Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paper Products

In an effort to try and be "greener" I have sort of banned buying paper napkins and towels. I say "sort of," because I haven't really banned it, I just get mad when they make their way into my home (so, same thing I guess). Jan (and my Mom, too!) found this a bit frustrating because I didn't really have an alternative. Note to self: have plan in place first before banning. In order to replace the need for paper towels, I put some old, ugly and stained dish towels under the sink to use for spills. I also bought a washable glass cleaning towel a while back to do windows with, so next time my Dad is here, he'll be ready to go :)

I have been thinking about buying cloth napkins for almost a year. I looked online and found some nice looking ones (at target.com I think). I just never got around to buying them because it was hard to tell how good the quality was online. Last week I found some at a local grocery store. I bought 4 to start (for only €3.99!) and they seemed to wash up well. Okay, if you are really serious about it, you'd have to iron them...luckily I'm not that crazy - hey, that's energy I'm saving! :) They are just a plain navy blue color. I bought a dark color in the hopes that they wouldn't show stains. I think they'll be a great everyday workhorse, maybe I'll get some fancier ones at some point for special occassions. When we were shopping yesterday, I picked up the last box of 4 they had - 8 should be good for a start.

As I said before, becoming "green" is a step by step process, but it always feels good to make progress!

7 comments:

jenlnew said...

I try every day to be more green. Can't say I'm the best at it, but getting better about it. And the kids are learning about recycling too. I do still like my paper towels but have bought the kind that you can select a size. Instead of using a whole paper towel for many pick ups all I use are the 1/2 sheets. Saves me $ and don't have to buy as many which in turn saves trees. I also have the linen window cloth, does a much better job than paper towels, but the best thing to use on windows is newspaper, which you can recycle too!

Tracy said...

How about this one?

http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2009/08/18/pee-in-the-shower-to-save-water/

PLEASE DON'T! ;-)

Kim said...

There are paper products made from post-consumer paper; I use those for toilet paper (not using a cloth for that) and paper towels. I do the same as Jen - use the pick-a-size paper towels for kitchen messes that are bacterial nightmares (raw meat, for example). I refuse to buy paper dishes; I already have dishes. Love cloth napkins, but am compelled to iron them...need to think like you and tell myself that I'm wasting energy ironing!!

the Matthews family said...

We have been using cloth napkins for several years and I love it. We have quite the mix-matched collection now. They are just washed and somewhat folded and put in the drawer in the dining room. We have lots (20 or so) in case I get behind on laundry. I do not iron mine either so they are always creased and super wrinkly. hmm I think they absorb messes better that way. =)

the Matthews family said...

I just thought of something else you might like if you aren't doing it already. I prefer dryer sheets instead of pouring in fabric softener to the washer. I think the fabric softener makes my towels feel too slick or something...plus I have had the liquid stuff stain my clothes before. I don't like how I am throwing away one or two dryer sheets with every load of laundry though. I have two pieces of material (I use two old bandannas) that I keep with my laundry. I buy liquid fabric softener and pour it into an old spray container then I spray the bandannas with the softener and throw them in the dryer with my clothes. It gets rid of the static, softens the clothes and makes them smell wonderful. Every so often (like when you do a load of towels) you will want to also wash the material so it doesn't start getting stiff and gross.

Michelle said...

I am loving all the ideas, ladies! Keep 'em coming. Cara, the softener is a good idea - I have recently found a pretty crunchy alternative: vinegar! no chemicals! I'll do a separate post about that... Glad to hear you have been successful with the cloth napkins, it gives me a positive outlook. I think once something like this is integrated into your everyday life, it becomes second nature and therefore easy. And you're setting a great example for your girls at the same time! That is a big motivator for me :)

Michelle said...

Tracy - I have seem that debated on some forums! Funny stuff! ;)