Since moving into our home I have been able to more accurately calculate how much paper and trash we produce on a weekly basis. I have watched our usage trends since January 2018 and was shocked when I realized how much unnecessary waste our home of two produced. On average our household uses 1 roll of paper towels every week. Two people, one full roll of paper towels per week. That adds up to 52 rolls per year. Crazy!
I had been planning on replacing paper towels and transferring to a more ecofriendly and economical option for about a month but never had a free moment until last Saturday. I took a leisurely trip to target to browse the isles and see if there was anything I could find to help improve our home and cut down on our paper towel output. After perusing the Chip & Joanna Gaines section of the store to gather some extra inspiration I headed toward the towel section in search of something sinple, classy, and cohesive with our home. Our home has a theme of indigo blue and wood accents so I went searching through the store with our color and texture theme in mind.
My husband in a true paper towel lover. Whether it’s drying dishes, your hands, or spilled water on the floor he’s 100% of the time going to reach for a paper towel over a reusable one. They’re quick, easy, and require you to only remember to put it in the trash when you’re done with it. With his paper towel usage in mind I had to find something he would enjoy using over the paper towels. In the kitchen section I ended up finding the perfect cheap towels to use and set out on my next mission, finding the perfect bowl perfect bowl to display them.
I searched for bowls in the home decor section, in the office section, in the garden section, but finally settled on a wooded bowl found in the kitchen section. There were so many different colors and sizes but settled on one that would fit nicely where our paper towels were previously stored. I picked up the items, cringing slightly at the initial investment price but was excited that I wouldn’t have to be purchasing nearly as many paper towels in the weeks and months to come.
I’m writing this as we are one week in to our attempts to say goodbye to paper waste and already I am amazed at how easy it is to switch to using regular hand towels for everything. Whether it’s a spill on the floor, a dish that needs drying, or drying off hands after washing them, using cloth towels have been just as easy to use as papertowels because of where they are placed in our home and how easy we made it for us to reach for cloth over paper. Looking back on our almost 1 year of marriage, purchasing reusable towels over another package of paper towels should have been a no-brainer to begin with! It may have taken a whole year and a lot of $$$ but we’ve learned our lesson! I’m excited about how much waste and money we will save in the long run and ready to find more ways we can cut down on waste in our lives and budget.
If you’re interested in cutting down on waste in your budget and the environment consider replacing your paper napkins and towels with cloth! We moved our paper towels to a closet far away from us and put the bowl of hand towels where they used to reside to make it easy on us to grab a hand towel before a paper one.
If you have practical ideas for how to cut down on waste in our lives and budgets please let us all know in the comments! We would love to hear about what you do to improve your life and homestead.