Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day Twenty-Three - The Quicker Picker Upper

Stop Using Paper Towels

Note: Sorry for the apparent lack of posting. Blogspot's highly trained spam-prevention robots locked my apparently spam-ridden blog for two days while they personally reviewed it for content. If I were paranoid (and I am, btw) I'd think "the man" was trying to bring me down. ;-) Oh well, we're now "cleared" and back to posting! Thanks for checking back!

Can you tell that I am slowly but surely running out of disposable items here and are simply not replacing them? Yeah, sometimes it actually is easy going green. Last week I ran out of paper napkins and we've been using the cloth ones since then. My husband complained a little at first, but he seems to be over it already. Today I pulled the last paper towel off the dowel and I won't be buying any more.

I already have a drawer chock full of towels, washcloths and sponges in my kitchen -- why do I even need paper towels? I have no idea --- probably just because everyone else does. I'm a follower, you know. But not today, today I boldly go where no suburbanite has gone before -- paper towel-less.

I've found the best substitute for the paper towels to not be towels at all, but baby washcloths. They're smaller than regular waschloths and much thinner too, but they're still quite absorbant. This means they get the job done, without creating a whole extra load of laundry at the end of the day. If you don't already have a bunch of these, you can probably find them at garage sales or thrift stores. But if you have to buy new, try Walmart or BabiesRUs. They sell them in packs of 10 or 25 and that should be plenty.


I used to buy a roll of Bounty about every 2 weeks. Now I won't be buying any. Zilch. Nada. That's a savings of 26 paper towel rolls per year (Roughly $50 in cold hard cash plus all the trees I'm saving!)

Difficulty Level - 1 out of 5

Another super-duper easy one. Simply do nothing. The rest will work itself out. I promise you will not sit around wallowing in a puddle of your own, umm, puddles. You'll find something to wipe the mess up with. Hey... maybe that's another use for lint!


Brian said...

We're making the switch to cloth instead of paper as well, but, we still use paper towels for those instances where you want to clean something up that you don't want to put in the washing machine with your other clothes/towels (baby poop, dog poop, cat vomit, etc.), BUT, we are buying recycled paper towels to handle those clean-ups...great tips!! Keep 'em coming!!!

leslie said...

I have a cloth rag hierarchy in my household. T-shirt rags of white heavy weight cloth are prize, as are the blue checkered former flannel bedsheets, torn into towel size pieces. Socks, and underwear sans the elastic waistband, and totally worn out rags are the 'disposables', for nasty jobs.
Every sink in the house has a small tub of rags beneath it.
My rags are dustcloths, counter wipes, window washers, spill wipers, etc.
The really grody rags get tossed, but the rest get laundered, usually with the white clothes, or by themselves. I am not opposed to a dash of bleach in the rag load of wash.
And a side benefit is that your lint collection grows rapidly after drying the rag load.
I have no idea if this is a green concept. I just have to have a clean rag handy.
I use few paper towels, but use the 'select-a-size' half sheet style.