Thursday, December 15, 2011

The paper towel challenge

I am not a fan of paper towels. Except when messes like this occur:

Yummy. What a way to start the day ... thanks to my cat Theo. At least it wasn't on the couch or braided rug.

So I opened the cupboard door and pulled out the rarely used paper towels, and was thankful I had them. Of course, they are the ones made of 100% recycled paper, but I still felt a slight tinge of guilt using so many -- this really was a mess!

There are people I know who use lots and lots of paper towels every day and never even give it a thought. Even before I decided to eliminate as many disposable products as possible from my home, I still didn't use an excessive amount. After all, they were expensive ... at the least the ones I bought -- you know, the fancy ones to match my Mary Engelbreit kitchen. Imagine how excited I was when I discovered the Engelbreit line of paper towels on the grocery store shelf one day! Pathetic.

How did I break my paper towel habit? Well, it started in the mind -- all I had to do was think of the sheer wastefulness and I was convinced pretty quickly that I had to find an alternative. And the alternative was easy! Rags. Old washclothes. Cut up stained handtowels. I stacked them under my sink for easy access and put a little lidded trashcan in the corner of the kitchen. When there's a mess, I wipe it up and throw the rag in the "hamper." Often, I rinse the rag and hang it over the top rack of the dishwasher. It's an out of the way, yet convenient, spot.

My challenge for you today, as a new year draws near, is to rethink your position on paper towels. Use less. Put them in a less convenient place, so family members don't just grab them for every little thing. Reserve them for messes like the one I woke up to.

It's an easy and earth-friendly thing to do. And with the rising cost of groceries, it's kind on your budget as well!

Keeping it green,



  1. I'm very happy to say that we use paper towels very rarely. My Norwex cloths are my go-to clean-up items now. I'd probably use them for the cat mess too.

  2. Yeah, I use a lot less rags now that I have Norwex cloths as well. But I still use them to clean up the initial mess and then follow up with my Envirocloth!


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