Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Do you know where your towel is?

(with apologies to the late Doug Adams)

I've been trying, with mixed success, to use more reusable shopping bags. The problems I've encountered are a) remembering to take them into the store with me; and b) getting the baggers to use them. My solution for this will be to get some string bags that I can put in my purse; these ought to fit more easily over the handles the baggers use for plastic bags, so ought to solve both problems with one stone.

I've had a lot more success with cutting down on the use of paper towels and napkins around the house and at the office. A few months ago I bought a bunch of cloth towels and, instead of napkins, colored waffle-weave dishcloths (more absorbent than plainweave fabric). We keep the dishtowels in a drawer in the sideboard with a couple hung on the oven door handle. The cloth napkins are in a basket on the sideboard, where we previously kept the paper napkins. There's a basket on the washing machine specifically for towels and napkins, and, since the washing machine is in a closet in the kitchen, it's easy to toss a dirty towel into that basket and grab another one. When we do a load of laundry, we can toss the napkins or towels in the wash with the other clothes, so they don't add significantly to the amount of laundry we're doing.

We still use paper towels for messes where cross-contamination is an issue, but we've gone from using several rolls of paper towels per week to one (at most), and have completely eliminated paper napkins.

I also take cloth towels and napkins to work with me (I usually bring my lunch, due to food allergies).

I'm not saying this to put myself out as "greener than thou". I haven't cut out paper use entirely. The secret for changing my habits, though, seems to be to make things easy and convenient.

Now if I could just remember to take those damned bags into the store with me!

On the to-do list: make some more fabric bags (I certainly have enough fabric in the fabric stash, and this would be a good way to get rid of some of it); and weave some more dishtowels (again, I have the yarn in my stash and should use it; never mind that the loom needs to be used more).


Blogger Beck said...

Cloth napkins is something I've been meaning to get around to using as well.

11:40 AM  
Blogger JosephR4570 said...

I leave a bunch of cloth bags in my truck. Of course, I usually have to go back out to the parking lot to retrieve them after I'm in the store...

8:19 AM  

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