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Paper products are not only bad for the environment but are also costly. We started reducing our use of paper items and I was SHOCKED at how much money we saved. So here are a few suggestions for getting started:
- Don’t use paper towels to dry dishes, hands, counters etc. Buy a few dish towels and dish rags. I have found that investing in quality ones makes all the difference. Williams-Sonoma makes the best and they last FOREVER. They are highly absorbent and wash up well.
- Use real plates instead of paper plates. While you’re at it use real silverware and cups too.
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. They have the added bonus of looking prettier too.
- Bring a ceramic mug to work and rinse it out rather than using paper cups for coffee or tea.
- If you bring a reusable coffee cup to Starbucks they subtract ten cents from your bill (of course you save a bundle making your own coffee at home).
- Use old t-shirts not suitible for donating to make rags. I use these to clean the bathroom, scrub the floors, wash windows etc. I wash them and reuse them until they fall apart.
- Get a microfiber duster that you can use and then wash. We have a Oxo Good Grips Double Duster and I love it. Old socks work well too.
- Use flannel fabric to make hankies instead of buying Kleenexes. They are easier on your nose.
- Use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. The average baby will use 3,796 diapers (source: National Geographic’s “Human Footprint.”) That’s a lot of diapers taking up space in a landfill. Using a wet washcloths instead of wipes when possible also helps reduce waste.
I haven’t completely eliminated paper products from our home. I’m not quite ready to get rid of toilet paper! I also keep a roll of paper towels in the kitchen to clean up Daisy’s occasional messes. But cutting back has really saved us a lot of money and has reduced our trash production significantly. Putting the occasional dish towel in with our laundry costs us nothing extra but really makes a difference over time.
Great blog, Nicole! We are beginning to try to move to a less disposable household. No more swiffers! Will be buying cloth napkins this week and plan on using old t-shirts for most of our cleaning. I started using microfiber cloths for dusting a while ago, and they actually work much better than swiffer! We are also trying to move towards more natural cleaning products too!
We use WAY too many paper products! We are a disposable diaper family for many reasons (and I did research cloth quite extensively) but have really tried to cut down on paper towels, tissues, napkins and plates. The paper products I DO buy, I try to make them have as much recycled content as possible and use a napkin or tissue until it's just down-right gross. 🙂
Great blog, btw! Keep it going!