Over the past year, we have tried very hard to use less and less paper towels. First of all, they can be expensive! I think the last time I bought paper towels, they were on sale for $4.96 and I used store rewards to get them cheaper (of course!). At the time, we had already reduced the amount of paper towels we were using in the kitchen and at breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. I've since reduced the use of paper towels in our cleaning.
I used to use paper towels to clean the windows, mirrors and shower doors in the bathroom. Now I use newspaper. I know it sounds crazy, but it works -- and no streaks! You need to be careful if you have white trim and walls, because sometimes the soy-based ink might smear on those surfaces while you are cleaning the mirrors and windows. In the kitchen, we are also using newspaper to absorb oil from fried foods such as bacon, sausage, fried taters and homemade tortilla chips.
When it comes to eating, we are using cloth napkins. I haven't actually purchased any cloth napkins. We're using "recycled" cloth napkins. I've cut squares from older bath towels that are too thin to do any good after a shower, but are perfectly acceptable to clean up your face and hands. We also have some thin cloth diapers that were never used for their intended purpose, but rather were used as burp cloths. We've migrated these from Hunter's drawers to the kitchen drawers. They are easy to bleach and keep pretty clean (still trying to figure out how to get rid of the spaghetti stains). I'm hoping to accumulate enough cloth napkins to use during get-togethers and gatherings.
I'm hoping to completely alleviate the purchase of paper towels and what a huge savings that will be!
This works for us.
Are you thinking about going green in an area of your life?