In looking over my trash diary entries, I find I use A LOT of paper towels, napkins and tissues.
These are not just a packaging by-product (like a paper board box for storage of crackers), these are paper products I use as a disposable convenience.
It was a conscious choice the other day when I used a half a roll of paper towels to soak up a water overflow in our basement because the mop just wasn’t cutting it, and I didn’t use towels because it was too late to do laundry and I didn’t want wet towels festering over night and into the next day.
Each morning I make a point to pick up a couple of napkins when I get my coffee because if I don’t I’ll have spillage from my not-so-leak-proof lid on the reusable cup.
I use paper napkins at work, at home and on the go for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And sometimes at home we use paper towels instead. I’ll also use paper towels at home for cleaning countertops, and wiping up small spills. I also use paper towels to wipe off apples after rinsing.
I use more tissues when I have a cold than on a typical day, but I always have a box at the ready. (For the record, my husband uses handkerchiefs for nose blowing, and has since way before I met him.)
There are definitely ways I can use less paper towels, napkins and tissues by using dishrags, hand towels and cloth napkins. However, now I’m questioning when I make the switch. Do I use up the existing stock in our basement first (rolls of paper towels, a whole bunch of paper napkins, and boxes of tissues)? Or do I go for the cloth now and keep the stock on hand to use on occasion?
I think I’ll start with the napkins during meal times at work. It’ll be easy to keep a cloth napkin on hand at work and take it home for washing when it gets dirty.