It's a new month, and time for another baby steps challenge!
Back in April, I wrote this post about how I wanted to make some simple changes to incorporate more "green" behaviors into our lifestyle. So far we've tackled: stopping junk mail and catalogs, air-drying laundry, composting, switching to natural cleansers, and using less water. Hooray.
Now, I don't mean to imply that all these behaviors are taken care of, they're still a work in progress. I air dry the laundry most days, but not always because of our schedules. I'm often doing laundry in the evening and don't want it to sit overnight. We're about 50% switched over to natural cleansers, but it's going to take some coaxing to get my husband to let go of his practically lifetime supply of Clorox (he buys in bulk). And I compost basically everything that can be composted, but I'm not sure what's going on in those bins because I still don't see any worms. I may have to go on a worm search soon.
So I'm far from perfect, but I feel pretty good about the changes we've made so far. This month we're going to tackle the last of the challenges I set back in April: deal with our paper towel usage. I struggled to even come up with a title for this post, because I hesitate to say "give up paper towels." I just don't think we can do it. But I'm going to make an effort to use a lot less. Here are the steps I've taken to help us out:
1) Cloth napkins: We're using some we already had, plus some hand-me-downs from a friend. I had no trouble making this switch, but my husband seems to have a hard time with it. He still prefers using a paper towel, and I'm not sure why.
2) I tore up more rags for cleaning. We're lazy about grabbing paper towels for cleaning, when it's just as easy to use a rag if it's available.
3) I bought a couple of "dish rags" to use in the kitchen instead of paper towels for all kinds of minor things. This is what we used during my childhood, so I don't think it should be too difficult to get back into that habit.
A few steps we've already taken are that my husband is buying the paper towels that separate into a much smaller section, and he also bought a plastic contraption to use in the microwave that you place over plates instead of a paper towel.
I know for some people they could just give up paper towels entirely, cold turkey. But I'll be happy if we use a lot less and go from there.
Please share your tips and suggestions in the Comments section. And let us know if you want to join in the challenge!