- January 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm #158332
I found this reaffirming – I haven’t as yet gone totally paperless
I reserve paper towel use for pet ICK that i don’t want lurking in the dirty laundry.
- January 22, 2010 at 2:05 am #162182
Pet ICK is the only thing I use paper towels for also, and I rarely bother with napkins…
- January 22, 2010 at 3:08 am #162184
I’m the same way. I can’t figure out a way to break through the mental barrier for pet messes.
Here’s a question for you guys, if you are paperless in the kitchen, what do you do when you need to drain meat or bacon? That’s been stumping me too…luckily we don’t encounter that too often.
- January 22, 2010 at 6:24 am #162191
we don’t drain meat or bacon.
we just hold it with tongs while it is very hot and let it drip into newspaper.
i’ve never used much in the way of paper towels or paper napkins.
i have 2 sets of vintage irish linen napkins, plain white, off ebay for a song years ago, and we use them every day.
about fifteen years ago, my mother gave me 25 white irish linen tea towels and they wash up like new every single time.
we use a fresh one or two every single day and it’s no big deal to iron them every fortnight or so.
for really repulsive messes, i use torn up old towels…..i keep a stack of those handy at all times and they get boiled, then washed.
i don’t like tissues either….another ebay find was an absolute stack of ancient irish linen hankies with the original price sticker still on them (13 cents!)….and i use those.
i use washcloths for my face….not tissues or cotton balls.
we do use toilet paper
but you know, billions of people get by fine without it.
- January 22, 2010 at 10:39 am #162193
We`don’t use napkins, although I do use paper towels, which I should stop and start using washable cloths.
I don’t drain bacon as the fat collects in the grill pan as its cooking, and joints ofmeat you can stand on something eithewr while its cooking or while its resting. An onion cut in half makes a tasty stand for roasting
- January 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm #162202
I am using less and less paper however, there is a point of using too much water to wash cloth rags, napkins, etc. I am really big on everything being sanitary.
guess we each have to find our happy medium.
- January 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm #162206
all the cloth i use instead of paper probably amounts to a load a week…at the absolute outside. it’s more like a load every ten days.
it takes much more than a washing machine load of water to produce paper.
paper needs water at every stage of it’s production and uses 75-225 m³ of water per tonne of paper manufactured.
not to mention the effluent from the process which has to be cleaned before any remaining water is returned to lakes/rivers etc.
- January 22, 2010 at 10:50 pm #162210
It’s another example of ‘simple/green’ not necessarily equalling ‘easy’. The ‘simple life’ isn’t simple at all! Disposable is ‘easy’ – use it, toss it and don’t think too hard about the waste….
I use about one roll of kitchen paper every couple of months, if that. I have young kids, so we have a ready supply of rags from things that aren’t good enough for the thrift shop. I have them cut up and ready to use.
Never used napkins.
- January 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm #162211
Admittedly I have no kids so probably less mess than some of you have to deal with. But the pets make their fair share. A roll of paper towel every couple of months doesn’t make me feel too badly, and I buy the recycled stuff. I have a kitchen cloth for dishes and counters, and go through a couple of those per week, just toss ‘em in the laundry.
I’m a vegetarian so I never have the meat draining issue.
I’m a Swiffer girl though, and the Swiffer cloths are disposable…
- January 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm #162213
I think it’s a balancing act, Jennifer. Sometimes you cut yourself some slack – use the disposable whatevers – but you make up for it in other areas. For us, miserly with water, putting in Solar power, minimising car use, donating to Greenpeace. So sometimes I go with disposable wipes, especially when the housework is getting all-too-much.
- January 23, 2010 at 3:57 am #162224
i’d like to go paperless, we don’t use a lot now, but we usually have a roll of paper towels out. i do have some bar mop towels i use, but i would like to get a stash of cleaning rags for other stuff, and some cloth napkins would be nice too. i love using the disinfecting wipes, b/c i bought a bunch on clearance a while ago and still have plenty left. once those are gone i will start using cloth probably. i did switch to cloth pads more than a year ago and i’m that has saved me a ton of money.
- January 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm #162231
With the exception of TP, we are a paperless house. When we got married, we were too poor to buy paper towel and kleenex, so even now that we’re comfortable, I don’t bother. I have separate coloured rags- for dishes, for cleaning etc and I prefer running a load of laundry every day to filling up the landfill.
- January 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm #162233
I have always been an environmentalist. I love trees. I love this planet. However, big corporations do not love this planet, and our pitiful little attempts to make a difference, are but a drop in the bucket, even though a lot of drops, if many of us are conserving. Overall, it is a lose, lose situation. As long as paper is being made from trees, rather than hemp, by the idiots who invented reefer madness to make marijuana, and therefore hemp, illegal, they will keep denuding our forests. As long as coal burning plants are giving us power and putting mercury into our oceans, our waters will be polluted, our fish inedible. As long as we have nuclear power, we will have canisters of uncontainable contaminants that will erode and pollute the earth. The list goes on…
You might as well use a few paper towels. They aren’t going to stop cutting trees until WE force them to cease.
