pocket, and used diapers and wipes could go in the larger pocket.
Above all, the takeaway is that you do not need to buy something if you already have a perfectly good vessel to serve your purpose. But, if you don’t, buy something with a useful life beyond cloth diapering purposes.