Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Going Green Tip of the Week

Tip : Reduce or Eliminate Paper Towel Use
no paper towels, pretty in green
Last week's tip (reducing food waste) also came in the form of a challenge for me and since it has been quite eye-opening for me I am going to continue that trend and make this week's tip a challenge for me too.  Getting rid of our paper towel habit has been on my mind for quite some time, maybe six months.  What that really means is I've been putting off this challenge for six months.  The truth is I like the convenience of paper towels.  They make life so much easier!!!!  But they also have several more important cons. 

To tackle this challenge I had to do some research.  The first thing I wanted to find out was "Will it really make a difference?"  I know it will make a minor (but still important one when I have to purchase them) impact on my budget, but I wanted to know what the environmental consequences of using paper towels were.  Here is what I discovered:
So, let's recap if we stop using paper towels we will save some money, kill fewer trees, use less oil, pollute less (transportation of the towels), save space in our landfills, conserve our fresh water and produce less methane.  Why has it taken me so long to tackle this challenge!!!!!!

What does this all mean for me and hopefully you...Well I'm headed to Kohl's to use my 30% of coupon I just got in the mail and I am going to buy a few more hand towels and some fancy (at least for me) new cloth napkins.  I'm going to hide the paper towels and make it harder for us to get them.  I will likely try newspaper as my medium to clean windows and mirrors.  I heard that worked.  I also will need to buy one of those plastic toppers you can use in the microwave to cover your food so it doesn't splatter all over the place.  What tips do you have for me to reduce my consumption?  I would love to hear from you.


  1. I just wanted to say that newspaper has worked great for cleaning mirrors and windows for me. Happy cleaning!

  2. Hi Colleen!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I LOVE this post and can relate. Several years ago I switched to cloth napkins and it's turned out better than even I imagined. My kids want me to take the cloth napkins to the lake with us, because they are so much nicer than the paper ones. I went to BJ's and bought a huge pile of white cloths and I use them for cleaning everything. I don't remember the last time I bought paper napkins, although I still use paper towels for some things.

    LOVE your blog! :)!

  3. This is soo amazing! thank you for all of this hard work and research you have done, to expose the facts! I am a total hog when it comes to paper products... :( At one point, my mom tried cloth napkins, she made all of them. And we always have kitchen cloth towels, and my dad made a 3 sided pexi glass cover to go in our microwave, so all the food won't explode all over the walls and cieling in there! For you, I'd say use sponges for messes and towels for drying hands and dishes. My family has an abundent supply of diaper rags, though, from when my brohter and I were babies, and my mom pinned us up in cloth diapers! So We always clean with those, and old towels that are threading. I don't know if you can buy diaper rags, but maybe you can find some old towels and handtowels to clean with, from a second hand shop, or thrift store.

  4. Great post! Been reading a lot about eliminating the use of paper. Thanks for the tips here!