I’m refusing paper towels.
Full disclosure: refusing rolled paper towels was one of the most difficult parts of my zero-waste transition. I was so accustomed to using paper towels when cleaning.
I was also so accustomed to using paper towels to dry my hands in public restrooms. Now, I make use of electric dryers to dry my hands in public restrooms.
Why all this trouble? Using paper towels is less than ideal for a myriad of reasons:
- They’re usually wrapped in plastic (don’t get me started on plastic, and honestly if you’ve been following me long enough, you know I don’t have to get into this)
- Trees had to be chopped down in order to use them. Boo.
- They’re single use, further encouraging our throw away culture. nope.
- lots of trash going to landfills in plastic trash bags, producing methane gas and polluting the earth. also nope.
To show you how exactly I surpass paper towel use, let’s take a look at some of my ratty clothes.
This t-shirt. I’ve had this t-shirt for a while. Something funky happened to it a few months ago when I washed it, and now it has these pink stains and speckles all over it. I’ve tried everything to get these stains out because I really loved this shirt, but nothing worked. I won’t donate it to a thrift store, because who wants to buy and wear a stained shirt? So, instead of throwing it away and further contributing to landfills, I’m going to cut it up!
These socks. They’ve had a nice, long life, but now there are holes in the toes. I don’t want to sew them because, honestly, I have plenty of socks and that’s time consuming. I can’t compost them, because I’m pretty sure they’re not made of 100% natural fabric (cotton, wool, etc.) That’s a big bummer, because plastic is now even in our clothes- as synthetic fabrics. BOOOO. I’m going to cut these up as well.
There you go. Automatic towels and rags.
I store these in a glass jar in my kitchen and wash as necessary. The most beautiful part of this is- I’m saving money. I don’t have to buy paper towels over and over again or new cloth towels. I’m using what I already have and I’m delaying them becoming landfill waste for the time being. Yay ruined clothes!