Friday, July 25, 2008

We're On A Roll!

Ditch the Paper Towels, Baby!

Last Monday we all gave up paper napkins. For some, it was an easy change; for others? Well, let's just say making the napkins was a bit more challenging than they thought! But the difficult part is behind us now, just sit back and enjoy the cottony (or linen-y) softness on your lips and the classy look of your table with the new finery.

And as long as we're giving up paper napkins, let's take the next logical step and ditch the paper towels too. TODAY. Take whatever stash of paper towels you have and hide them. Now.

Yes, right now. What other type of "now" is there?

I can still see them. Get up off your arse and hide them in the pantry or in the garage or behind the fridge or wherever you stash the chocolate. Somewhere that's a big enough pain in the butt that you won't automatically reach for them every time there's a spill.

Besides, you'll be happy to have that hidden stash later, when the dog pukes all over the floor or that cat squidders on the couch. In the meantime, though, get in the habit of grabbing a sponge, washcloth or dishtowel for the day-to-day quicker-picker uppers.

If you've already switched to cloth for the paper towels, then how about giving up Kleenex in favor of cloth hankies. And if you've already done that? Well, there's only one other disposable paper product left that comes to mind....

Maybe we really can become a "paperless society". Thoughts, Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Join the discussion at our Yahoo! Group!


organicneedle said...

You leave my TP alone woman! Bad enough I switched to 7th's bark chips.

For those of you fellow toddler wranglers...if you use old wash clothes for napkins for the mess-makers they double for wiping up the table after. Saves a ton of paper towels. Just avoid any harsh chemical cleaners. Kids can be such babies about getting a little bleach in their eyes. Whiners.

knutty knitter said...

We're down to half tp but it's going to be hard to do the rest. I need to convince myself first:)

viv in nz

Heather @ SGF said...

This was an easy one for us. We don't use napkins, paper towels, or kleenex. We do have paper towels around for certain things - animal messes, like you said, but I haven't bought paper towels in, well, a REALLY long time. And honestly, I prefer cloth everything. We haven't tried no TP yet. I'll admit, I'm nervous on that one and don't think I could ever convince hubby. We buy recycled. At least thats something...

Tammi said...

Well I feel good at the moment. :) I use dishtowels for everything, I have a stash of handkerchiefs, and my boys and I do the 'family cloth' thing. Can't convince my husband to make the switch to cloth TP but that's okay.

Now what about disposable "woman's products"? We need to get the message out about cloth pads and the diva cup/keeper. :)

Bobbi said...

Cat squidders - I may have to clean myself after that!

I'm having a really hard time cutting down on TP, but the paper towels will be easier. I'm still trying to wean my hubby off of napkins.

ib mommy said...

I am not, I repeat, NOT, sewing my own #@$%#%& dishtowels!

Green Bean said...

Paper towels takes a little while to kick the habit but keep at it. I kept a roll and only used it for "emergencies" or guests for a while. Then I just stopped. Last weekend, a guest asked me for a paper towel and I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. He probably thought I was a loon. Finally, I handed him a dishtowel and it did the trick.

Wendy said...

My husband won't let me get rid of the TP. He almost choked when I switched to the 100% recycled stuff ... until I suggested none at all, and now, he's content using the "green" toilet paper, because he knows the alternative ... :).

As for all of the other "paper", we've given it all up. I haven't had paper towels since my mother visited in 1999 and decided we needed six jumbo rolls of Bounty (they might still be somewhere ...). We didn't.

And women's products? Done that, too.

You'd think since I was willing to give up that "convenience" that my husband would be willing to consider going TP-less .... Men! :).

Kelsie said...

Amen to what Tammi said!!

For those of you looking for a source of cheap, easy, and FREE paper towel substitutes, try Freecycle. Just put out a call for ratty old bath towels, and people will answer in DROVES. Cut up the towels into squares, hem the edges (if you're feeling useful), and have at it!

leslie said...

I have a 'rag bag' under every sink in the house. T-shirts go to rag bag heaven, as do any and all other cotton fabrics at their end-of-usefulness.
Old flannel sheets are highly prized in the rag bag. Ripping them up to 'rag' size is a fun little chore.
I use my rag bag rags for everything. When we have need for things like dog pukes or cat squidders (you are one funny green chicky)I use a cotton rag that I have deemed 'disposable', usually one that is 5 million years old.

