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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine ISSN# 1708-3265
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Walk Your Talk
with Aleesha Stephenson

I love trees. I do, I just love them. They gift me oxygen to breathe, a beautiful friend to sit under and meditate, a home for so many insects, birds and critters alike. They truly are one of our best friends on this planet.

I look at my small town and see all the trees surrounding us. The mountains are covered with them except in the areas where they are being removed, more and more each year to create homes and communities for people. Every time I see a new bare spot appearing I think of all the oxygen we won't have available to us.

So what do we do about it? What can we do about it? I found a solution for myself 14 years ago. Seems like only yesterday and it also feels like a practice I've been doing forever.

We don't use any toilet paper, tissues, paper towels or paper napkins - instead we use flannel. A renewable resource, cotton! So much softer on the delicate areas of our bodies.

I was sitting on the floor when my son was a baby. He no longer needed his flat sheet white flannel diapers and I looked at the stack in front of me wondering what I was going to do with them all. After all, I didn't need that many rags and I didn't want to waste them. So I figured I'd make them into flannel bum wipes (FBW's) and while I was at it, I'd make a few menstrual pads as well. I can't even imagine how much space I've saved in the landfills from that choice!

With our current theme "Tides of Change" I figured it's time for me to devote a column to flannel bum wipes. After all it is one of my favourite topics. So many of my friends (in real life and Internet alike) know about this and I get so many requests on how I do it… so here's some instructions for you all!

Buy a few metres of flannel. Get the thickest flannel you can find. You can also use old sheets, nighties, shirts… but remember they won't last as long as they are already worn and thinning! Once you get your flannel home, put it through the washing machine and the drier. I often do this twice - mostly because it takes me awhile to get them made so I wash them up again so they are fresh when I sew them up for the family.

I flatten the flannel out on a table and fold it so there are 4 layers of flannel. This is the best thickness for FBW's. You'll get more years out of the wipes plus your fingers won't get damp when you use them! Once I get the flannel laid out I cut 4" wide strips. Then I measure the strips and decide how long each stip will be. For example: if the strips are 10" long, I cut them in half. If the strips are 30" long, I go for 6" strips. Either way, I have wipes of all different sizes in my home. As sometimes you want a bigger wipe, or a smaller and this gives us some choice. I also don't like to waste any flannel so I make the most I can out of what I have! I do prefer the 4"x6" size though.

Once I have them cut, I use a triple zig-zag stitch on the cut edges, so they don't fray. And a straight stitch on the folded edges. They keep better form if they are sewn on all four sides.

I also like to make flannel tissues… which I prefer as two-ply but I do have one-ply pieces as well. I make these approx 8"x8". They are so much softer on your nose than the disposable ones you buy at the store.

Of course, I've even made my own flannel tea towels for the kitchen. Two-ply for these ones. Make them whatever size suits you best. I sew these ones inside out on three sides and then turn them right side out to sew up the remaining side. It makes them look more finished.

I almost forgot to tell you… we keep a small bin beside the toilet lined with a bag I made out of football jersey material. We toss our FBWs into this bin and then just lift the bag out of the bin and into the washer they go. We wash them the same as any other laundry, warm or hot wash and cold rinse - just be sure not to use fabric softener on them (if you use softeners) as they won't be as absorbent that way.

I figure, this issue is all about change and I sure do appreciate this change we made all those years ago. All in all, in the last 14 years we have only used a couple rolls of toilet paper (while we were moving from one home to another or using a bathroom outside of our home). Think of the environmental impact this choice has made! Think about the impact you can make as well!

Aleesha Stephenson is the Publisher, Editor, Graphic and Web Designer as well as a Regular Columnist for Timeless Spirit Magazine.

A Raw-Vegan, Reiki Master Teacher, who lives her Buddhist, Shamanic, with many eclectic Pagan beliefs, she home-schools two of her three spiritually enlightened children as her eldest has graduated and moved on to the school of life. Friend (and mother) to them all, she is also a life-partner to her husband David. Her life truly is filled with light.

Author of the "Pathways Series," a series of workbooks created for 28 consecutive nights of spellwork for Magi's Magick Spells. Aleesha teaches classes in Tarot, Meditation and Reiki. For more information, please contact Aleesha via email, visit her personal web page or her blog - Aleesha' Raw Life - the journey of her new Raw Vegan experience and continued weight release and health increase!

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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.

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