- January 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm #162236
I think you’re right, to an extent, Claycat. Our small efforts are but a drop in the ocean – but they do add up and I think we mustn’t underestimate consumer power.
But we must also compliment this with things like lobbying politicians to take action and supporting environmental groups who represent us. I saw in a TV interview the singer Sting, who has done a lot of research on the matter, said that the single biggest thing we can to to slow climate change is to stop cutting down the Amazon! That’s it. Make the politicians and corporations stop exploiting the Amazon forests and protect the people from those who try to force them to do so.
We just bought this year’s school books. We managed to find some Aussie made paper, but the ones the stores had laid out were all Indonesian, and they don’t have the strict environmental controls that we do.
One point though, if you can reduce paper consumption without creating too much extra washing, it can save you money, which is important these days.
- January 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm #162237
That is certainly true, klutzgrrl. I still recycle and try to do my part, but it looks pretty hopeless. There are too many greedy people!
- January 24, 2010 at 11:48 am #162243
Laetitia in AustraliaMember
We use paper towel for microwaving samosas. They are a fast snack available from the freezer section at the supermarket. They need to be heated/cooked and we’ve found that we could either spend en eternity heating up the oven and then cooking them for 15 minutes or we can shove them in the microwave for 2 minutes – guess which method wins, particularly in summer or when we’re only doing enough for one person, not two.
The paper towel absorbs the excess moisture, so you aren’t left with soggy pastry. I can’t think of another option to meet this challenge that doesn’t risk starting a fire.
- January 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm #162262
I use maybe a roll a year, for who knows what – well for stuff I think “I don’t want that in my washing machine!” LOL
Also, the longer you use cloths instead of paper, the more nearly dead rags you’ll have – then you can declutter them one by one with a too gross to wash job.
I also find cloth works way better than it’s paper counterpart for most jobs.
I mostly rinse them once by themselves in the machine and then fill with towels for a full load.
- January 25, 2010 at 3:35 am #162271
That’s true about the cloths, ozazure. I have been dumping some when they get too gross.
- January 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm #162285
Jennifer…I have a solution for your Swiffer! A crochet Swiffer sock. Completely washable. I found a pattern for one online but haven’t made one yet, but I’m sure you could find one on etsy.com
- January 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm #162286
That is brilliant jpalvey! I’ll definitely look for one! Thanks!
- January 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm #162288
After a few years of using cloth towels for the kitchen, I’m still trying to get my dh use to using them for wiping his hands and picking up kitchen messes. We still use paper towels but we use the 7th generation paper towels and I’m trying to get those to last a month. I like to use them to cover food in the microwave.
- January 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm #162293
I went to a paperless kitchen about a year ago. It’s been wonderful and has gone much better than I expected, but I think I’m going to be adding back a limited amount of paper towels for microwaving foods with cheese on them (the melted cheese is impossible to get off the cloth napkins, but I hate when they get soggy underneath, so I need something to soak the moisture up with) and cooking bacon in the microwave to soak up the grease (yes, I cook bacon in the microwave).
- January 26, 2010 at 2:54 am #162302
Have you tried a plastic microwave food cover? It’s vented and lets most of the moisture out, big enough to cover a dinner plate. Saves on paper towels, though maybe the plastic is going to give me cancer!
- January 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm #162351
Laetitia in Australia: I can, denim or linen. There wouldn’t be a risk of pilling, they’re just as absorbent as paper AND they have a higher flashpoint… It would be *harder* to burn them.
- January 27, 2010 at 3:43 am #162369
Heh, my in-laws visited over the summer (all of my in-laws, we had 10 people in the house for a week!) and kept asking me about paper towels, paper plates, napkins. My SIL uses paper plates almost exclusively, and I hide mine so they only get used when *really needed.*
I keep a roll of “shop towels” (heavy duty paper towels) in a cupboard for particularly nasty messes (grease, pets) that I don’t want to stain my fabric; other than that, we’re paper-free all the way. Dish towels ($1.99 for a 3 pack @ IKEA; I bought 3 packs, they’ve lasted for going on 3 years now and are very absorbent) and cloth napkins all the way. I’d estimate my kitchen fabric equals less than half a load of laundry, and it’s super-easy to just throw it in with regular laundry.
I took my “paperless” one step further and scanned my paper recipes into EverNote, which I access from my kitchen laptop (set in a corner right next to the cooking area). I use Microsoft’s OneNote software to copy/paste recipes and my inevitable changes and notes.
We used to have a full garbage can every week… now, it’s more like half full, if that, for the weekly pickup.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.