I do have paper towels available, (No, I did not hide them. Nice try.) and really like the 'choose a size' half sheet ones, but I always have a rag or two on the counter, or in my pocket. Ya just never know when your're going to need one.

I am keeping my corncobtreebark toilet paper.

PS If you must have paper towels or TP, do not use 'patterned' or 'colored' or 'perfumed'.
Paper products are bad enough without adding the dyes and perfumes to the water system, just for 'cute' factor. Plain white.

MamaBird said...

Oh, man, I knew you were going to push the envelope. I'm just not there yet, ok? I won't say *never* cause I have been peeing on my garden, but I am *not ready* for cloth tp yet. OK?! And yes, keeping the paper towels up a flight of stairs has done wonders for changing my habit of reaching for em. 'Cept for dog vomit and crappage.

Rosa said...

Cutting up old t-shirts for the rag bag is the only way to keep my bf from wearing them to work, holes, stains & all.

The best thing about the rag bin? My toddler *loves* to go get himself a rag and clean up his own mess. Even if he has to dump out more water from his cup to make a mess to clean up. Can you imagine how many paper towels we'd go through if he had that kind of free access to them?

The only downside is that my bf (the one who will gladly wear holey shirts) will not learn the distinction between dish towels and rags. I had to hide my embroidered tea towels so they didn't get bike grease on them (or worse.)

Anonymous said...

I use those thin cloth diapers that most people around here use for "burp cloths" because they are too flimsy for their intended purpose. They are absorbant, wash well, and dry quickly. I save the paper towels mainly for cleaning up raw meat juices and other really nasty messes.


arduous said...

I had some emergency paper towels in my kitchen for the longest time, and they did come in handy about once a month. But a couple of months ago, I ran out of those, and I just never thought to buy anymore. Pretty cool!

As for the tp, giving up the tp for numero uno was really no big deal. But it will be a long time (read never) before I give it up for dos.

Heather said...

Dude, you're a moron. It's spelled "SQUITTERS." Get it right.

Robj98168 said...

Would you quit looking in my pantry woman??!!

LOL IT's bads enough i have enough terry cloth towels for car cleaning, scooter washing, etc. to make their own seperate load of laundry.
An i carry a bandanna in my pocket for blowing my nose. And another one for dabbing my chin when eating. Hopefully I wont forget which is which.

leslie said...

Sorry Heather. I know it's a sista thing, but I think "squidders" sounds funnier.
(Now do I get my dollar, Burbs?)

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your post regarding getting rid of paper towels and napkins. I struggle with cleaning my bathroom. Do you have a good method for cleaning toilets without using the commercial scrubbers, chemicals, latex gloves and paper towels? If I had a way to clean toilets (maybe a natural way with tea tree oil) then I could permanently toss the paper towels and sponges all together. Any info you could provide would be so helpful. Thanks!

Burbanmom said...

Anonymous (and anyone else who cares about how I clean my crapper),

Call me gross (you won't be the first), but I just use a toilet brush and an old sponge - specifically set aside and used exclusively for potty duty - to scrub the toilet. If there's lime scale deposits (yeah, that's what I've convinced myself they are) then I may put some baking soda on the sponge to act as an abrasive.

Of course, with one four year old boy and a husband, I spend more time cleaning around the toilet than anyplace else!

Hope this helps!


Rosa said...

Vinegar is great for lime stains, if that's what they really are.

Pour some vinegar into a flushed toilet, go do something else for 20 minutes, come back and scrub with a scrub brush. Then wipe down the outside with a washrag & some vinegar/water spray if you need some product there. Some people add lemon oil for the smell, but I like the smell of vinegar.

Chile said...

Like a couple of the others, I use old t-shirts for rags. However, I don't want a rag that's been used to clean the bathroom to later be used in the kitchen, so I use color-coding. When a colorful t-shirt bites the dust, it becomes the kitchen rag supply. That color is used only in the kitchen. If I doubt we'll* remember, I write "kitchen" on it with a thin permanent marker.

*Let's be honest: I always remember. My sweetie, not so much.

CindyW said...

My girls and I cut up a bunch of old T-shirts (love the old and soft ones) and tie-dyed them into napkins for their lunches and our dinners. The beauty is that the tie-dye hides all stains. What stains? You can almost not wash them.

I still use paper towels to wipe the puke from our kids and dog, though the dog would happily lick off the kids' puke if we let her . Yeah, yeah, yuck! But it does save paper towels. Let your dog lick the puke or cut down virgin trees. Desperate time calls for gross solutions.