Green Ideas, Edition 3 | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

May 22, 2009

Green Ideas, Edition 3

It ain't easy going Green, especially because we live in a world that has brainwashed us to believe we "need" certain luxuries and modern amenities.

I was reminded/inspired recently by a friend (and fellow blogger), Carrie, to undergo another Green Lifestyle Change. This is one of those things that you take for granted, because we are spoiled in the ways of this modern "use once and throw it away" mentality. This tip/idea/challenge may strike you as motivating. For some, it may be too "difficult" a task to undertake on a daily basis. Either way, I'd encourage you to consider it.

Remember, every little change counts!

Reusable Washcloths and Napkins

WHAT? Stop using paper napkins? And maybe even give up *gasp* PAPER TOWELS?

I know, for some it is a stretch. We really are used to these amenities. But, besides being more environmentally friendly, it's also MONEY-SAVING, my friends! Buy (or MAKE - I will get to this part in a bit) some reusable napkins and washclothes, and you won't have to continually buy these items at the grocery store every few weeks (and those paper products won't be made from cutting down trees and left in a landfill).

Carrie (who has an awesome craft/project/awesomeness blog which you should check out) mentioned to me recently about how she made the switch to using washclothes to wipe her son's face after meals instead of paper towels.


This thought hadn't occurred to me before. I use, seriously, upwards of atleast 10-20 paper towels on my daughter every day: wiping her face, her hands, her nose, her high chair. Do the math - that's a lot of paper towels per week. Add that on to the fact that we use even more daily when we wipe down our counters/dry our hands/etc, and we had a pretty steady output of paper towels in our home. I was actually getting frustrated by how quickly we went through a bulk pack of 8 rolls of paper towels.

So, after some consideration, I embraced the idea and took it a step farther: I use a (reusable) wash cloth on my daughter's face AND I've been using cloth napkins at the dinner table. We got a set of 12 really nice napkins for our wedding, and we only used them once a year for special occasions. What a waste!

It took a day or 2 to get used to, but it's so great! Our paper towel rolls have been lasting longer, and my cloth napkins look 10 times nicer than the crummy paper ones anyday! We haven't made the leap to not using paper towels at all - but my husband and I are considering getting a few more kitchen towels and doing away with paper towels for good! If we do, I'll let you know how it goes.

For those who are crafty, Carrie has an awesome step-by-step tutorial on how to make your OWN baby washcloths (or, I guess depending on the pattern, you could make then everyday washcloths?). Check it out HERE...

It's a small change, a small step in the right direction. But it is good for the earth, and a money-saver as well!

What are your Green Ideas?

(Carrie - thanks for the tip - as you can tell, it really motivated me to change a few things!)


  1. Steph, I'm loving the Green Ideas you've been posting. I grew up using a paper towel every time I washed my hands...when I got my own place, I realized that paper towels cost money and decided to start using kitchen towels as much as possible. I got a whole bunch and just throw them in with the wash! I still use paper towels, but not as often! :)

    I also responded to your freezing question on my blog...I'm hoping that helps you get started! Have a great holiday weekend!!

  2. I'm so proud of you! And inspired! I haven't given up paper towels yet (I use way too many making cakes) but I try not to use them for personal reasons. But the napkin thing... well, I usually just use cloth when we run out. But since we are now out, I'm going to try to keep it that way! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. great ideas steph! we grew up using washcloths for faces and towels for drying (duh!)... but the germ-a-phobe in me has us going through papertowels at a truly alarming rate! It is such a habit at this point that the only way to stop would be to remove the roll from the counter! You've inspired me (again!) to try to change our ways - and use all that paper towel money for something more long-lasting! :-) L

  4. We have been using cloth towels instead of papertowels whenever possible too! For really messy things I use rags, rather than hand towels, and I "make" them by cutting up old/stained clothes. I keep a plastic bowl under our sink and when they are dirty I toss them in there and wait for laundry day :)


Hey! Share a thought or two - I'd love to hear from you! ~ Steph

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