One Paper Towel a Day

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My favorite new kitchen item - reusable cloths to use in place of paper towels.

I’ve been so inspired by Good Girl Gone Green’s Project Green Foot. Blog author Stephanie Moram chronicles her weekly grocery bill, gas milage and travel, composting and recycling efforts, and what ends up in the trash in an effort to reduce her footprint on the environment.

Stephanie was the person who inspired me to cut down on paper towel waste in our house. And I can’t believe how easy it’s been. I’m almost embarrassed at how many baby wipes and paper towels I used. Just cleaning up the baby at every meal, I’d average 3-4 baby wipes. I’d use 2-3 paper towels cleaning up the kitchen and dining room table after meals. All this added up to about 18 paper towels and baby wipes a day – and it didn’t even account for baby wipes I used to actually clean poopy diapers.

So I bought a few kitchen cloths and committed to stop using paper towels. I got these from Trader Joe’s. They’re super absorbent. And for the last week I’ve been using them in place of paper towels and baby wipes (with the exception of cleaning diapers). It’s been so easy and I’ve completely weaned myself from paper towels. That’s 18 paper towels and baby wipes a day I just saved.

I’ve been inspired to cut down on paper towel waste at work too. I was one of those people who’d use a ton of paper towels to dry my hands and open doors (I’m a little freaky about germs on door knobs). But since cutting down at home, I was able to transition at work pretty well. I’m trying to use just one paper towel to dry my hands – and so far it’s working.

Here’s a great video from Joe Smith featured on TED on how to properly dry your hands. It’s light-hearted and fun to watch. And how hard would it be to use this method?

Here’s another great article from Valerie Deneen at Stonyfield – Little Green Choice: Rethink Paper Products.

So can I convince you to cut down on using paper towels? What about cutting out one paper towel a day?

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  1. Thanks so much!! I love that TED video!

  2. Yes–I’ve been using rags to clean up the kitchen for a while. Feels good to save a few trees.

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