No Paper Towels

Always on the lookout for tips on how to live a simple, sustainable life, I recently came across the Reduce Footprints Blog, and was thrilled to see that every week, on Wednesday they start a new Challenge. They call it Change The World Wednesday.

This week’s challenge is the Paper Towels Challenge and I figured this was as good a time as ever to jump on the bandwagon.

The idea is to not use any paper towels this week, which is an easy one for me, as I’ve already been doing that a lot.

Although… I have a confession to make: Due to the pain and fatigue caused by the Ehlers-Danlos, I hadn’t been as strict about using cloth as I should have been lately. Sometimes, it’s just easier to grab a cleaning wipe from a pack and not having to fuss around with a damp cloth.

Also, as I’ve had to delegate household chores to the hubby and DD-15, I stocked up on packs of wipes as they’ll be much more inclined to actually do their chores if they can do them the easy way.

So I decided to use this challenge to get back on track. I will not ask the hubby and DD-15 to stop using the wipes (right now it’s more important that their chores get done, than how they get them done), but I could cut back on my own use of these really handy wipes.

And I did. I only used them once this week, when my wrists and fingers hurt so much I could barely use them and felt using these wipes was going to be the only way I would get any cleaning done. Other than that, I only used cloth wipes. And, as an added bonus, that meant I also used my own homemade eco-friendly cleaners.

I’d call that a success.

However, seeing that I’d already been in the habit of using cloth instead of paper towels before my setback, I decided to up the ante a little. Surely I could do more than just use cloth cleaning rags and cloth pads?

I could go back to baking my own bread again. And I could make that easier on my wrists by making the dough in my kitchen machine. Baking my own bread means no more bread in plastic or paper bags.

I also make my own ketchup and vegan cheeses, and today I even made my own peanut butter. That was a first. By making my own and re-using bottles and jars, I save on glass waste and on paper waste, as I don’t need fancy wrappers on my bottles and jars. I know what’s in them, and I also know exactly which ingredients I used, so no need for an ingredient list either.

Go me!

Finally, I even started to refuse printed receipts, which is a big one for me, as up till now I’ve always felt I needed those receipts, just in case I needed to return anything. The latter hardly ever happened though, so really, why keep asking for receipts that will only end up in the paper box for recycling anyway?

So that was this week’s Change the World’s Wednesday. I’m already looking forward to the next challenge. How about you?

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About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
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4 Responses to No Paper Towels

  1. Susan says:

    Paper towels are something I use a lot of – to dry fruit that I have washed etc and it has crossed my mind lately that I should find another way to do things in my kitchen, so your post is timely. As I have a policy of only washing fruit such as pears, apples and the like when I am ready to use them I can imagine that at the end of the day I would have a large pile of cloth towels to be washed!! Am I achieving anything by doing this? Of course, if I washed all of my fruit at the same time I would only use 1 or 2 cloth towels….any suggestions are welcome.

    Like

    • Leah Witmond says:

      Hi Susan!
      I don’t really bother drying fruit that I washed. The only other thing I can think of, is to keep one towel just for drying your fruit and use that all day. That should work. šŸ™‚

      Like

  2. You are a Rock Star!! You have valid reasons for using paper towels and yet, you push yourself to use cloth. I'm so impressed with your commitment to the earth. And wow … making your own bread, peanut butter, ketchup, and even vegan cheeses. Fabulous! I've learned that receipts contain BPA so not only are you saving paper, you are reducing your exposure to that nasty chemical. Thanks so much for this post … you inspire me!

    Like

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